Saturday, July 22, 2017

Joelle's beans

My husband loves baked beans, and so do I.  We like our beans hearty and with a little meat added in. 
You can add a little sausage to the ground beef it adds lots of flavor and makes the beans even more delicious.  I use the easy way and used already cooked bacon pieces (like the ones you put in salad), sometimes I add 2 packages (MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE & DISGARD THE LITTLE PACKET THAT REMOVES THE MOISTURE IN THE BACON PIECES IT IS TOXIC). 
I have cut up and cooked bacon too but it is much easier to use the already cooked stuff.


And the beans are your preference too.  Just make sure you drain and rinse them (NOT the bake beans tho, you want that liquid).


I was trying to come up with a name for these beans, my husband says your known for your beans, why don't you call them Joelle's beans... (I knew I keep him around for a reason wink.. just kidding love ya honey ;)


Make these today.. they are so good and come together super easy.   Enjoy


Joelle's beans


2 large cans baked beans
1 can each, pinto, kidney beans, black beans, northern beans & garbanzo beans(drain beans well in colander)
1 lb ground beef, cooked & drained
1 package bacon pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup green pepper finely minced
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 T Worchester sauce
1 T mustard
seasonings of your choice (** I used a pinch of red pepper flakes, cinnamon,cumin, paprika, salt & pepper, garlic & onion powder.








In large dutch oven brown meat, garlic and onion cook breaking up until no longer pink (drain grease).  Add remaining ingredients mixing well.  Simmer until thickened.  Taste & add more brown sugar if needed.  Enjoy

Easy tomato pesto sauce

I love pasta... a little too much :)  and I love an easier pasta sauce with lots of flavor.


 We have all had no flavor sauce and it is a little boring.  Nobody needs boring old pasta sauce.  Jazz it up. I made homemade meatballs to go with it, but you can use any precooked meat (think meatballs, cooked chicken tenders, or cooked meat either ground beef, turkey or chicken will work out just fine.  This fed our family of 4, but could easily be doubled.  I used store bought pesto, but homemade would be even better. 


Whatever you use, make this today and enjoy.






Easy Tomato pesto sauce


1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
3 Tablespoons prepared pesto
2-3 Tablespoons of hot cooking pasta water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1 T brown sugar
Cooked pasta of your choice
Cooked meat (**see above)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese






In a skillet add olive oil, add fresh garlic, cook until fragrant.  Add pesto and tomato sauce, hot water & brown sugar mixing well.  Add meat and stir until bubbly and hot.  If too thick add a little more hot cooking pasta water. 


Serve over cooked pasta and add freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Enjoy

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Strawberry Fruit Dip

I love fruit dip.. you know the fluffy stuff, that you dip fruit, cookies, graham crackers I could go on and on... heck I could even eat it with a spoon..


I got this recipe from Mary Ellen who owns a company that I did training with for my new job.  She said she makes this for her son, and he loves it.. I thought heck why not try it.  I tinkered with it a little (sorry Mary Ellen ;) but the result is so good... and so easy. I have made it using the yogurt and without the yogurt & it tastes the same... either way works... use what you have..


I served this with vanilla wafers, and vanilla waffle wafer cookies, but graham crackers, or lady fingers or cut up fruit will be delicious as well.


I want to try raspberries & raspberry jello next time, or thought mandarin oranges and orange jello, or just vanilla pudding, coconut, crushed pineapple and a splash of Malibu Rum for that tropical feel... The possibilities are endless.  Anyway you make it, make it soon.. and enjoy...


PS... Thanks Mary Ellen.. we love it






Strawberry fruit dip


1 small package instant vanilla pudding (I use sugar free)
1 small package strawberry jello (I use sugar free)
1 8oz container of yogurt ( I used greek vanilla)
1 cup milk
1 container cool whip, unthawed
1/2 container chopped strawberries
2-3 T sugar




In large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk until combined.  Whisk in the cool whip, yogurt  and the strawberry jello.  Mix together the strawberries and sugar until the strawberries are coated, and fold into the cool whip mixture.  Cover and let sit in the fridge a couple of hours. Serve with the cookies/cut up fruit.  Keep refrigerated.  Enjoy

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.