Monthly Archives: November 2013


Spaghetti with Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

This is one of the easiest pasta sauces ever.  Stick everything in a baking dish and bake it off then toss with pasta and you have dinner.  Plus its very yummy.


Start with a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, undrained.  Place in a baking dish and crush the tomatoes with your hand or cut them up.

IMG_6779 IMG_6780

Chop up 8 cloves of garlic,



and add to the baking dish along with 3 tablespoons of butter cubed, and salt and pepper.


Roast at 425 for 40 minutes.  Mmmmm, look at those little pools of butter.



While the tomato sauce is roasting, cook up some whole grain spaghetti.



Once mixture is thick and jam like, mash it up with a potato masher.  Then toss with the cooked pasta.





I think it was a hit!

Spaghetti with Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spaghetti with Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
Serves: 4
  • 1 12 oz box whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese for topping, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  3. Place the canned tomatoes in a baking dish and crush with your hands or cut apart.  Add in garlic and butter and salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and roast for 40 minutes.
  4. When tomatoes are thick and jam like, mash with a potato masher and toss with the cook pasta.
  5. Top with parmesan cheese if you would like.
  6. Eat!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine November 2013.


Lemon Dill Butter Grilled Chicken and Shrimp with Greek Orzo Salad

How did you like the title of this post?  I had to explain all of the elements of this recipe because they are each so delicious! I know I said that this is my sister’s favorite thing that I make, but this orzo salad and grilled chicken and shrimp is also in the running.


Yum.  I love lemon.  You start by making the lemon dill butter.  You need 2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice.


Pour thru a strainer into a medium saucepan, and boil the heck out of it.  No really just crank up the heat and let it go.

IMG_6678 IMG_6680

Your 2 cups will turn into 2 tablespoons of pure goodness.


While the lemon juice is boiling away, get your butter ready.  Place 2 sticks of butter (I used salted but unsalted is fine too), 2 tablespoons chopped dill, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl.

IMG_6683 IMG_6684

Add in your lemon syrup and stir really well.  Set aside until ready to use.

IMG_6638 IMG_6648

IMG_6650 IMG_6651

Now onto the orzo salad. Start by chopping up of your vegetables and things and placing them in a bowl.  Seed the pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes.  Dice everything up bite sized. Then slice up the green onions and kalamata olives. Crumble your feta if you didn’t buy that way already.


So yummy and fresh.


Cook up your orzo.

IMG_6657 IMG_6660 IMG_6661

Make the dressing.  Lemon zest and juice, grated garlic, chopped dill.


Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Whisk together.


To the vegetables add the cook orzo and dressing and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Now take your lemon dill butter and smear it all over the chicken, shrimp (which I like to skewer so I’m not chasing them around the grill, but hey if you like to chase shrimp around the grill by all means skip this step), and spread it on some pita bread.


Mmmmmm.  This is the best part of the meal.  Grilled buttery carbs.

IMG_6709 IMG_6715

Then throw everything on the grill.  Cook the chicken until no longer pink, just get some grill marks on the bread, and cook the shrimp until they are just pink.


Serve the grilled chicken, shrimp, and pita with the orzo salad.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Dill Butter Grilled Chicken and Shrimp with Greek Orzo Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lemon Butter Grilled Chicken and Shrimp with Greek Orzo Salad
Serves: 6
  • For the lemon dill butter:
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 pounds chicken
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 pita rounds
  • For the Greek Orzo Salad:
  • 1 lbs orzo, cooked to package directions
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 6 oz feta, crumbled
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely or grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the lemon dill butter and grilled meats:
  2. Pour the 2 cups of lemon juice thru a strainer into a medium saucepan.  Heat over high heat until the juice is reduced to 2-3 tablespoons.  It will be very thick and syrupy.
  3. Place the butter, 2 tablespoons chopped dill and some salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add the reduced lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Smear all over your chicken, shrimp, and pita bread.
  4. Grill the chicken over medium heat until no longer pink.  Grill the shrimp over medium high heat until just pink all the way thru.  Grill the pita bread until warm and it has some nice grill marks.
  5. For the Greek Orzo Salad:
  6. Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, grated garlic, dried oregano, and salt and pepper.  Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking.  Set aside.
  7. In a large serving bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients for the salad.  Top with the dressing and toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Eat!

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay.


3 Ingredient Dessert Bars

If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert this holiday season, you have come to the right place!  My 3 ingredient dessert bars are great for those busy nights that are bound to happen this November and December.  With 3 ingredients: brownie batter, cookie dough, and chocolate frosting you can’t go wrong! One great thing about these bars is that you can make them as easy or as hard as you would like.  You could use your favorite brownie or cookie dough recipe (or use a mix like I did).  Or is your aunt’s cousin’s uncle makes a too die for chocolate frosting then by all means use that!  I’m showing you the easiest and fastest way to get this dessert from pantry to table!  Plus the combinations are endless!  You could use peanut butter cookie dough, or make blondies instead of brownies, you could use cream cheese frosting.   You will thank me.


I used the Betty Crocker trio seen above.

IMG_6860 IMG_6864

You will need to mix up your brownie mix and cookie dough mix per package directions.


Then just start pouring and ploping into the pan.  Pour prepared brownie mix into a 9×13 baking dish.  Then plop the cookie dough all around.  Bake it off for about 35mins.


Once cooled, cover with chocolate frosting.


The cookies and brownies together are decadent, but then cover the whole thing in chocolate frosting?  Your welcome.

3 Ingredient Dessert Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 20
  • 1 box of brownie mix, prepared per package directions
  • 1 bag cookie  dough mix, prepared per package directions
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pour prepared brownie mix into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Plop the prepared cookie dough all over the brownie batter.
  4. Bake at 350 degree for about 35 mins or until lightly browned.
  5. Cool.  Frost with chocolate frosting.
  6. Eat!


Cuban Rice

This dinner is a little bit different, for those nights when you are sick of chicken or pasta.  I’ve been making it for my family forever it seems, and my kids even love it!  Score one for mom.


Start with one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes.


Pour them into a pan and add one of the cans full of water, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of salt.

IMG_6352 IMG_6350

Let it bubble away on medium heat until it really thick, about and hour or so.  Then once its thick blend it up with an immersion blender.  If you don’t have one I highly recommend getting one.  They are awesome.


While the sauce is cooking, start on the rice.  Sautee 4 cloves of garlic in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.


Add the rice and stir it around to coat it in oil.


Add the water and a couple of bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.


Now for the eggs!  Fill a small skillet about halfway up with extra virgin olive oil.  Then fry your eggs!  The egg whites will spatter and grow bubbles, but thats ok!  Cook for about 2 minutes on one side and then flip over and continue cooking until your desired doneness.  Anywhere from 1-5 minutes.


Serve the eggs alongside the rice, with the red sauce.  You can die happy once you have tasted this sauce!

Serve with some crusty bread and a salad and you have a complete meal!

Cuban Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups calrose rice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  1. Pour the canned tomatoes into a large skillet with high sides. Add the sugar and salt, plus one can of water. Cook over medium heat until very thick. Puree with an immersion blender or in the blender. Keep warm until ready to use.
  2. While the sauce is cooking, make the rice. In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add in 4 cups of water and the bays leave. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
  3. Preheat a small skillet over medium high heat. Pour in enough oil to come about halfway up the skillet. Add eggs, two at a time. Don't worry if they spatter and bubble. That's normal. Cook for about 2 minutes and then flip over and continue to cook until your desired doneness.
  4. To serve place the rice on a plate topped with the eggs add the tomato sauce over the eggs and the rice if desired.
  5. Eat!





Spicy Potato Salad

Spicy Potato Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8
  • 3-4 pounds peeled potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½-3/4 cup mayo
  • 2-3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons Franks hot sauce
  • ½ of a medium yellow onion, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. When then are cooked drain well and cool.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, in a serving bowl mix together the grated onion, mayo, mustard, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the potatoes.
  3. Top with sliced green onions.
  4. Eat!

So I know it’s November and not really potato salad season, but this recipe is too good to not share. Plus, it’s Veteran’s day today. People still barbecue for that right? I still have lots of sunshine where I live, but you could always just dust the snow off of the grill :)
So back to the potato salad. I have members of my family that don’t like eggs (I know shocker right?), and this potato salad is perfect for them since there are no eggs in it.
Start with about 3-4 pounds of potatoes. I used russets because that is what I had on hand but really any potato will do.
Peel them up. A tip for peeling: I place a couple of paper towels on my cutting board and peel the potatoes onto that and then you could just throw the whole thing away paper towels and peels and all. Then you aren’t killing your back bending over the trash can.
Then cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces cover with cool water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. The time will depend on how big you cut your potatoes, but it should take 12-15 minutes. When they are cooked drain them off and then spread them on a cookie sheet to quick cool them. You could even place the cookie sheet in the freezer or fridge.
While the potatoes are cooking, make your sauce. Start by grating an onion. The onion juice is what transforms this potato salad.
Add the mayo (full fat please, there is a time and place for light mayo but this is not it), yellow mustard, Franks hot sauce, salt and pepper to your grated onion. Mix together and then add in your cooled potatoes.
Top with sliced green onions. So yummy!


Cheese Enchiladas

I love mexican food.  I think I could eat it everyday single day and never tire of it. This recipe for cheese enchiladas is great because you can keep on the ingredients on hand in your pantry and fridge and have a quick and easy dinner in no time.


I use diced green chilies and sliced black olives in my enchiladas, but these are so versatile you could any in anything you want: diced onion, cooked chicken, roasted veggies just to name a few.  This is the enchilada sauce that I used.  La Victoria is great, just make sure to get the mild, because the hot is very hot.  They also make a green enchilada sauce that is really good.

IMG_6463 IMG_6464

Then grate up a pound of cheese.  I used Colby Jack, but pepper jack or sharp cheddar would be great too.  You can also use the pre shredded stuff but it comes coated in some kind of anti-caking something or other and doesn’t melt as well as cheese that you grate yourself.


Line everything up and get ready to build your enchiladas.


Place about a 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.


Heat up your tortillas, I use my gas stove but you can also use a dry skillet or the microwave.  Now I know enchiladas are traditionally made using corn tortillas, but my mom always used flour so that is what I am using!  These are 8″ flour tortillas.

IMG_6476 IMG_6477

IMG_6478 IMG_6479

Then start adding your enchilada fillings.  I used shredded cheese, olives, green chilies, and a little bit of enchilada sauce.

IMG_6480 IMG_6481 IMG_6483

Roll each on up,


and place seam side down in your prepared baking dish.

IMG_6487 IMG_6488

Continue making enchiladas until you fill up the pan.  I got 9 this time, but anywhere from 8-10 normally fit.  Then I like to take my sauce and make sure it gets between each enchilada.  This will ensure your enchiladas will come apart.  Then cover the enchiladas with the rest of the sauce.  Make sure all of the tortillas are covered so they don’t dry out.  Cover with foil at bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.


I like to let them cool a little bit, it makes them a little easier to get out of the pan.  Serve with refried beans and my mexican rice.


Cheese Enchiladas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cheese Enchiladas
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
  • 8-10 8" flour tortillas
  • 1 28 oz can La Victorias Mild Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies, lightly drained
  • 1 7 oz can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 lb of cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour about ½ cup of enchilada sauce in a 9x13 baking dish.  Spread around to cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Heat your tortillas either directly on your stovetop or in a dry skillet.
  4. On each tortilla, at ⅓ cup shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon each of the sliced olives and diced green chilies, and 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce. Roll up each enchilada like a cigar and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.
  5. Keep making enchiladas until you fill up your pans.  You will end up with 8-10 enchiladas.
  6. Take some of the enchilada sauce and spread some in between each enchilada.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, making sure to cover all exposed tortillas. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly. Cool slightly.
  7. Garnish with more shredded cheese, olives, and green chilies if desired.
  8. Eat!


The Best Refried Beans

I’m a little embaressed to even call this a recipe.  But I felt compelled to share it with you.  These are the best refried beans you will ever have.  Period. The end.

And only two ingredients!


Open up a big can of refried beans and dump them in a pot.  Add 4 oz of diced cream cheese.  Heat until beans are hot and cheese is melted.


Top with more cheese if desired!  Soooo good.

The Best Refried Beans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The Best Refried Beans
Serves: 6
  • 1 big can of refried beans
  • 4 oz of diced cream cheese
  1. Heat beans and cream cheese until the cream cheese is melted and the beans are throughly heated.
  2. Top with shredded cheese if desired.
  3. Eat!


Tuna Salad

How do you take your tuna?  This is how I like to eat mine.


I like to use solid white tuna packed in water.  Then I add chopped celery (with the leaves please, so much flavor there), dill pickle relish (not sweet!), and chopped red onion.


Then I add just enough light mayo to bind it all together.


This is great over lettuce with whatever veggies I have in the fridge thrown over the top and equally as good in a sandwich.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tuna Salad
Tuna Salad
  • 1 5 oz can solid white tuna, packed in water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon light mayo
  • salt and pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Eat!


Candy Bar Blondies

Who still has Halloween candy coming out of their ears? (Steffani raises her hand).  These candy bar blondies are a perfect solution to your Halloween candy dilemma.  Any type of chocolate candy can be used, so mix and match to your hearts content!


Start by mixing together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


In a seperate bowl mix the wet ingredients: brown sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla.


Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. The batter will be very thick.


Chop up your chosen candy.  I used Snickers and Twix. I figured I would stay with the caramel theme. Add to batter and spread into prepared pan.


Then bake them off!


These were so dangerous I had to take them to my parents house and leave them there.

Candy Bar Blondies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Candy Bar Blondies
Serves: 9
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon bakin soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups chopped up candy bars
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 or 7x11 baking dish liberally with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the chopped up candy bars to the batter and mix well. Spread into prepared pan.
  5. Cook for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Let cool completely  before cutting.
  6. Eat!

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Ariels

So, now that you know how to get all of the wonderful little jewels out of a pomegranate, what do you do with them?  I’m here to show you!  This recipe is perfect for fall and so delicious.

IMG_6750 IMG_6752

Start with 2 pounds of brussels sprouts.  Trim off the ends and slice in half.


Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


They will be golden brown and gorgeous. While they are still warm transfer to a serving dish and top with the pomegranate ariels, gorgonzola cheese, and pecans.


Now this is the best way to eat your brussels sprouts!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Ariels
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Ariels
Serves: 4
  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate ariels
  • ⅓ cup gorgonzola cheese
  • ⅓ cup pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place brussels sprouts on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Transfer to serving dish and top with pomegranate ariels, gorgonzola cheese, and pecans.
  4. Eat!

Other ideas for pomegranate ariels:

~sprinkle on your morning oatmeal

~eat with cottage cheese (this is one of my favorites)

~make these Oatmeal Pomegranate Muffins from Tasty Kitchen

~eat this Wild Rice, Kale, and Pomegranate Salad from Pinch of Yum

~by themselves!