This mom loves to cook

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Hello! I'm Deirdre and I'm a stay at home mom to two boys. Cooking for a 6 and 4 year old- day in and day out can be the best job in the world, also the most frustrating. Trying to create not only kid friendly but husband and mom friendly meals is a challenge that I've readily accepted! My Foodie Mom blog is a record of the different recipes that I've tried in the kitchen, pictures of my ventures, and cool tricks I've picked up along the way. Cheers!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Candy Cane Dipped Oreos


Made these guys to bring as dessert to a few places on Thanksgiving. To say they were a hit would be an understatement. And to say these were easy to make- would be an understatement as well. Just a great recipe to have - so glad I found it!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 packages candy cane Hershey's Kisses (unwrapped of course)
  • 1 package Oreos
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In 20 second increments melt the kisses in the microwave until completely melted and smooth. Using a fork dip each Oreo in the candy cane goodness. Place on baking sheet. Repeat process until all the ingredients are gone.

Refrigerate for an hour until completely hardened. 


Double Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies


I bought some coconut oil a little while ago- and I've been dying to try it out. Figured why not start with some cookies. Found this fabulous recipe- and these cookies came out awesome. The kids went crazy for them.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 eggs (at room temp)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
Use a stand mixer to mix together coconut oil and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add in vanilla.

In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the coconut oil mixture until all is combined. Add in coconut and chocolate chips. Mix well.



Line a baking sheet with parchment paper- and drop teaspoon sized cookie dough onto the baking sheet. 



Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. 





Slow Cooker Chicken Tiki Masala



A few weeks ago I made Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken- and it was amazing. I came across this recipe about the same time and couldn't wait to try this out. I really don't know which recipe was better- because this came out just as amazing. So good... I'm making it again later this week :) 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Add to slow cooker. Add in tomatoes, garlic, ginger, paste, garam masala, salt, and paprika. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 6- 8 hours.  Last 15 minutes of cooking add in coconut milk and leave slow cooker uncovered. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve over rice. 

Just typing this recipe out- makes me want this so bad. So glad I'm making this again this week! Cheers!

Adapted from: Slow Cooker Tiki Masala




Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Baked Burritos



This was really a super easy meal to put together. Beyond delicious and fast- a winning combo! This made 6 rather large burritos. Adjust the amount of ingredients to make less or more.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken (chopped or shredded)
  • 2 avocados scooped out of shell
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 4 strips cooked bacon (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar ( plus more for topping)
  • sliced jalapeños
  • green onion (for garnish)
  • 6 burrito sized tortillas
In a large mixing bowl- combine chicken, onion, bacon, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese. Mix until well combined. Fill each tortilla, roll into a burrito and arrange in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with shredded cheddar and sliced jalapeños. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with green onion for garnish. 

Seriously so friggen good. The kids went crazy over this- especially my 2 1/2 year old. And of course this is especially husband friendly. Cheers!


Corn Casserole with Bacon

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.givinguponperfect.com/2014/04/family-recipe-corn-casserole-with-bacon/

I originally had planned on making this for Thanksgiving- but we had no power. So I made this a few days ago instead. Oh my- it was delicious. Of course it was so good I didn't have any thoughts to taking my own photos.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 cans corn (drained)
  • 2 0z blocks cream cheese
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 8 sliced cooked bacon crumbled
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese (plus a little more for top)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Melt butter in a skillet and over medium high heat start cooking the onion until softened. Add the cream cheese a little at a time until melted. Add in the parm cheese and pepper. Gently fold in all the corn and bacon. Make sure it is well combined. Put mixture in a 9x13 baking dish - and sprinkle with some more parm cheese. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Just leave out the bacon for a yummy veggie side! Cheers!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Apricot Chicken


This is actually a recipe that one of my best friends Kara taught me when we had our first apartment together. Back then neither of us knew how to cook very many things- so this was one of our staple recipes. Its still good to be nostalgic and make this every once in a while. It's actually my sister in law Taylor's favorite. She was visiting from college this weekend so I made it for her. Tried, tested and true. This recipe will not fail.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 large package boneless skinless chicken thighs ( a little over 2 pounds)
  • 1 small bottle Wish Bone Russian Dressing
  • 1/2 jar apricot preserves
  • 1 package onion soup mix
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, and place in a 9x13 baking dish.

In a bowl combine apricot preserves, Russian dressing and onion soup mix. Mix well.

Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish. Stir so all the chicken is coated.

Bake at 325 for about an hour - until the chicken is cooked through.

We serve our apricot chicken over rice pilaf with asparagus on the side. Love this dish, brings back such great memories of my early 20's and first starting to cook. Thanks Kara! Cheers!


Twice Baked Potatoes



This is actually a combination of a few different recipes that I read. You pretty much can do whatever you want with these guys. Any fillings and flavor combo's are more than welcome! You can adjust the ingredients below according to taste as well

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 large baking potatoes washed and dried
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 packet "baked potato topping"
  • shredded cheddar 
  • pepper to taste
Bake potatoes on a baking sheet at 400 for about an hour - until cooked through.

In a large mixing bowl add sour cream and butter.

Cut potatoes length wise and with a spoon scoop out the insides into the bowl with butter and sour cream. Minding the skins of the potatoes, you need these whole to create our yummy potato vessel. Set skins aside.

Mash until completely combined. Add in the seasonings and mix tip combined.

Fill your skins with the mashed potatoes and place on cookie sheet. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 250 for 15 minutes until melted and golden brown.

These were amazballs! Like I said before, the possibilities are endless to what you can do with these. Bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, sautéed veggies, broccoli and cheese. Anything you can think of. Cheers!




Friday, November 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Meatloaf (literally the best meatloaf I've ever had)



OK- so I made this today and I just had to post this recipe. It really is the best meatloaf I've ever tasted. And I know just saying this my mom is rolling in her grave- because I swore by her meatloaf my whole life. I now have a new favorite recipe. It was so moist and delicious.. Just absolutely amazing.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 medium onion very finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely diced 
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
For Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup of tomato saue
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
Fold two pieces of heavy duty tinfoil into a long 2x12 (ish pieces) and arrange them as an 'X' in the bottom of crock pot:

Not my picture
In a large mixing bowl combine all of the meatloaf ingredients. Make sure the onion, pepper and garlic are really finely diced. Form into a loaf shape- and place on top of the tinfoil in the crock pot.

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer for 5 minutes. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the meatloaf- and save the rest for the end.

Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours. 1/2 hour before the loaf is finished- pour the remainder of the sauce on the loaf- cover and continue cooking for the remainder of the time.

When done- carefully remove and transfer to serving plate (I used two spatulas to get it out of the crock pot).

Served this with corn and twice baked potatoes (recipe up soon). The kids devoured it- and Mike said this was the best he's ever had. I really can't rave about this enough- I really hope you try this and enjoy! Cheers!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken


This was actually really easy to make- and it was so friggen good! It's the garam masala that gives it the authentic Indian flavor. This seriously rivals a lot of curry chicken I've had. You can find the garam masala at any local world foods or Indian market. Of course we ate it all and I didn't even think of taking a picture, you'll just have to trust me!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup baby carrots (cut in half)
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled and cut into bite sized cubes)
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 jalapeño cut and take seeds out
  • 1 green bell pepper cut and take seeds out
  • 1 5 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
Place the chicken, carrots and sweet potato pieces in the crock pot. 

Combine the onion, garlic, jalapeño, pepper, coconut milk, tomato paste, salt, curry powder and garam masala in food processor pulse until everything is broken down into a (smoothish) sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and veggies in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve over rice, garnish with fresh cilantro.

I will be making this again for sure. I'm actually going to be trying a slow cooker chicken tiki masala soon too- so watch out for that recipe in the near future! Cheers!

Mini Shepard's Pies


These were so fun to make. The kids were so excited to have "pie" for dinner. I was actually able to make 12 pies out of 1 pre made pie crust- by rolling it out on the thinner side and punching out the size I wanted with a glass. The kids loved helping with this. Pretty easy to throw together. Of course I had to make my own mashed potatoes (bacon and chive cheddar) which took a little extra time- feel free to use pre made or whatever you have on hand.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pre made pie crust
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 diced onions
  • 1 small can diced mushrooms (drained)
  • 2/3- 3/4 cup peas ( I used frozen and just boiled them until they were tender)
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or stock
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of mashed potatoes
Heat oven to 400- roll out the pie crust and punch out 12 rounds a little bigger than the size of a muffin tin. Press each of the crusts firmly in the muffin tins. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown- remove from oven and reduce heat to 350.



In a skillet over medium high heat add a little olive oil and start cooking the onions for about 3-4 minutes. Add in the beef and cook until browned. Drain the fat. Add in the mushrooms, peas, beef broth and worcestershire. Stir to combine - salt and pepper to taste.



Spoon the beef filling into each of the pie crusts- and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing pies from the muffin tin. 



Pretty easy right? And so damn good. I think next time I want to try doing this with mini chicken pot pies! Like I said before, super kid friendly too! Cheers!


Adapted from: Mini Shepards Pot Pies


Monday, November 3, 2014

Corn Chowder with Ham and Bacon


Yesterday was Sunday- and football was on. It's starting to get cold up here in New Hampshire - so I wanted to do some warm, game day friendly comfort food. This is a really easy chowder- that is perfect for this time of year. I threw it together in 20 minutes then just let it simmer on low until we were ready to eat. Of course you can not use bacon or ham and have a super yummy vegetarian chowder too!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 slices of bacon (uncooked - diced)
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 small ham steak (edges trimmed) chopped
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 small bag frozen corn (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
  • salt and (white) pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish
In a medium pot get your diced potatoes boiling in some water, cook until almost done- drain and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat start cooking bacon until it starts to crisp- add in the onions and cook until softened. Add in the ham and cook with the onion 1-2 minutes. Add in the milk, half and half, chicken broth, cooked potatoes, creamed corn and frozen corn. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper (I used white pepper) to taste. Serve right away or keep warming on stove on low. 





I served the chowder with grilled cheeses, and salad. It was the best dinner on a cold November night. Next time I think I'm going to try my hand at clam chowder, yum! Cheers!


Enchiladas


So, every time I've ever claimed to make enchiladas apparently have been false. I usually use flour tortillas and especially make burritos and bake them with some sort of sauce on top. Then I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman- and figured out I was doing it wrong. So I tried it this way and everyone seemed to dig it. A little time consuming. I did most of my prep work (chopping veggies) during the day and set it aside for later to make things a little easier.

INGREDIENTS:

For the sauce-
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 28 oz can (mild) enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the meat-
  • 3/4 pound ground beef (lean)
  • 1/4 pound ground pork (optional- if not use 1 pound beef)
  • 2 small cans (4 oz) diced chilis
  • 1 larger onion finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
For tortillas-
  • 10-14 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
To assemble-
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used mozz but use cheddar if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

For the sauce- In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the oil and flour to make a roux. Cook for a minute, then pour in red sauce, chicken broth salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-45 min until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.



For the meat- Brown the meat with the onions in a skillet. Drain off the fat. Stir in the 2 cans of chilis and season with salt. Set aside.

For the tortillas- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry the tortillas one at a time for about 30 seconds on each side. Until soft- not crispy. Set aside on a pepper towel lined plate. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. 


To assemble- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure your sauce has thickened up and is cooled off a little (I didn't do this and it was still super hot when I started rolling up the enchiladas). Dip each tortilla into the red sauce, then place on work surface. Put a little cheese, meat, olives and green onion in each tortilla- roll up- and place seam side down in a 9x13 baking dish. Repeat until all of the ingredients are used. Top with the remainder of the red sauce and shredded cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Garnish with cilantro, olives, green onion.


This did take a little extra time and love- but it really was worth it. I served this with a chunky black bean salsa, sour cream and rice on the side. I'd love to try this recipe again someday with chicken. Cheers!






Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Apple Pecan Cake


We went apple picking a few weeks ago, and there are still a ton of apples I have yet to use. I saw this apple cake recipe on Pinterest a while back, and decided to give it a go. It was really simple- and apparently the best cake I've ever made according to my husband.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apples
Frosting:
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar and eggs. Add in the flour and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add in the vanilla, pecans and apples, mix well. Add to a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool.

To make frosting, in a sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, allow to boil for 2 minutes. Set pan in a bowl filled with ice water, and beat for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes spreading consistency. Spread over the top of the cake.

This really was one of the easiest, tastiest cakes I've ever baked. And Im sure you can replace the apple with other kinds of fruit too. This would be amazing as a blueberry cake... Oh, I know what I'm doing next! Cheers!

Credits: Fresh Apple Cake

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger with Avocado Spread


Every time I make a veggie burger, I swear they get better and better. This time they were the perfect constancy, texture, taste and size. It was seriously the best veggie burger I've ever eaten. This was my Meatless Monday meal for yesterday!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cooked sweet potato (skin removed)
  • 1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 diced jalapeño (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloved diced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • wheat buns
  • spring mix greens
Add sweet potato, beans, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic and cajun seasoning to a food processor. Pulse until a smooth consistency, you may need to stop and scrape down sides a few times. Transfer mixture from processor to a mixing bowl and combine with the cooked brown rice. Taste- add more seasoning if needed. 

Shape into patties (I like mine on the thin side), and place on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.

Heat some veggie oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry each veggie burger for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. 

To make the spread, smash together the avocado, cilantro, yogurt and lime in a bowl until it reaches a thick consistency, chunky texture. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve veggie burgers on a wheat bun with greens and avocado spread.

As I'm typing this, it's almost lunch time- and I have a leftover veggie burger in the fridge with my name on it. I can't wait to eat it. Such a great, fresh burger. This is going to be my go to recipe from now on. Love it! Cheers!





Spicy Sausage and Sweet Pepper Stuffed Shells


Stuffed shells are one of my favorite things to make. Lately I've been experimenting with different fillings for them, this is a batch I made the other day. So Yum!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box jumbo shells
  • 1 container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups cooked spicy italian sausage (I took casings off the links of spicy italian sausage, sautéed in a skillet, drained grease and set aside)
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet peppers
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella 
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
Cook the shells according to directions. Drain and run cold water over it until cooled to stop cooking process. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a small skillet and lightly sauté the sweet peppers. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, egg, cooked sausage, and peppers 1/2 cup of the mozz cheese salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon a little sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Fill each shell with spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture, and line them in the baking dish. Spoon a little sauce on top - and sprinkle the remainder of the mozz cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


As always, these stuffed shells were a hit. Just something about them - the spicy of the sausage and the sweet peppers, creamy ricotta and tangy sauce. Its FREAKING amazing! I also made some meatballs and a nice salad to go with this. Yummo Italiano! Cheers!

Chicken and Broccoli Curry Casserole


This recipe is actually something that my mom used to make. I actually have the instructions she wrote me out, tapped inside of my recipe book.  It's really good, and if you're not used to eating or cooking curry- this is the perfect started recipe to ease yourself into it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken
  •  2-3 cups steamed broccoli
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup (small)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar
  • breadcrumbs 
Mix together the soup, mayo and curry powder in a bowl. 

In a 9x13 baking dish, layer the cooked broccoli and chicken. 

Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken and broccoli.

Top with the soup mayo mixture.

Sprinkle a little breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes at 350.


Pretty easy right? I usually serve this with egg noodles, but this would be good with rice or pasta too. A good quick dinner to know. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vegetarian Moussaka


So last year I had my first go at making moussaka. Its this awesome Greek dish that I'm absolutely in love with. Layers of cooked potatoes, eggplant and a yummy tomato meat sauce topped with a creamy layer of white sauce and cheese. Last time I tried a traditional recipe, using ground beef. I decided to go with a vegetarian version this time. I tweaked the original recipe I used, and came out with this. And I have to say it was pretty damn good. This was our Meatless Monday installment for this week. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 small graffiti eggplants,sliced into rounds
  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced into rounds
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 small package of baby bellas
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of all spice
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Béchamel Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 4 cups hot whole milk
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
  • 3 egg yolks beaten
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups grated hard cheese (I used half parm, half gruyere) 
There are 3 "layers" that need to be made. So as I'm not rushing around trying to do it all at once, I cook the potatoes/eggplant earlier on, then start the mushroom sauce- and while that's simmering I make the béchamel sauce. 

Coat the eggplant and potatoes with olive oil and salt, then broil for about 15 minutes until fork tender (Keep the eggplant and potatoes separated, they will be two different layers). Set aside.











Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté the mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender. Drain off extra oil and moisture. Break the whole peeled tomatoes up with your hands and add into the skillet.Add in the red wine and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon and all spice. Add in the cooked quinoa, and breadcrumbs- stir to combine, and keep over low/ medium heat until all the moisture is absorbed. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick. 


To make the béchamel sauce- melt the butter in a pot over medium high heat, once melted slowly add in the flour- whisking constantly. Cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add in the hot milk, while continuing to whisk- letting it thicken up as you pour. Once thickened, season with salt pepper and nutmeg to taste. Remove from heat and slowly add in the egg yolks in a stream. Return to heat for 1-2 minutes, making sure all of the ingredients are combined. Set aside off the heat to cool. 


Add 1 ladle full of the béchamel sauce to the mushroom quinoa sauce- stir to combine.

To Assemble - coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle just enough breadcrumbs to lightly coat the bottom and sides. 

Arrange the potato slices as the bottom layer, slightly overlapping the pieces. 

Spread half of the mushroom and quinoa sauce on top of the potatoes.

Arrange the eggplant slices as the next layer, slightly overlapping the pieces making sure to cover the whole dish (this will help hold to top layer of béchamel up).

Spread the remaining mushroom quinoa sauce on top of the eggplant.

Top with the remainder of the béchamel sauce, spreading evenly over the entire dish.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Spread the cheese evenly on top, return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Shut oven off, but leave in the oven with the door cracked open for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

We served this with a fresh home made Greek salad. I'm not going to lie, this recipe is very labor intensive. It takes a while, but if you have the time and patience - it will be worth it. If you prefer trying this with meat, just substitute the mushrooms/ and or quinoa with 1 pound of ground beef (or lamb). Just don't forget to drain the excess grease off of the meat once you sauté it. Wether with meat or vegetarian, this is something that you have to make if only once in your life. Cheers!

Southwestern Chicken Salad



This is one of my favorite things to make. I made this batch on sunday, and I've been eating it all week for lunch (today is Wednesday). The past few times I've made it, I used taco seasoning from a package to season it. This time Mike seasoned the chicken really well and it didn't need any extra seasoning. So whatever you feel like doing!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 (small) sweet peppers finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of corn
  • a few tablespoons of mayo (to your own taste, some people like more mayo than others)
Place chicken in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Pour lime juice on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (depending how thick the chicken breast is). Allow chicken to cool before chopping up.











Chop chicken into small pieces, combine with peppers, onion, corn and mayo. Add more seasoning if needed. 


Put this on a sandwich, wrap, salad or my favorite- eat it with tortilla chips. Any way you choose, a guilt free- lunch, dinner or snack. Cheers!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Split Pea and Ham Soup



This is one of my hubby's absolute favorite. Every time I make a ham I save the bone and a little of the extra ham, and whip this up a few days later. Really good and hearty soup, perfect for this cold weather coming in. I actually used the recipe off of the split pea bag but adjusted it a bit, still pretty straight forward.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 16 oz bag of split peas (2 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme










Wash peas through a colander, and sort through any shells or bad looking ones. Add cleaned peas to a pot and add the water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and cover pot. Let sit for an hour.


Add ham bone, bay leaf, thyme and Veggies. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 2-3 hours, until the peas are soft. Remove bone and cut the ham off (discard bone), add the bone ham and reserved ham (if any) back into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

We ate our soup with some yummy grilled cheese sandwiches. Perfect fall meal. Cheers!