Monday, November 17, 2008

Crock Pot Pizza

This was good, but really just more like cheesy spaghetti...I found it online...

2 cups cooked rotini noodles
1 lb browned ground beef
1 15 oz. can pizza sauce
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Parmesean cheese

Brown the beef and cook the noodles.

Mix all ingredients but cheese in the crock pot.

Sprinkle cheese on top.

Cook on high for 1.5 hours in the crock pot.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Potato & Pancetta Pizza

Ate this at Destihl in Bloomington, found a generic recipe for it online, modified it a bit and here you go:

1 pre-made pizza crust (the non-cooked kind)
olive oil
Seasonings: whatever you like, I used garlic, pepper, and pizza seasonings
4-5 red potatoes
1 package of Pancetta (I used bacon)
Romano cheese (I used pizza cheese and parmesean)

Boil water and put in your red potatoes. If they are large, slice them up and put them in water to soften.
Unroll the pizza crust and "smoosh" it out until it is the thickness you enjoy.
Brush on some olive oil.
Sprinkle on your spices and some parm cheese.
While you wait for potatoes to soften, cook 10 strips of bacon either in a skillet or microwave. I use the microwave because it is faster, also, they don't have to be completely 100% crispy, they will crisp up in the oven.
Slice softened potatoes and cover pizza crust in an even layer.
Top with bacon and cheese.
Place in a pre-heated, 400 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Meat and Rice Casserole, Max-style

This one comes courtesy of Dad's "No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook". Sounds yummy, doesn't it? Actually, this recipe is really good! I have to admit, though, when I made this casserole, I didn't use half of the ingredients in the published recipe, so I'm calling this "Max-style" because Dad told me the version he uses! Make sense?

  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • Dill dip mix (or you could just use a little dill seasoning)
  • Onion powder (I used chopped onions)
  • 1 c. rice (I used jasmine and it was great!)
  • 2 c. chicken broth or bouillon
  • Mushrooms (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Brown the ground beef or turkey in a skillet. Drain. Add the onions/onion powder and dill/dip mix to the meat. Add mushrooms, if you like that sort of thing.

In a casserole dish, put the 1 c. rice. Pour the 2 c. broth or bouillon over the rice. Add the ground beef. Cover and bake for 40-45 minutes. Covering is important so the rice will cook! Don't get fancy, just use aluminum foil!

When the casserole is done, you can serve it as is or you can get wild like Max and add some frozen peas STILL FROZEN to the top. Recover and let those puppies cook on their own. No need to keep the stove on!

Serve with some light sour cream or dill dip on the top. Delicious!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Italian Wedding Pasta

I have not made this yet, but plan to and thought it looked good enough to share!
(it's from a "healthy pasta dishes" list from

1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs*
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed with a press
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced**
1 large egg
1 cup freshly grated Romano Cheese *+
1 package farfalle pasta (or bow-tie)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cup reduced fat milk
1 14 ounce to 14.5 ounce reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bag baby spinach *++
ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400, line a baking pan or cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup Romano cheese with fingertips. Do not over mix. make 36 (!) 1" meatballs and place in lined pan. Bake 20 min.

Meanwhile, cook pasta (al dente), drain, return to pot

Whisk cornstarch into milk. Add that mixture and chicken broth to pasta pot. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Allow to boil 1 minute to thicken sauce, then remove from heat.

Stir in spinach, 1/2 cup Romano cheese, 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add meatballs and gently toss to combine.

Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes.

*Would you ever not use "dried" bread crumbs? Is there a use for wet bread crumbs?
**I see no need for 2 different types of garlic in this recipe. I say, chop 2 cloves and be done with it.
*+Freshly grated? Please. I will use the already grated and be fine with it. Otherwise, change step 1 to: freshly grate some Romano cheese.
*++ I will not be using spinach at all. Feel free to do the same, or be a grown up and add it.

Good luck to this recipe!
I'll follow up with feedback!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Homemade (sorta) Pizza

Take THAT, frozen pizza post! Okay, tonight I made a semi-homemade pizza...and, no, Sandra Lee did not show up, NOR did I create a lovely and festive themed tablescape!

Basically, I bought a set of 2 premade pizza crusts with pizza sauce at Walmart. I can't remember the brand right now (they were not Boboli), but these are my favorite premade pizza crusts ever! I spread the sauce, sprinkled some Parmesean cheese, garlic powder, and oregano all over, then put mozzarella cheese down. I added some pepperoni and some leftover BBQ spit chicken from the other night and added a little more cheese. It was SO good! We shared with two guys who've been helping with the move, and they also really loved it! I wasn't up there while they were eating, but I was told that one of them said he'd pay to eat that pizza every day!

This could be my next business...

(Also, I just wanted to say that it's funny to me that under the "Labels for this post:" area, the examples are scooters, vacation, fall. Because I write a lot of posts about scooters...)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Frozen Pizza

I'm just sick of seeing "stuffed pork chops" as the tag line on this blog!

But seriously here are some great ways to jazz up a frozen pizza:

-Your basic cheese pizza (can be thin or self-rising - those fill you up faster - those thin ones are like 1 serving to me...sorry Mom...we seem to say that a lot about food)
-Various toppings:
tomatoes, left over chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, onion, ground beef (like leftover burger meat), scallions (which is like onions), extra shredded cheese, pineapple, ham
-Various seasonings:
garlic, basil, italian seasoning, pepper, oregano, parm. cheese, red pepper flakes

So there, if you have leftovers and frozen pizza, you've got a meal! Throw in some fruit or a side salad, or at least tell your mom that you did that and viola! Dinner is served!

So take that stuffed pork chops...and geez sister, what are you moving or something? Let's get a "first night in my new house" recipe up here pronto!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stuffed Pork Chops

I'm thinking this one came from Meals Made Easy, but maybe's not mine though.

You will need:
4 pork loins (thick as you can get them)
3-4 slices of whole wheat bread, cubed
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 parsley
1/3 chopped apples (the original recipe called for raisins or cranberries and I didn't want to do either of those so I thought, what else goes nicely with pork? Apples...think porkchops and applesause)
brown sugar

Combine ingredients 2-6 in a mixing bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut a slit into pork loins and open them up to make a pocket.
Fill the pocket with the mixture (pack it in there!)
Place filled pork on a cookie sheet (cover with foil, trust me)
Sprinkle a small handful of brown sugar over the top of each one

Place under the broiler (which you should turn on at the beginning of this process) for about 10 minutes. I did not turn it on at the beginning the second time I made these and it took like 20 minutes for the meat to not be pink. Let that sucker heat up!

These are soooooooo good. I paired ours with whole wheat garlic/olive oil cous cous the first time and chef salad the second time. Rice would work nicely as well.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Enchilada Casserole

Here we more for the Mexican pile! This recipe was given to me by my friend Casey. It's her mom's recipe.
  • 1 lb ground beef OR 2-4 chicken breasts
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1-2 cans enchilada sauce (red if using beef, green if using chicken)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
Brown the ground beef. If you're using chicken, you can cook it, but you don't have to. Cut the chicken up into small pieces.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a casserole dish. Put a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer the corn tortillas over the sauce and cover with another thin layer of sauce.

Layer the following ingredients in this order until the pan is full: tortillas, meat, sauce, cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 400. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. If the casserole seems too runny, you can stick it back in to bake a little bit longer.

This turned out great when I made it! The tortillas soaked up the sauce and almost tasted like cornbread or something! I think this would also be good with some diced tomatoes or black beans in it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pasta Salad with Lemon-Pesto Dressing

This is so good! More of a summery recipe, but it would work for anytime.

From the food network (rachael ray)

1 lb. corkscrew pasta (or medium shells)
1 cup prepared pesto sauce from refrigerated section in supermarket
1 lemon (juiced and zested)
1/4 chopped flat-leaf parsley (you do need the fresh stuff)
1 cup grape tomatos (halved)
4 scallions (chopped)
1 lb. tub of mozzarella cheese (drained and cut up)
black pepper

Cook pasta to al dente then cold shock it and chill it down under cold running water. Drain well.
Place pesto, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, tomatoes, scallions, and cheese in a large bowl.
Add pasta and gently combine ingredients together.
Salt and pepper to taste.

So easy, so delicious!
I made this for my volunteers (old people) and had NO COMPLAINTS, which is a miracle and even some compliments, which is a huge mark of success!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Regarding the Mexican Stuffed Shells...

Please note that Erin said jumbo shells. This does not mean the same thing as manicotti noodles. Try stuffing ground beef into those puppies!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Why are we such mexican lovers? I voted for italian!

  • 15 jumbo stuffed shells
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Prepare shells. Brown meat and drain fat. Add the cream cheese to the meat in small chucks and sprinkle in the chili powder. Turn off heat and stir together, let cheese melt into the ground beef, allow to cool.

Using a spoon, portion out your filling into the shells (This can be kind of messy and I end up using my fingers to really get a good amount into the shells). In a baking dish, spread a layer of salsa on the bottom and place shells on top. Then cover shells with another layer of salsa.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove and top with cheese. Bake UNCOVERED for another 15 minutes.

Any left over filling can be piled on top of shells.

This recipe was found at


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mexican Chicken

This recipe was on the board at my last Weight Watchers meeting. It sounds good and really simple!
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1/4 c. fat free sour cream
Preheat oven to 375. Put chicken and taco seasoning into a plastic bag. Shake to coat. Bake in a greased baking dish for 30 minutes. Top with salsa about 5 minutes before done then top with sour cream.

Makes 4 servings. 4 points per serving.

I'm planning on trying this one maybe tomorrow night!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Crunchy Chicken Strips

This recipe comes from my Sneaky Chef cookbook ( I even allowed to post this?). This is the one where you can sneak all kinds of veggies and fruits into recipes if people aren't too into eating them. We're using it because Austin isn't crazy about veggies right now (although he can't get enough fruits!) and because Nick and I just don't eat veggies very regularly! This turned out really well when I made it last night!

You'll need to prep a couple of things ahead of time.

Orange Puree:
3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut up into chunks
1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough cut
2-3 tbspn water

Put the carrots and potato chunks into a pot. Cover with cold water. Boil for 20 minutes or until they are all softened up. This is important! If the veggies (especially the carrots) aren't soft enough, they won't puree smoothly!

Once veggies are softened, put them in a food processor with a little water and puree. Try not to use too much water, but use as much as you need to get the puree smooth. Makes 2 cups puree. Store in the freezer.

Better Breading:
2 c. slivered almonds
2 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
2 c. wheat germ

Pulse the almonds in a food processor. Don't let it go too long or it will turn into almond butter! Combine with other ingredients. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Crunchy Chicken Strips:
4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 c. flour (preferably whole wheat)
2 large eggs
Orange Puree
Better Breading

Preheat oven to 375. Salt chicken. Put flour in one bowl, combine eggs and Orange Puree in another bowl, and put Better Breading in a third bowl.

Dip chicken in flour, shaking excess off. Dredge in the eggs/puree mixture. Dip in breading bowl, thoroughly covering chicken. Press the breading into chicken. Put coated chicken in a greased baking dish. Bake 10-12 minutes and then turn the strips over. Bake another 10-12 minutes.

The temperature might not be correct, but I'll double check my recipe!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Turkey Cheese Quesadillas

Is that how you spell quesadillas? Sorry if that's wrong...

This one is so easy and fast and cheap! From a kraft foods magazine that came to the lady living in my house before me...

Wheat tortillas (2 per person)
Sliced Cheese (any kind works)
Packaged/sliced/deli turkey
1/2 tsp. Chili powder
Sour Cream (I use tofu sour cream...tastes exactly the same and better than fat free, and it healthier)

In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat place one tortilla that has been spread evenly with sour cream
Sprinkle chili powder on top of sour cream
Next, place cheese (2 slices should do it) on top of sour cream
Place Turkey on top of that ( I generally fold my turkey slices in half and layer them on)
Place second tortilla on top and press down lightly ( you can put sour cream on this one too, this is optional and based on your own tastes)
After a couple minutes, flip and let warm on other side
Once cheese is melted, remove from heat and cut into 4 wedges


This is a great fast lunch, or dinner if you pair it up with a salad or fruit.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cheesy Chicken Tetrazzini

I came across this recipe at another recipe You will see many of them repeated here...

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half or whole milk (I just use skim because it's what I have)
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 pound penne pasta cooked, drained
4 cups cooked chicken torn into bite sized peices
1 1/2 cups toasted fresh bread crumbs (I just used bread crumbs from a package, I did not toast my own)

Preheat oven to 350
Melt buter in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Add garlic, salt and pepper.
Saute until liquid evaporates, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Sprinkle flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Gradually add broth and half and half (or whatever) stirring until blended.
Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add 3 cups cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. (I didn't actually measure 1/8 of pepper, just throw some in there)
Stir in pasta and chicken.
Pour into a buttered shallow 3 quart baking dish.
Mix remaining cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over casserole.
Bake uncovered, until the sauce bubbless and the top is lightly browned, 35-40 minutes.
Makes 8 Servings.

This is very tasty and it helps if you cooked the chicken at a previous time. I did it one morning I had off work, but if you can think ahead (thus the meal planning) you could simply prepare extra chicken on a night you were already having chicken and you'd be set! I made the pasta right then, it doesn't take long and you don't have to cook it completely, it will continue to soften in the oven.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Taco Pie

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 pkg refrigerator crescent rolls
  • 1 1/2 c. tortilla chips or Taco Doritos, crushed
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Brown meat and drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Simmer 5 minutes.

Separate rolls and line a 10" greased pie pan to form crust. Sprinkle 1 c. chips over crust. Put meat mixture on top. Spread sour cream over meat. Cover with cheese. Top with remaining 1/2 c. chips.

Bake 25 minutes at 375.

**You can add other things to the pie. For example, I always add a can of black beans and some diced tomatoes to the meat while it's cooking. You can also use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.

Recipe courtesy of Twila Eickhorst (Lindsay's mother in law)

Can I just post a recipe?

I'm still not so sure how we're doing this layout. What do you think, Erin? Just posting recipes for now, or do you want to plan out a week's worth of meals? Because I think I'd be better at the recipe posting. Although I guess you could do either/both...

What a random post!

Because I already do this more than work anyway...

Why not add one more blog to the mix!

Okay, I'm in, although you should all know that while I do meal plan, I basically just make the same 5-7 meals all the time, I just throw in a "leftovers", "frozen pizza", or get pumped "egg sandwiches!" into the mix so it seems like more food options. I will post what I've got though (all stolen from other people).


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Okay...Another Blog?

Yes, I've started yet another blog! How, you might ask, am I going to keep up with two blogs? What else could there possibly be to say (although, if you know me, you know there is ALWAYS more to say!)? This blog is different.

My sister, Erin, has been doing some meal planning lately and has been fixing some really tasty sounding meals! I, on the other hand, feel like I keep making the same thing over and over again! I started this blog so that Erin and I can put our meal planning out there for each other, as well as for anyone else who is interested enough to read this!

I haven't told Erin about this yet...we'll see what she thinks!