Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance.
3. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
4. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
5. Use a fork shred the squash to form noodles. Place squash in a medium bowl and toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, and basil.


Chicken Tortilla Casserole

I get these emails all the time from Eat Better America. This last one had a dish that looked so good I e-mailed it right to my mom. Tonight I decided to make it, oddly so did my mom. Here is the recipe as it was intended to be made. I'll tell you my variations at the bottom. Brandon really liked this which says a lot for a four year old, he called it "cheese chicken." The husband had seconds too. The recipe is called "Healthified" Chicken Tortilla Casserole.

1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% fat free 45% less sodium condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chile's

1 container (8 oz) fat-free sour cream

½ cup fat-free (skim) milk

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken breast

8 yellow corn tortillas (6 or 7 inch), torn into bite-size pieces

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (6 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix soup, chilies, sour cream, milk, chili powder and cumin until blended. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomato and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish.

2. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.

This recipe is really as easy as it sounds. I didn't have any shredded chicken just laying around and I didn't plan ahead and have it ready so I will share with you my full proof method of cooking chicken fast. In a baking dish add 1 cup chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Place boneless skinless chicken in and bake it at 550 for about 15 minutes. It should be pretty close to done. This is basically poaching and keeps skinless boneless chicken very moist. I kept mine just under done so it wouldn't dry out during the final bake.

Next. I did not use anything light. I live in a family of underfat men, shit Codi just finally made it to 10% on the weight chart and we celebrated that. I might have also used a tad bit of extra cheese.

I omitted the bell peppers because none of my boys like them.

I combined half regular corn tortillas and half hard ones (they are called tostada shells in the store.) My husband really likes crunchy stuff so I put a few of those closer to the top of the casserole to keep them crisp. I used these tostada shells (the yellow corn ones on the top.)

I think beans would be a nice addition to this. Possibly pinto or red, I don't think black beans would be the right flavor. I also think if I wasn't making it for a kid I would mix in a tiny bit of cayenne pepper or a couple splashes of Tapatio.

Finally, yes I know it looks a little weird when you are first mixing it but it taste so good in the end. SO GOOD!

For a printable version of their recipe click here.


Big kid french toast

Four year old french toast

The other morning Brandon wanted french toast but I had no eggs. I hemmed and hawed for a while until I spotted the graham crackers. And low, the best french toast ever was born.

(Yield one serving)
1 whole graham cracker mashed
1/4 cup milk
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
.25 tsp vanilla extract
1 slice Wonder Bread
(yes, if I am making this ghetto of a breakfast only Wonder Bread will work)

First you put the graham cracker in a bag and pulverize it. Pour that on a plate and put .5 tsp of cinnamon and .5 tbsp sugar in it. Stir it up. On a second plate ad milk, .5 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and remaining sugar. Mix it up. Pour your syrup in a microwave safe bowl, add cinnamon and butter and nuke for about 15 seconds. Stir it up until butter is good an mixed in. Pre-heat non stick pan to about medium low. Quickly dunk bread in your cinnamon milk mixture and then roll both sides in your graham cracker concoction. Spray your pan with nonsick spray and away we go. I flipped mine about four times so it didn't burn and got super crispy. When you are done, cut it up and pour your sinful buttery syrup right over the top. Then watch the look on your four year olds face when his taste buds explode.

Now. I'm sure your asking why I put butter in the syrup. The answer is, IT TASTE GOOD. When I was small and I would eat Eggos (remember I said I'm ghetto) I always loved to find the buttery part of my waffle and swirl it in the syrup making a buttery syrup to dunk the rest in. Try it, and then comment below to tell me I'm right Mmmkay!

Next. Graham crackers on french toast PURE GENIUS. It was so crispy and cinnamony that I almost stole Brandons breakfast and ran away.

My favorite part of this, your kid can totally help you. Then can mash, and mix, and dunk and roll. Basically they only need you for the hot pan part.

So, why are you still here, go make your kids the best breakfast ever so you can be a hero mom for a day!

Right now is a great time to mix up the graham crackers and dunk your finger in to "taste" a few times.

Oh baby, look at the way the sugar caramelized whoo boy I wanted to lick that shit up!

I may or may not have added a hint of whip cream to make it even more sinful.

Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degree. Grease cookie sheets.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
4. Using a wooden spoon stir in the chocolate chips. Roll cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on the greased cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


Granola Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups oats
1 cup craisins
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large pot melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, honey, flour, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour the mixture to the baking pan. Press the granola firmly into the pan, packing it to a flat and even thickness.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for an hour in the pan before cutting into bars.


Angel Hair Pasta With Chicken

2 chicken breasts, sliced in strips
8 ounces angel hair pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups campari tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 can chicken broth
crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente then drain.
2. Pour olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Saute chicken with onions and garlic about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add tomatoes, vinegar and chicken broth and simmer for about 8 minutes.
3. Stir in red pepper flakes, pepper, basil and cooked pasta, tossing with sauce. Simmer for about 5 more minutes and serve topped with Parmesan.


Slow Cooked Pot Roast

1 3-pound beef chuck roast
garlic powder
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of water
4 small potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, quartered in 3 inch pieces

1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Season roast with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Brown the roast in the skillet about 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
2. In the slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
3. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 8 to 9 hours.
4. About 2 hours before the roast is done, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the potatoes in a large baking dish. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook for 30-45 minutes until the potatoes just start to brown. Add the potatoes and carrots to the roast for the last hour of cooking.
5. Remove roast and vegetables. Serve the roast and vegetables topped with the gravy.


Beer Can Chicken

1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 can beer
1 whole chicken

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for low heat.
2. In a small bowl mix together half of the garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Rub seasoning all over the chicken.
3. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Mix in the remainder of the seasonings.
4. Drink 1/2 of the beer, leaving the remainder in the can. Add half of the melted butter and seasonings to beer can. Spray the outside of the can with cooking spray.
5. Place can on a disposable baking sheet. Set chicken on can, inserting can into the cavity of the chicken.
6. Place baking sheet with beer and chicken on the grill. Baste the chicken ever half hour with the melted butter and seasoning. Cook over low heat for about 2 hours, or until the chicken reaches 180 degrees.

TIPS: Buying a chicken in whole is much cheaper than just buying boneless skinless chicken breasts. I got this whole chicken for only $3.50! A whole chicken is generally around 4-5 pounds. For a standard family of four this is too much food for just one night. Save all the leftover chicken and use it for dinner the next night. I made chicken noodle soup with my leftovers.


Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, butter, eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls and place onto an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing.

NOTE: This recipe is very flexible. Change out the kind of cake and the mix ins, just keep everything else the same. Another one I have tried is German Chocolate Cake Mix with coconut and pecans. Soo good!


Arroz Con Pollo

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 chorizos, chopped casing removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup saffron yellow rice
1 can chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 can stewed tomatoes, chopped

1. Season chicken with a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and paprika.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and chorizo, cook thoroughly about 8 minutes stirring regularly.
3. Add green pepper, onions, and garlic to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add rice and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth, white wine, and tomatoes. Stir in remaining salt, pepper, and paprika. Bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked.