Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chicken spinach tortellini soup

Sorry I have been missing in action and haven't blogged in a while.  Started a new job, which is always difficult.  Between that and us being sick on and off since the holiday season.. life has sure been crazy, but on a positive note lets talk this soup :)


I love soup!!! I could eat it everyday and not tire of it.  I also love getting extra veggies in whenever I can too.  This soup is so versatile, you could add frozen mixed veggies, extra spinach or whatever you like. I used frozen soup veggies, (mine were chopped red & green pepper, carrots and onion) and I added a little fresh chopped onion too.  I added fresh spinach ( I usually have that in the fridge to quick add to sandwiches, or to make a quick frittata or salad.  I get mine in the bagged lettuce section in the produce department.  Kale would make a good substitute as well.  I used boxed chicken stock, but homemade would be great too, you could also use vegetable stock .  As always use what you have and what you like. 


I used fresh tortellini that I got in the fresh section of the deli department near the fresh pastas.  I used a small package, but you could easily double this and use the family size package too.  I used chicken filled tortellini but any flavor would work, think cheese, or ricotta, mushroom etc.  I topped mine with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesans cheese and cracked black pepper (also a drizzle of good olive oil would be really good)& I also served this with crusty bread and butter..  Whatever you use, make this soon and Enjoy.






Chicken spinach tortellini soup


1/2 lb raw chicken tenders
2 boxes chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen soup veggies
1 small package chicken filled tortellini
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
**Seasonings of your choice I used celery flakes, seasoned salt & pepper, parsley flakes.


For serving:
freshly grated parmesan
cracked black pepper
Crusty bread & butter






In large pot add broth, raw chicken, frozen soup veggies and seasonings, bring to boil and turn heat down and simmer until chicken is done and tender.  Remove chicken to a plate, and shred with 2 forks.  Turn heat up, add chicken, tortellini and spinach gently simmering (you don't want to simmer too rapidly because the tortellini will break apart), stir gently often not too hard , cause again the tortellini will break, but  simmer following tortellini package directions ( I under cooked mine about 1-2 minutes because upon standing they will continue to cook in the hot broth, and you don't want mushy tortellini.  Serve in big bowls with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and cracked pepper.  Serve with crusty bread & butter.  Enjoy

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cranberry sauce

What's Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce???  


Let me tell you, I haven't always been a fan.  I grew up with the jellied kind out of a can.. just say NO to that!! Yuck.. then I had whole berry out of a can.. again just say NO..


My grandma who is no longer with us, had a recipe that was a fresh kind, that you grind in a food processor with a whole orange and other things, that was very good.  I have the recipe and for the life of me, I cannot get it to turn out, not good :(  then I tried a couple of other recipes, one where you add jello to the fresh mixture, again threw it out.. then I thought to heck with it, I am just buying the fresh kind from the deli and that's what I have been doing.  The only problem is, that the only time of the year you can get it that way is at Thanksgiving.. boo...




So I have been on a bucket list mission to create a recipe that is doable, and tasty and this turned out good... even impressed myself.. I added lots of different things to boost the flavor, and I used regular and brown sugar which added a whole new level.


I serve this alongside my Thanksgiving turkey, but with ham is great, or over oatmeal or vanilla yogurt would be great too.  Try this soon... Enjoy.






Cranberry sauce




1 package fresh cranberries
3/4 cup brown sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice (plus 2 Tablespoons)
zest of one orange
2 strips of the orange rind (I cut them off before I zested the rest of the orange)
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t powdered ginger
1/8 t of nutmeg




In saucepan, add the cranberries, orange juice, brown and white sugar, the orange zest and orange rind/peel.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, cooking stirring occasionally till the berries are softened and burst (about 10) minutes,  add the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and remaining 2 tablespoonful's of orange juice, and 2 Tablespoonful's of brown sugar.).  Turn heat back on a bring to a simmer, till mixture is again bubbly and sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, and let cool in pan.  When mixture is cooled put into the fridge and let sit several hours or overnight covered.  Remove from fridge and stir, then serve.  Enjoy

Monday, November 7, 2016

Easy Beef Stroganoff

I love easy meals.. now that I work so much and have so much going on, I appreciate even more getting dinner on the table faster.  After being gone 9-11 hours a day, I am one tired momma... but I still love a home cooked meal.  Sometimes I have all day to cook, sometimes a short amount of time.  This is how this meal came about.  I love beef stroganoff, but the original version with stew meat, take hours to simmer till it's tender.  When I work all day I have about 1/2 hour after I walk in, and that's about it.  My kids lunch times are early and they are starving, even with a snack.  So I try and make it 30 minutes till dinner on the days I work.  Sometimes I prep on the weekends, and cook multiple things, sometimes I just don't.
I use ground beef, or sometimes turkey or chicken in this dish.  I also had a little Italian sweet sausage that I threw in, and boy did it jazz this dish up.. good choice :)  as always use what you have.  I used fresh mushrooms, but you can use canned, or dried onions, or garlic work too.  I also serve this over mashed potatoes, but baked potatoes, cooked noodles,rice or toast and or biscuits work too.   Enjoy




Easy Beef Stroganoff


1 lb ground beef
1/3 lb sweet Italian sausage
1 small package sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 small onion diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup half n half
3/4 cup sour cream


Baked potatoes, noodles, rice or whatever you are choosing to serve this over.
Seasonings of your choice (I used a splash of Worchester sauce, dried celery flakes, parsley flakes,garlic powder, seasoned salt and pepper.


In a large skillet add beef, Italian sausage,mushrooms, and onion.  Add seasonings and cook breaking up till meat is done. Drain grease.  Return mixture to pan, and half n half, and mushroom soup, stirring till heated thru.  Turn off heat, add sour cream and mix until combined.  Serve over potatoes (or whatever you choose).  Enjoy



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Energy protein bites







I have been wanting to try energy protein bites for such a long time, but I couldn't find a recipe that appealed to me.. lots had agave nectar ( I am not a fan) and stuff that did not sound good whatsoever...so I did what I always do, and made one up, trying stuff until it tasted good. 


I am always looking for ways to bump up the protein nutrition in my diet, and as always it's gotta taste good too :)  My stepson said, can you make these every week, these things are awesome.  Also my husband and littlest son gave these 2 thumbs up.. yeah


There are so many varieties out there, I used things I thought would taste good, but you can eliminate or play around and use stuff you like.  You can use different kinds of dried fruits/nuts/seeds anything.  These basically have just about everything but the kitchen sink in there, but they are so good.  Use real maple syrup, no pancake syrup here. 


I wanted mine moist, cause I have heard that sometimes these are so dry, you can barely choke them down.  Not what I was going for.   I usually put a couple in a baggie and take to work, or the kids have a couple with a glass of milk for a nutritious snack.


I put these on a wax/parchment lined baking sheet after I roll them out.  I also wet my hands after every couple of balls, this mixture is very sticky and the mixture sticks to your hands, the water cuts thru some of that stickiness.
I used unsalted nuts, so I put a big pinch of kosher salt into the mixture to cut thru all that sweetness/nuttiness.  Whatever you do, make these soon... Enjoy




Energy protein bites


3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked, dry
1 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
big pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 slivered almonds
1/2 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried dates (remove pits)
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts






Put everything in a really big bowl, because you need to stir and combine really well and these make a huge batch.  


Line a baking sheet with wax/parchment paper.  With wet hands (see above I keep a bowl of water so I can dip my hands into after I roll a couple out at a time).  Make these balls about golf ball size.  They are moist and are not compact and with all the nuts and seeds they will not be perfectly round.  Squeeze the mixture the best that you can, continuing until all the mixture is used.  Place balls to harden up in the fridge.  After they are cool, I line them in a big gallon size Ziploc baggie on a paper plate and store them in the fridge.  They will last a couple of weeks (mine never last that long tho).  Make sure you keep the Ziploc baggie closed tight so they won't dry out in the fridge.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Enchilada casserole

I love all things enchilada... Rolled kind with chicken, beef, turkey or just plain cheese.  I make them layered with tortillas too instead of rolling them up, super easy.


 I made a recipe similar to this with sloppy joe mixture on top and it was super yummy..so why not use enchilada sauce and voila that's how this came up.  My stepson asked if I could make this every week.. which in my book is a winner :)


To make the sloppy joe version, make the same cornbread base, but you can use prepared BBQ sauce ( I mix mine with a little ketchup and mustard to add some extra flavor)  instead of the enchilada sauce, and continue making this the same way but I don't serve sour cream on the side with the sloppy joe version.  Really good too. It is good in the cooler months.  I serve both versions with a tossed salad on the side.




Whatever version you make, make this soon.. Enjoy








Enchilada casserole


2 boxes of jiffy cornbread
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 can cream style corn
1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 small can enchilada sauce
1 package shredded Colby jack cheese
seasonings of your choice ( I used cumin, garlic and onion powder, pinch of seasoned salt and pepper)
*sour cream for serving






Preheat oven to 400, spray a 13x9 pan with non-stick spray.  Mix cornbread, milk, egg and cream style corn until combined, pour into prepared pan.  Bake for around 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
While the base is baking, brown meat and seasonings breaking up till no longer pink and cooked thru.  Add 1/4 can of enchilada sauce to meat mixture keeping mixture hot.
Remove cornbread base from oven, and with a butter knife poke holes all in the cornbread.  Drizzle the rest of the can of enchilada sauce over the cornbread base spreading with a rubber spatula to make a even layer across the cornbread.  Sprinkle the hot meat mixture over the top of the cornbread and top with an even layer of cheese.  Return to oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  Remove from the oven and cut into squares.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on the side.  Enjoy.





Thursday, July 28, 2016

Oven fajitas

It is the middle of summer and boy is it hot outside...ugh   I do not do well when the temp is over 90 degrees, & just last week in Michigan it was 98 degrees.  I don't want to do anything except sit in the air conditioning and relaxing.. even going to the grocery store or doing anything for that matter just takes it out of you. 


I want quick and easy dinners.  Like this, I know what your saying it's hot why turn your oven on.  I have air conditioning, and I usually make a big batch of something and we eat it for a couple of days.  Leftovers on hot days, are a lifesaver, so make an extra casserole and throw it in the freezer for days like this.  I have tried experimenting and making this dish in the crockpot and did not like the results.  Everything was a big mushy mess.  Peppers and onions, were soggy, and the chicken was mushy.  Not my idea of a good dinner.  So made it this way and winner, winner... I use boneless chicken breast, but you can use boneless chicken thighs, or a small pork tenderloin, or whatever meat you like.  I was thinking of next time skipping the meat, and adding zucchini and summer squash and making veggie fajitas.. I will let you all know how that turns out:)


To make it even easier, the produce section at your supermarket has cut up fajita kits (peppers and onions cut up), or you can cut up your own.  When I do cut my own, I use red, yellow, orange & green) and a big red onion.


Use whatever condiments you want, I use lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and shredded cheese.  My husband adds sliced jalapenos, and hot sauce.


Oven fajitas


1 package of boneless chicken breast ( about 1 1/2-2 lbs)
One package of cut up onion, peppers (Mine had red, & green)
1 package of taco seasoning mix
*seasonings of your choice, (I used, cumin, garlic and onion powder, salt  & pepper)
olive oil
tortillas (heated for a couple of seconds in the microwave to soften)
lime juice
condiments of your choice






Preheat oven to 375.  Place foil down on the pan.  If your chicken breast are very large, cut in half the long way.  Place the chicken breast on one side of the pan, and the veggies on the other.  Drizzle olive oil on the chicken and vegetables (keeping separate) mix each side well coating with oil.  For the veggie side, sprinkle with salt,  pepper and garlic and onion powder.  For the chicken side, sprinkle both sides with taco seasoning, cumin, salt & pepper.




Cook for around 30 minutes, stirring veggies half way thru, and turning the chicken too.  Cook until veggies and the chicken are done.  Remove from oven.  On the pan thinly slice the chicken against the grain, and mix getting any seasoning and additional juices from the pan.  Drizzle meat with lime juice. 


Serve the tortillas with a little chicken, vegetables and condiments of your choice.  Enjoy.  (I sprinkle mine with a little extra lime juice at the table to brighten up the flavors). 













Saturday, July 9, 2016

My mom's famous macaroni & potato salad dressing

Ah this dressing... this is the stuff legends are made of.. no seriously everyone that eats this dressing on either macaroni salad or potato salad falls in love with it.  It is just yummy... and until now, this was an "eyeball" thing.  My mom learned to make this from her mom. We have never measured amounts of anything.. just tasted it and went.. until now. Just like when my grandma made cinnamon rolls, she was like, measure what, I just do it.  Which I totally get, because that is why I am not a baker.... I HATE measuring stuff, and being all precise.. I like to eyeball measurements when I cook.  But sometimes even me (sigh) measure to preserve and get things right. 


You must use MIRACLE WHIP salad dressing, or you will not get the same results.  I have tried using other mayo and it is not the same, at all.  This is a must.  NO light either.  Regular kind.


Also, we use Plochman's mustard. It is in the barrel shaped bottle, our favorite.


This dressing can be used on either macaroni or on potato salad either one.  Use your favorite ingredients and add this dressing at the end and mix well.  For macaroni the pasta sucks in the dressing and you might have to make some extra for the next day, stir well and if it seems dry add some more. 


For our macaroni salad, we use cooked macaroni, frozen peas (unthawed I put mine in the colander frozen and then pour the cooked macaroni with the water before it is drained, and the boiling macaroni and water will unthaw the peas, with no extra work :), chopped peeled hard boiled eggs,chopped red onion, shredded carrots, chopped celery, and bell pepper (we also sometimes use colored peppers, and or radishes use what you like).


For our potato salad, we use peeled and chopped Idaho russet potatoes (they hold up the best and don't get mushy or watery, or waxy like sometimes redskins do), chopped onion, chopped peeled hard boiled eggs,chopped celery, radishes, carrots, and bell pepper. 


Again, use what you have on hand and like.  Make this soon.. Enjoy




My mom's famous macaroni & potato salad dressing


2 cups Miracle whip (no substitutions)
1 Tbls and 1 Tsp mustard (we use Plochman's mustard
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
plenty of salt and pepper




Mix all ingredients together with a whisk, mixing well.  Pour over salad ingredients, & mix well.  Cover and refrigerate several hours.  Enjoy