Dinner last night, aka portobello mushrooom cups

This is a great little meal for one in a hurry, although you can easily make it for two or three or ten.

1 Portobello mushroom chopped to about 1 inch pieces
Spreadable garlic and herb cheese (I use Alouette)
Sun flower seeds
Green leaf lettuce
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Chop up mushrooms into bite size pieces

Throw in frying pan with some olive oil and pepper and saute until brown

This is the spreadable cheese I use, garlic and herb

Spread a layer on your green leaf lettuce cups

Top with some sun flower seeds

Once mushrooms are brown you can add the salt, if you add it to soon it will dry them out.

Top lettuce with mushrooms

Then add the Parmesan cheese to top it all off. I roll them slightly like a taco and it makes a terrific little snack or a whole dinner.


Hey you, that new bride over there...before I can help you, there are some things you need to learn

This is important. There is a little known secret about men. THEY WILL NORMALY EAT ANYTHING YOU PUT IN FRONT OF THEM JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE HUNGRY! This Means no matter how much they hate broccoli and chicken breast they will eat it. This also means that even if the loooove onions and you never use them, they will never tell you.

Things you need to ask your husband, along with asking them to give you an honest fucking answer!

  1. Do you prefer white or dark meat? This is actually important. The two meats are cooked a lot different. Dark meat can be cooked longer, and it tends to be juicier and work much better in crock pots or braised dishes. Chicken breasts tend to be better for stuffed chicken, although a thigh can be used, it takes a little more expertise to do so! This is also important because if you are serving the meat they like but you screw up the dish they will be more inclined to over look that since you at least got the meat right. I mean if they like dark meat and you served them a screwed up dish along with dry chicken breast, well now your just fucked.
  2. What vegetables do you actually like? If they don't like any FINE you can still cook them for yourself, you just need to make sure to make them their own side dish, ie a potato because all men like those right.
  3. How do you like your potatoes? My husband will ONLY eat mashed potatoes or fried potatoes (think french fries or breakfast potatoes) however he will only eat his fried potatoes crispy. This means that time I served him some yummy soft breakfast potatoes and he hated them, he still ate them but wasn't satisfied with the meal. Now I simply pull mine out first, turn up the heat and crisp the hell out of his.
  4. What foods do you really love? My husband loves loves loves tomatoes. I think he likes them as much as he likes sex. This first of all means, that I should know that every single sandwich I ever make him needs to have at least a whole entire tomato. Same goes with mayo. He loves garlic. This means that he will laugh at my chicken if I put two measly cloves of garlic in it. I may as well just throw in the whole fucking head and call it a day. Even if it is something you hate, you need to find a way to equate it into the meal. I hate shrimp, so when I make pasta I cook the whole dish, saute the shrimp in a second pan and then put his serving of pasta in the pan with the shrimp, toss it around getting it good and fishy and we are both happy!
  5. Are there things he cooks that he loves? My husband makes steak. It is his steak. EVERYOTHERSTEAK taste like shit to him. Every marinade I make will not be the same. If this is the case, STOP! DON'T TRY ANY MORE! Make it so one or two nights a week he cooks up his steak, pasta, dish whatever it is, and feels all manly and proud and you cook the sides. Then its a group effort, your doing something together and he gets to walk around strutting his stuff like a peacock because he made you the best damn steak ever!
  6. Find out what kind of cheese he likes. My husband only eats white cheese and nothing with mold and no feta and for the love of gosh ricotta makes him ill. This means on Mexican food I can only use mozzarella, that if I try and stuff his chicken with Feta I will find the stuffing hidden in his napkin and oh gosh if I serve him pasta with ricotta I had better just run. But now I know, I keep the stuff he likes in the house and I'm like hes personal kitchen champion!
  7. Find out how he likes his meat cooked. My husband prefers his chicken a little pink. It is good to know this because I prefer it cooked until it hardly resembles chicken. This works nicely so I know that whatever I make, at least I cooked the damn chicken right.
  8. Find a few go to quick meal items. My husband is addicted to this sandwich and this quesidilla. They are both quick meals and they are both easy meals to keep the ingredients on hand. I always always always have chicken, onion, tortillas, garlic and green sauce on hand ALWAYS. That means if I wake up and think shit I have no food, I know I can at least make those and he will think he is getting a treat. Same with the sammies. I always have that stuff on hand.
  9. Keep a journal. I went to target and bought a little notepad about 5-7 and I keep it on my counter. Each time I make him something new I jot down the recipe and his response to it. That means that if I'm ever sitting there stumped one night I can pull out that note pad flip a few pages and find something he likes
  10. Be open to criticism. Talk to him right now and tell him, Look I want to make an effort to start cooking for oyu, but you have to promise to be honest with me. At the end of the meal ask him how he liked it. Tell him to be truthful. Was there something he didn't like or something he would like more of? For instance I made some chipotle chicken on night for my husband, the recipe called for carrots and celery. That night when I asked him he said the meal was terrific but he would rather if I left out the carrots next time. So I walked over to my notepad, scratched off the carrots and called it a day. This means you have to learn to take criticism but making him happy is worth a few hurt feelings.
  11. Find out about seasoning. My husband loves salt. He also loves garlic salt. He also believes the more pepper the better. In the beginning I seasoned things for my taste and then I realized he found them bland. It was easier for me to adjust to a little more pepper or salt then for him to eat a bland meal or sit there dousing it in pepper at the table crushing my heart as he did that.
  12. Get creative. There is nothing wrong with breakfast for dinner, as long as you know how he likes his eggs and if he likes crisp bacon or wiggly bacon. Sometimes changing it up like that is fun.
  13. Finally learn to cheat. You can make a lot of really simple meals taste extra good by adding to them. Buying jarred pasta sauce is fine. I always cut up two or three tomatoes and stir those in towards the end of cooking and I always stir in some mushrooms too. If I add beef I make sure to saute the beef with lots of onions, garlic and pepper before I stir it into the sauce. That makes a really simple store bought meal have more of a home cooked feel to it.
  14. Let him have some input. In the beginning I would sit down with my husband and say here are the things I'm thinking of trying. What do you think? And he would answer me honestly. This is helpful.
  15. Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. You are going to mess up, but he will appreciate it a thousand times more that you tried to cook and messed up.
The last thing you need to remember to do is come here and check out our recipes. While some of them may seem scary we really really try and only post things that are easy to make for people who are just learning. You can even bring him to the site, show him some of the recipes and see what he thinks. Lastly you can ask him all of this, get his responses and come back and tell us and we will help you create meals he will love! Remember marriage is all about communication, even if your just communicating about food!


Egg salad toasties

8 eggs
Dijon mustard
Shredded Parmesan
White bread
Small lettuce cups

Boil eggs covered for 7 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered for additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and allow eggs to cool in ice water bath or fridge.

  1. In large bowl add peeled and chopped eggs
  2. Add 3 Tbsp mayo (more if to dry)
  3. Mix in 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Toast bread and cut off crust, cut diagonal to form triangles
  6. Top toast triangles with egg salad
  7. Fill lettuce cups with egg salad
  8. Top both with Parmesan cheese
For cute seasonal toasts you can cut bread into shapes with cookie cutters. Allowing you to have hearts, leaves, or ghosts. Whatever your mind desires! After posting this my friend Shawna made it and asked me what I thought to serve with it. The first thing that came to mind was roasted rosemary potatoes (I will put recipe up today). The next thing I thought was for your friends who weren't vegetarian this dish would be delish with crumbled crispy bacon on the top! She tried it and said it was a hit. So there you have it. For the meat eaters in your life I vote toss some bacon on top !

Lettuce bites

5-6 smaller inside leaves of romain lettuce (usually the lighter color leaves)
Spreadable garlic and herb cheese (I prefer alouette)
Fresh shredded Parmesan
Sunflower seeds (roasted and shelled)
Diced olives
Any other veggie topper you want

  1. Spread layer of cheese inside your lettuce cups
  2. Add seeds, olives and Parmesan
  3. Serve!
For parties another great thing I love to serve is egg salad on toasted bread. For the gluten free version I serve some of the egg salad in my little lettuce cups so that no one is left out!


I've added two new labels to the label list. One is Vegetarian alternative and one is Gluten free available.

Vegetarian alternative will be added to recipes that can easily be made vegetarian, and I will offer the variation at the end of the recipe.

Gluten Free available will be added to dishes that can easily be converted to a gluten free recipe or are entirely gluten free. I will also add the variation for these at the end of the recipes.

Since I have been both gluten free and vegetarian I can give tons of advice on this! Hope this helps some of you out there.

Definition of the day: ROUX

Dummy terms: Over high heat QUICKLY whisk together butter and flour till mixture turns light gold, add liquid to mixture and whisk until dissolved and bubbling, reduce heat and allow to thicken.


Roux (pronounced like the English word "rue") is a mixture of wheat flour and fat. It is the basis of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: Sauce béchamel, Sauce velouté, and Sauce Espagnole. Butter, vegetable oils, or lard are common fats used. It is used as a base for gravy, other sauces, soufflés, soups and stews.

The mixture is cooked by stirring over heat in a pot or pan. The fat is heated first, in the process melting it if necessary, then the flour is added, the mixture is stirred until the flour is incorporated and then cooked until at least the point where a raw flour taste is no longer apparent. The end result is a thickening and flavoring agent. The final results can range from the nearly white to the nearly black, depending on the length of time it is over the heat, and its intended use.

Roux is most often made with butter as the fat base. However, it may be made with any edible fat. In the case of meat gravies, they are often made with rendered fat from the meat. In traditional American cookery, bacon is sometimes fried to produce fat to use in the roux.

Cooks can cheat by adding a mixture of water and wheat flour to a dish which needs thickening since the heat of boiling water will still release the starch, however this temperature is not high enough to eliminate the floury taste. A mixture of water and flour used in this way is colloquially known as cowboy roux.

Dummy terms: Over high heat QUICKLY whisk together butter and flour till mixture turns light gold, add liquid to mixture and whisk until dissolved and bubbling, reduce heat and allow to thicken.

VARIATION: If you are gluten intolerant you can simply mix cornstarch with cold liquid, water, or broth and then heat to boiling. You will achieve the same thickness of a roux with out the added rich flavor of the butter and flour.

Pasta with chicken and a garlic cream sauce

Serving size: 4 with a little bit of left overs
1 pack vermicelli noodles (the small spaghetti noodles like angel hair)
5 cloves garlic rough chopped (at least this many, depends on how much you like garlic, personally I use more)
4 chicken breasts (Think one per person you are serving)
1 cup milk or heavy cream
2-3 cups chicken broth
1- package mushrooms, washed and sliced
1/2 large white onion preferably vidalia
1 large jar marinated artichoke hearts drained
2-3 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp flour
olive oil
Fresh Parmesan cheese

  1. Boil pasta in large pot.
  2. While pasta boiling preheat large deep skillet to medium low.
  3. Cube chicken to bite size pieces
  4. Coat pan with olive oil and add chicken, salt and pepper
  5. Cook until chicken is almost done
  6. Dice onions, mushrooms and garlic and add in with chicken (you don't add it at the beginning or you will burn your garlic.)
  7. Move chicken to the outside of the pan and add butter and flour to center of pan, whisk until butter/flour mixture turns the color of toasted bread or a light golden color, this creates a roux (pronounced roo)
  8. Mix chicken into your roux and add in the first cup of chicken stock raising heat to medium high, stir until thickens. Sauce will be very thick
  9. Whisk in second cup of stock, up to three until desired consistency.
  10. Taste sauce at this point and add in more salt and pepper to taste. Heavy pepper is good in this dish.
  11. Add in artichoke hearts, reduce heat to low and allow sauce to continue cooking and thickening.
  12. At the very end add in your milk or cream starting with a half a cup first.
  13. Drain pasta and add to sauce, coating pasta with chicken and cream sauce.
  14. Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy.
If sauce gets to thick it is better to add more stock then milk, as milk or cream will make the dish to rich and take away from the flavor of mushrooms, and artichokes. If your sauce is not thick enough turn up the heat and quickly whisk in more flour.

**If you have a gluten or wheat intolerance, you can make this same dish by mixing about 2 Tbsp of cornstarch in with 1/2 cup cold chicken stock and adding that in place of flour and butter. This will also cause your sauce to thicken just as well. Like the roux, if it isn't thick enough simply dissolve more cornstarch in chicken sauce and add in. Both of these need heat to activate.

** You can make this same recipe vegetarian, by eliminating the chicken and using vegetable broth. I use thick chunked portobello mushrooms in place of chicken for my recipe.

Things I can't live without..aka things in my fridge I can't spell

  • Unsalted sticks of butter, one must always be softened.
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (I'm offended by the stuff with the green lid)
  • At least two kinds of breads, usually a whole wheat and then a sourdough or french
  • Some kind of pasta
  • Garlic (whole cloves)
  • A variety of tomatoes
  • Cheetos (for my son)
  • Cheese, usually a cheddar, swiss, provolone and mozzarella (at least two are always molded because I always forget them)
  • Bacon for my husband
  • Ice cream
  • Fresh basil
  • Eggs
  • Chicken with skin on and off
  • Tortilla chips
  • Beans
  • Onion
  • Cous Cous
  • Olive oil
  • Deli turkey
  • Pepperocini
  • Sour Cream
  • Shelled, roasted, salted sun flower seeds
  • Potatoes

These are all things I have to have. Why? Because they are a base for some quick easy meals. Pasta with butter and parm, pasta with olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and parm. Egg sammies, Specialty grilled cheese sammies. A quick salad with pepperocinis, cheese and seeds on it. Tacos or burritos. Taco salad. BLT's. Fries, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, hash browns, baked potatoes. Roasted chicken, fried chicken, chicken tacos. Chicken cream pasta. The possibilities are endless here people. All you need is a few basic ingredients and an eye for putting flavors together and you can have a ton of different meals right on hand.


Asian Ginger Porkchops

2 pork chops
1/8 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1.5 Tbsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp white vinegar
dash paprika
dash salt
lots of pepper
1/2 Tsp sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a large zip lock bag. Taste the marinade first see if you need to add a little more of something. Add pork chops and shake. Seal bag and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour (overnight is even better). Preheat BBQ to low cook pork chops 8 minutes on each side. If you make a second batch of marinade and heat it up on the stove with 1 cup of water then pour it over the pork chops its delicious. Also great on chicken or steak. Serve with white rice.

Chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats...aka...my super lame attempt at desert

3 Tbsp butter
1 Bag marshmallows
1.5 cup peanut butter (chunky is way good in this)
1 Bar Hersheys chocolate broken to pieces
6 cups cocoa Krispies

Melt marshmallows and butter in a large pan add peanut butter and chocolate. When mixture is soft add in cereal. Mix until all cereal is covered. Pour over greased cookie sheet and smoosh down till level using a spatula or wax paper to smoosh. When cool cut into two inch squares.


Rich Chocolate Cake

I'm on a chocolate kick tonight...this is one of my Nana's recipe's and is great for those chocolate addicts (it even has a bit of a caffeine kick!).

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup very strong black coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (I have used regular whole milk and it tasted just fine)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13"x9"x2" glass baking pan.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fully combined.
  4. Pour into the pan and bake in a preheated oven until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.

Trust me, you don't need icing with this one! But you might need a glass of milk.

Chocolate Souffles

Sorry, no pictures right now folks. I will post one as soon as I make these again (maybe this weekend...)

  • 7 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, plus additional for preparing the molds, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp high quality vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp for preparing molds
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Confectioners' (powdered) sugar for garnish


  1. Brush 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Put the prepared ramekins in the freezer. (You can do this the day before.)
  2. Set an over rack on one of the lowest racks in your oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  3. Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Combine the egg yolks and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer or large bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add 2 tbsp sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes.
  5. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Remove prepared ramekins from freezer.
  7. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, or large non-reactive bowl, add the lemon juice. Beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. Beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak.
  8. In a deep baking pan (like what you would cook a turkey in), fill it with 1/2"-1" warm water. Set aside.
  9. Quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten; then fold in remaining whites until blended. Gently spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, leveling off the surface with a straight edge and scraping any excess mixture off the sides.
  10. Place ramekins into the water bath and immediately bake until the souffle rises about 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are touched with brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

These are best if served straight out of the oven!


Quick and Easy Chicken Taco Salad

1 pound chicken breast, chopped
1 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 can refried black beans
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 ketchup
1 package McCormick chicken taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup milk
tortilla chips
sour cream

1. Heat up oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, cook and stir until no longer pink. Stir in seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is absorbed stirring occasionally.
2. In small mixing bowl add mayo, ketchup and pepper. Mix and set aside. This is the dressing.
3. In microwave safe bowl add refried beans, milk, and salsa to your taste. Microwave for about 90 seconds or until warm. Stir and set aside. (This can also be done in a small saucepan on the stove.)
4. To serve put a small amount of crushed tortilla chips on the bottom of the bowl. Then add a couple spoonfuls of refried beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and chicken. Top with dressing, and sour cream.

Banana-Walnut Bread

This is a great super easy recipe that takes about 1/2 of prep time and 1 hour of cook time. It makes 1 loaf or 12-18 muffins.


  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour. You can substitute wheat flour if you prefer.
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus ~1 tbsp. for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork (it ends up being about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, halved not chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and (a) grease a 9”x5”x3”loaf pan with butter or line a muffin pan with muffin baking cups.
  2. For the toasted walnuts, spread the walnuts on a cookie pan in a single layer and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden. You will be able to smell the nuts toasting. If this is your first time toasting nuts, err on the side of under-toasting, over toasting will give them a burnt bitter taste. Stir nuts 1-2 times during the cooking time to toast them more evenly. Remove from oven and cool. If you are toasting smaller amounts like this, you can also do it on the stovetop by placing the nuts in a medium sized pot and toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. It is much easier to burn them over the stove to be careful and stir consistently. Set nuts aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a deep mixing bowl with a handheld mixer or a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing to combine. Add the mashed bananas and remove the bowl from the mixture. The mixture may appear curdled, don’t worry, it should!
  5. Chop the cooled, toasted walnuts into medium sized pieces.
  6. With a spatula, mix in the flour mixture until combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts and transfer the batter to the loaf pan or evenly among the muffin tins.
  7. Place in the 350 degree F oven and bake for (a) 55 minutes for the loaf or (b) 20-25 minutes for the muffins. These times may vary depending on oven so I always advise checking them and removing them when a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  8. For the muffins, cool until room temp and they are ready to serve. For the loaf, cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Trace a knife around the edges of the bread and invert onto plastic wrap, removing the bread from the pan and let cool completely before wrapping completely in plastic wrap.

Cooks note: Banana bread is best if served the next day so I suggest making this the day before you want to serve it.

Stuffed Chicken

*I know Shannon already posted something similar, but this is a little different*

4 chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, sliced long ways
1 container spreadable cheese (I use an artichoke jalapeno)
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 cups Classico sun-dried tomato alfredo
lemon herb seasoning
garlic powder
chili powder
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Add olive oil and sliced bell pepper to small sauce pan. Sprinkle with lemon herb seasoning and saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
3. Pound chicken to about 1/4 inch thick. Flip and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
4. Add spreadable cheese and a couple sliced bell peppers, to the center of the chicken breast. Fold the sides over and seal with tooth picks or string.
5. Place in a baking dish with fold side down and season top with bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and just a touch of chili powder.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and remove tooth picks or string. Add alfredo sauce to the top of each chicken breast. Place back in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and serve.

NOTE: If you don't like bell peppers substitute the bell peppers for sun dried tomatoes.

Chocolate-Caramel Layer Bars

1 roll (16.5 oz) chocolate chip cookie dough
1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips
1 container (18 oz) caramel apple dip
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In ungreased 13x9 in pan break up cookie dough. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust.
2. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in 4 quart saucepan, cook 1 cup of the chips and 1 cup of the dip over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and peanuts.
4. Spread cereal mixture over cooled crust. In 1 quart saucepan, heat remaining chips and dip over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Spread over cereal mixture. Refrigerate until chocolate mixture is set, about 30 minutes.

Tamale Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound, ground hamburger
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 can (about 15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can (about 8 oz) diced tomatoes (I like the diced with onion & green bell pepper just adds more flavor)
1/2 can whole kernel corn
4 oz chipotle chiles plus adobo sauce, from can chipotle in adobo
1 cup grated Cheddar
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 package (about 10 oz) Mexican cornbread mix

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add hamburger, onions, green peppers, and garlic and cook until the meat is no longer pink and is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain off any excess fat and sprinkle the meat mixture with the cumin.
4. Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, chiles and adobo sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until heated through and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and cilantro.
5. Spread the meat mixture in the baking dish.
6. In medium mixing bowl combine the cornbread mix with milk and egg according to the manufacturer's instructions.
7. Spread the cornbread batter over the meat mixture and bake until the cornbread is golden-brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let the tamale pie stand for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

NOTE: For a healthier option, substitute hamburger for ground turkey.

Spanish Rice

1 cup white rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce
4 oz fire roasted green chiles peeled & diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper (optional)

1. In medium sauce pan brown white rice over medium heat.
2. Add bouillon cubes, water, tomato sauce, green chiles, and bell pepper. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes

NOTE: Can substitute the 2 chicken bouillon cubes and 1 1/2 cups water for 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth.

Slow Cooked Barbeque Ribs

1 rack pork baby back ribs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup coke
1 1/2 cups bbq sauce (My fav is the Emeril's Kicked Up)

1. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.
2. Mix brown sugar, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and garlic; rub mixture into ribs. Cut ribs into 4-inch pieces. Layers ribs and onion in slow cooker. Pour cola over ribs.
3. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until tender. Remove ribs from slow cooker. Drain and discard liquid.
4. Pour barbecue sauce into bowl. Dip ribs into sauce. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs. Cover and cook on low heat setting 1 hour.

Note: The ribs will be very tender and fall off the bone easily so be careful when taking them out to add the bbq sauce.

Low calorie Pita Pizza

1 whole wheat pita- halved (I prefer to find the smaller ones that look like the one in the picture and halve them all the way around as if you were turning them into two slices of bread)
1 small can tomato sauce
Mushrooms- diced small
Bell peppers- diced small (use a variety of colors if you like)
Olives- diced small
Turkey pepperoni-sliced small
Shredded mozzarella cheese (I go full fat on this since you use such a small amount getting the flavor is nice)

Halve pitas and place in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 minute to crisp up some. Add small amount of sauce and then pile with veggies and pepper, and top with about 1.5 Tbsp shredded cheese. Bake it until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Since pitas calories are measured by a whole pita breaking it in half makes it seem like a bigger meal while still consuming the same amount of calories, plus you can load up on double the veggies this way which is extra good when you are dieting. Veggies tend to be pretty low calorie so you can pretty much throw anything you like on top of this. Dicing it small allows the veggies to cook through in such a short cooking time. This will really taste fresh and yummy when you are on a diet and needing something familiar. Olives are slightly high calorie but you only need about two whole olives chopped for this so it ends up being a small amount!

Your pizzas will look similar to this only you will have two and they will be on pita halves!!! Mmmm tasty!

Low calorie Thick Fiesta Bean soup


3 cloves garlic rough chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2" long thin strips
1-serrano pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow onion chopped
6 mushrooms, rough chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup canned fiesta bean mix (or any mixed beans)
2 Tbsp cumin
2.5 Tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Saute vegetables in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add bean mix, broth, seasonings, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with cheese and tortilla chips crumbled on top.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 2-4
  • Amount Per Serving 1.5 cup
  • Calories: 96.1
Adding roasted and shredded chicken breast would be a great addition to this soup however, you must add in the calories for your chicken. Also the amount of tortilla chips and cheese you use, is so small it barely counts!

Low calorie No Cream, Creamy asparagus soup

I decided I would pull up a few of my recipes from my diet days that I uploaded onto my diet page in case some of you are trying to diet. I followed a low calorie diet and lost 20 pounds in 2.5 months and would have kept going if I didn't get knocked up. My first few recipes will be soups but I have plenty more. I like doing soups because you can make a lot and easily have some for lunch or dinner the next day. Something we all know about dieting is if it isn't right there in front of you, you will pick something less healthy. That is why I encourage you to work hearty soups into your diet! (Also these recipes will appear in a fancier format since I had uploaded em to my sparkpeople.com page already)


3 Pounds Asparagus
1 Cup Shallots
2 Boxes (8 cups) vegetable broth
1- large jar marinated artichoke hearts drained
salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
2- Tbsp olive oil
Directions: First bring 4 cups broth to a boil. While this is happening, separate asparagus into three parts. The woody ends, the tips and the middle. ** Tip at recipe end** Place the woody ends in the broth to boil for flavor. Chop middles and reserve for later. Reserve pretty tops for end. Boil until woody ends are tender. Remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve broth in blender or food processor. In pot add olive oil, shallots, middles of asparagus, artichoke hearts salt, pepper and cayenne. Saute over low heat until asparagus is tender. Add aspargus, shallot mixture to broth in blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Place asparagus tips on microwave safe bowl and heat with two tablespoons broth for 2 minutes. Pour soup from blender into pot and add softened asparagus tips and cayenne pepper. Add remaining broth to desired constancy. Check for seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 7
  • Amount Per Serving: About 1 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 123.3
**(To do so hold the asparagus in both hands using thumb and pointer finger, with one hand on each end. Slightly bend until asparagus snaps, this is the natural tender point. You will want to lay this piece next to all the rest and cut at the same point. everything on the edge is considered your woody edge.)**


Lemon-Pepper Cottage Cheese Dip with Fresh Veggies

  • 1 16 oz. container of Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 2-3 tsp. Lemon-Pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (do not used dried)
  • Carrots, Celery, Red Bell Peppers, Green Onions, Radishes, or whatever other fresh veggies you like. Cut into pieces big enough to dip and snack on.


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients except the veggies used for dipping. Stir until combined. Taste and add additional Lemon-Pepper seasoning if needed.
  2. Serve with veggies.

That was hard wasn't it? This makes a great, flavorful low-cal appetizer.

What to do with leftover soup?

Being a single gal, I often find myself cooking for one. This either means I cook too often or don't date often enough. I'm guessing it's the second option...sorry, I digress. I also, however, have found it impossible to cook soup for one. Here is a suggestion for those of you who find yourself staring down the cereal box some nights because you don't feel like cooking a whole meal

When I make soups, I make enough to feed an army. This gives me dinner for that night, leftovers for another day or two and enough to freeze a few portions for later on. Soup freezes great and I like to freeze soup in individual sized portions. This makes for easy, quick meals when I get home too late to cook anything else! Like with the French Onion Soup, you just have to make the croutons, defrost the soup and you've got a great meal in less than 10 minutes.

Definition of the Day - Deglaze

Pronounced (dee-GLAYZ)

This is the process by which a small amount of liquid is heated (or added to a hot pan) after food (usually meat) has been sautéed and the food and excess fat removed from the pan. The liquid is stirred to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. This is generally done with wine or stock and the resulting mixture often becomes a base for a sauce to accompany the food cooked in the pan. This practice can also be done while leaving the food in the pan and using the resulting mixture as the base for a soup or stew.

French Onion Soup with Croutons

Makes: 6-8 servings
Total Time To Eating (TTTE): 1 hour

  • 3-4 Large white onions - I prefer Maui or Vidalia onions because they are sweeter but any white or yellow onion will work.
  • 3 sprigs of fresh Thyme or 1 tsp. dried Thyme
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • Water
  • Beef broth or Beef bullion
  • 1-2 cups Sherry or Dry Red Wine
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • EVOO
  • Flour


  • Sourdough bread or french baguette (cut into pieces). Allow 1 piece per serving.
  • Swiss or Gruyere cheese (I actually prefer Swiss Cheese)
  • Garlic


  1. Quarter onions and then slice into ~1/4" slices. Over med-low heat, coat a deep pan or soup pot with EVOO. Add sliced onions and cover. Let onions saute over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions have caramelized.
  2. Add ~2 tbsp. butter and lightly (I mean lightly here!) coat onions in flour (1-2 tbsp. tops!). Stir continuously until the flour has browned. Deglaze pan with 1 cup Sherry or Dry Red Wine. Add thyme and bay leaves to the mixture. Simmer on low heat until the liquid has been reduced by about half.
  3. Add water and beef broth or bullion until you have 6-8 cups of soup. Salt and pepper to taste. If taste needs adjustment, add additional water, broth or sherry.
  4. Over medium-low heat, let soup simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. While soup is simmering, peel a clove of garlic. Place your bread in the toaster for one cycle (or in the oven for about 2 minutes). Remove and rub the garlic over the pieces of bread. Cover each piece of bread with cheese and place in the oven at Broil until cheese has melted and bread is toasted.
  6. To serve: remove the bay leaves from the soup. Fill bowl with a serving of soup and place a crouton in each bowl.

Stuffed chicken or portabello mushrooms

4- Chicken breasts/thighs deboned
6- Portobello mushrooms with ribs scraped out
1- Container spreadable cheese (I use Aloutte) in the garlic and herb flavor or artichoke.
1/2 Cup- Shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 Cup- Italian bread crumbs

Combine all of above ingredients together (besides meat or mushrooms) in a small bowl. The mixture should be thick and formable. For chicken you will want to cut a hole in the middle an stuff the mixture inside of it tying with string to seal. Season the outside with more salt and pepper. For the mushroom you will want to first saute the mushroom on both sides until it is tender. Then place the mixture in the center of the mushroom and roll it up tying shut with string. Place both the chicken and mushrooms in a frying pan with some EVOO and cook until chicken is done or cheese is melted in the mushrooms. Cut off strings and serve. I like to serve this with a garlic cream sauce over it.

Garlic cream sauce
4 Tbsp- Butter
4 Tbsp- Flour
1 cup- Milk or cream
1 cup- Chicken or vegetable stock
6 cloves- garlic peeled and chopped.
2 Tbsp- EVOO

Saute garlic in EVOO until soft. Add flour and butter making a rue and cook until the mixture makes a nice tan color. Whisk in broth, salt and pepper and turn heat to high causing mix to boil once it reaches a boil reduce heat to medium low and continue whisking until mixture is thick and add milk or cream. If mixture is too thick add more broth. If it is too thin whisk in more flour! Pour over chicken or mushrooms.

A nice added flavor for the stuffing mixture is to dice up some marinated artichoke hearts and add those in with the soft cheese.

Shannons fried chicken

This is good fried chicken but you need to have some patience. This is one of the times you need to learn about the medium LOW function on your stove!

6- Pieces of chicken, bone and skin on
3/4 cup- Flour
2-3 cups- Vegetable oil
3 cups- Buttermilk
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp- Tapatio (no it won't be that hot I swear!)
1- Egg
1.5 Tbsp- Salt
1.5 Tbsp- Pepper
1 Tsp- Cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp- Garlic powder
1 Tbsp- Ranch seasoning powder (I got a super good one from a craft fair but that Hidden Valley will do)
1 Tsp- Grill seasoning

In a bag or bowl pour 2 cups buttermilk and tapatio. Season chicken with some salt and pepper and toss in bag. Marinate at least 20 minutes over night is ever better. Pour oil into large pan and preheat to medium low. You want the pan to be at least half way full so you may need to add more or less oil depending on pan size. On a plate put all dry ingredients and mix together. STICK YOUR FINGER IN YOUR FLOUR MIXTURE AND TASTE! You want to be able to taste your seasoning right away. If you can't taste it add a little more of whatever your missing and mix it. Pour remaining cup of butter milk, egg and tapatio onto another plate and beat together till egg is mixed in. Pull chicken from marinade and roll in flour, then roll in new buttermilk mix and back into the flour. Place chicken into oil and let fry for about 10 minutes. You want the oil to slightly sizzle and make a frying sound but not be bubbling and popping that means the heat is too high. Flip after ten minutes and let the other side cook. Repeat the flipping process for about 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through (cut it open and make sure the juices are clear not pink). Place on paper towel to drain oil and enjoy!

Also if your in a hurry you can skip the marinating and simply roll the chicken right into the buttermilk and flour it just won't be as tender. Buttermilk is an acid and by marinating you break down the meat some thus getting tender chicken!

Salsa Corn

This is a great super quick and easy summer side dish. I use fresh corn but you can always substitute frozen or canned corn if you want this when fresh corn is not available.

  • Fresh White or Yellow Corn - the number depends on how many you are serving. I always figure on 1 cob of corn per person (unless you want leftovers then increase the number).
  • Fresh salsa - I prefer homemade but any fresh salsa (no Pace Picante here people!)
  • Salt

How much harder can you get?

Cut the corn off the cob and place in a medium saucepan. Combine with 1-2 tbsp. of salsa per cob of corn. Season with salt to your liking. Cook over medium heat until the corn is just cooked. You want the corn to remain crispy.

This is a great side dish for Mexican food (enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos); the sweetness of the corn is a great contrast to the spicy/saltiness of the salsa ingredients.

Chicken Quesidillas/Enchiladas

Chicken quesidillas/enchiladas (this is seriously so basic but really wows people for some reason)
the basis of what goes inside is this
Chicken. Now this is your preference. My husband ONLY eats dark meat. whatever I prefer white. Anyway if your going to do white meat (much easier) you will use boneless skinless chicken breast.

1- package boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 white onion
1 large can green enchilada sauce (found in any Mexican isle of the grocery store)
2 cloves garlic
Cheese (again preference my husband prefers mozzarella, I like yellow but I like how the mozzarella melts)
Tortilla shells (for the quesadilla buy flour burrito size, for the enchilada buy white corn)

Cut chicken into bite size cubes and throw in frying pan with enough oil to coat the bottom, chop up the onions so they are bite size (doesn't matter how they look no one will see em!), toss em in the pan, take whole cloves of garlic, lay on cutting board turn knife so that the whole blade is flat on the board, lift above garlic and whack! Wala you've peeled your garlic. Chop em up and toss in the pan with salt and pepper. Saute till done and pour in half can of sauce. let simmer for about five minutes.

For Quesidillas
In large frying pan put flour tortilla in bottom of pan, add layer of cheese to one half of tortilla, followed by layer of meat and then top with cheese, fold and cook on low to medium low till outside is crispy. Thats it your done! Serve with sour cream and salsa.

For Enchiladas.
Microwave shells for about 30 seconds and keep moist towel around em. Pour remaining green sauce (from one can) in a bowl (for this one I always get two cans). Take corn tortilla and dunk in sauce till coated (this helps them crack a little less). Put in bottom of Pyrex baking dish like 9x13ish or whatever you have that is a glass baking dish lay flat in dish put enough meat mixture to fill center of tortilla add some cheese, roll it up and place seem side down
repeat till you run out of room. Pour other can of sauce on top of enchiladas till mostly covered. Smother the rest in cheese and bake at 450 for about 15 minutes just to melt all the cheese.

Now this can also be covered this way and taken to a friend or refrigerated for another night. If it is refrigerated you will need to cook it longer since the meat will be cold.

I like to top with sour cream, green chilles, and olives (all out of a can cuz I be ghetto like that) and some salsa.

My recipe does not include beans because my husband won't eat them. However if you like them you can add some black and red beans to the chicken mixture. Also if you are a vegetarian you can throw the beans in a bowl, with some sauce, onion and garlic and microwave it for about 5 minutes till its hot and make either of these meals with that for a vegetarian version.

Lemon basil shrimp pasta

1- Pack bow tie pasta boiled and drained
1- Pound jumbo peeled & de-veined prawns + a few more for tasting
1- Lemon for zest and juice
10- Leaves fresh basil chopped or torn
1 cup- Pine nuts
3/4 cup- EVOO
1/2 cup- Parmesan cheese
1.5 cup- Ricotta cheese
3- Cloves garlic chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

In large saute pan add enough olive oil to saute shrimp and add garlic over medium low heat. When oil is hot add shrimp and saute until shrimp are pink and semi firm to touch. If you are unsure if your shrimp is done, simply taste a few! When shrimp is done add pasta to pan, with ricotta and zest of whole lemon and juice, pine nuts and basil and enough olive oil to coat all the pasta so it doesn't stick together. Toss it all together and allow to cook for about one minute to heat pasta through and distribute shrimp flavor through out. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve!

This dish is a great reheat and cooks in about 15 minutes depending on how long it takes you to boil your pasta! You can also substitute diced chicken for the shrimp. Goes great along side fish or served on it's own.

IF you are like me and don't eat fish or meat, simply set aside some of the pasta before you toss it in the shrimp pan and make your own individual serving!

Caprese sandwich (pronounced Ka-pray-say)

This is my favorite quick go to meal. It is caprese (pronounced Ka-pray-say) sandwich's. I have included stp by step photos of this process. This is the freshest tasting meal you will ever taste.
First take your fresh basil and roll it long ways

Then you take you knife and cut it down the roll so you have confetti type stuff (I woulda taken pictures of this but my husband wouldn't get off the Wii)

Here are all the ingredients you will need, fresh sliced mozzarella, tomatoes (I prefer smaller tomatoes they have more flavor), fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, fresh cracked pepper, and some of your favorite bread (I like sliced cibiatta or sliced sweet french), turkey if you have to eat meat!

Preheat a nonstick pan with a good amount of EVOO to medium low, closer to low

Start with your sliced bread

Liberally apply mozzarella to each slice

Then layer tomatoes

Add a generous amount of good Kosher salt and cracked pepper (normal salt will do just use less)

Add fresh sliced basil

Drizzle balsamic onto tomatoes (I do it this way so the tomatoes catch the vinegar and it doesn't get all over the bread and sog it up)

I usually stop here but my meatatarian husband likes the stupid turkey so whatever you can add some turkey.

Put the top slice on the turkey and press it together.

Place in preheated pan

Apply pressure, if you don't have a grill press use another heavy skillet

Cook till the bottom looks like this, and then flip

When both sides look like this, take it out, cut and enjoy!!!!!