Monday, September 28, 2009

Tater Tot Casserole

I have a confession. I have been casserole happy lately. It is bordering on obsessed. There is just something about the convenience and comfort as the weather cools and weeknights seem shorter. I had heard of this and had never tried it. Because of our love for tots, I knew this would be a winner. I served it with corn to have something healthy paired with it. I followed the recipe I found on Lemons & Love. Although my waistline cannot afford to make this a staple meal, we really enjoyed it and I am sure I will make it again!

You need:
1/2 bag frozen tater tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

To flavor turkey:
garlic powder

1) Preheat oven according to the temperature on the tater tot directions-I too used 400 degrees.

2) Cook ground turkey, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain if necessary. Add in cream of chicken soup and cheese. Mix well.

3) Transfer turkey mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Neatly top mixture with tater tots.

4) Bake for approximately 25 minutes until tater tots are nice and crispy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken Taco Bake

This is one of our favorite go-to dinners. Our summer was so busy with the wedding and all that we realized we hadn't had it in a couple months! It is easy, tasty, and makes fabulous leftovers. We often serve it with Goya yellow rice, salsa, and sour cream. I found this a couple years ago as a weight watchers online recipe. We have adapted it overtime. I am sure it would be tasty with some beans added too. I highly suggest you try it if you enjoy taco flavoring! Enjoy :)

You need:
1 can of refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls
1 pound of ground chicken
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups of Mexican shredded cheese
Salsa and sour cream (for topping)

1) Preheat the oven to 350.

2)Brown the chicken on the stove.

3) I use my 13 x 9 casserole to spread out the crescent rolls-be sure to pinch in at the seams to blend them together.

4) Once the chicken is cooked and drained, add the taco seasoning as the packet instructs.

5)While the taco seasoning is cooking into the chicken, place the dish with only the crescent roll base into the oven. Let this cook for about 5-10 minutes on its own. I find it helps to cook the crescent crust.

6) Remove the pan from the oven and top the cresent rolls with the ground chicken. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the chicken. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bottom is light brown.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Salsa Chicken in Crockpot

We had a very busy Sunday and needed to be quite a few places. This dinner was so easy to throw in the crockpot and have just about ready for us when we came home. I made the beans and rice recipe from the Goya black beans can to have with this. We also enjoyed putting the rice mixture and the chicken into corn tortillas. This is a simple and delicious recipe that you should try! I got it from one of my favorite food blogs: The Novice Chef

What we used:
3 boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts
1 cup Tostitos Medium Salsa
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

1. Add chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
3. Mix salsa, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup; pour over chicken.
4. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. (I did exactly 7 hours and it was perfect)
5. Shred Chicken with two forks and mix back in with all the sauce.
I left the crockpot on warm with the shredded chicken while I prepped the beans and rice.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Baked Ziti with Marscapone

This was absolutely delicious! I was craving some rainy day comfort food and this delivered. I used the exact recipe posted here: Stephanie Cooks, so I am just going to send you to her blog to see it. We will definitely be making this again! I have some thoughts of how I may try to attempt a little bit healthier in the future so stay tuned...Link

Banana Coconut Muffins

Yesterday morning I was hungry for a breakfast snack with coffee. I was going grocery shopping later in the day and had to make due with what was left on hand. I decided to use the very ripe bananas in muffins and then remembered that I also had some shredded coconut! I whipped up this recipe that I found on Epicurious and was very pleased with the results. The recipe called for an 8 cup muffin tin but made 12 smaller sized muffins just fine.

You will need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Special equipment: a muffin tin with 8 (1/2-cup) muffin cups; paper liners (I used my 12 tin)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.

Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly. (Even though I used my 12 muffin pan, I still cooked it for 25 minutes and thought they came out perfect)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Easy Crockpot Pulled Pork

Another simple weeknight dinner! This was tasty and plenty for the two of us. The one thing that was a bit of a pain was cleaning the crockpot! We will surely make this again.

I have seen this recipe many ways in many places. Here is how I did it:

24 oz. (two cans) Root beer
Bottle of BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1 pound lean pork loin


1) Place the pork loin in the crockpot. Pour the rootbeer over it and cook on low for 6 hours.

2) Remove the pork and shred it using two forks. (It came apart very easily!)

3) Wash out the crockpot before placing the shredded beef back in. Cover the beef with your bottle of barebque sauce. Cook on low for another hour to hour and a half.

4) Serve on hamburg rolls.

Blueberry Muffins

These were my first attempt at baking as a newlywed. I had all the ingredients on hand so decided to give them a try. They were simple and tasty! I have made them to take to some friends we've stayed with over the past month. We've also enjoyed them for breakfast a few times. I recently doubled the recipe to make 24 muffins.

From My Italian Grandmother


2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup oil or melted shortening
1 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or grease 12 muffin cups.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup.

In bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Stir in egg, milk, and oil just until moistened (will be lumpy).

Gently fold in berries.

Spoon into muffin cups (2/3 full)

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Loosen, remove immediately.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Please do not mind this horrible picture. At least it shows the cheesiness!

This was a delicious dinner that we had on Friday night. It was easy to prepare and we loved it with a bit of sour cream and a side salad. There were a few changes made that I noted below. I used mild enchilada sauce and may try something a bit spicier next time. This will surely be a regular in our menu rotation!
The Original recipe is from Sunset and posted on


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast (I used 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil (I used no oil what-so-ever!)
  • 1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce (I used the largest can I could find. I think it was about 18-20oz.)
  • Salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste.

2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies

I forgot to take a picture of these but still wanted to share because they were yummy! I made these to bring with us this past weekend while we stayed with friends. Everyone seemed to enjoy them and I hope you do too!

Seen on Erin's Food Files; Originally from Emeril Legasse

1/2 pound, plus 1 teaspoon butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white chocolate chips (I used one cup white and one cup milk chocolate)
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and rough chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1/2 pound of the butter and the brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until a smooth batter is formed. While the machine is running, add the eggs and vanilla extract, until incorporated into the batter.

Sift together 3 cups flour and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix on low speed until a dough is formed. Very gently, by turning the mixer on and then off, fold the chips and nuts into the dough.

Once the dough is all blended, grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with the remaining butter and dust with the 1 tablespoon of flour. Pour the batter into the pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until set yet still moist.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dutch Oven Dinner

We finally used one of our wedding gifts. Our new Le Creuset! So technically this was a "French Oven" recipe. It was easy to throw together and made a lot of food. We enjoyed it so I am sure this will be made in our kitchen again. The noodles did get a bit hard on the edges, but that was probably from a change we made. I also kind of like them that way so I was happy about it!

This recipe was pulled from Annie's Eats and originated from Whole Foods. My changes are noted below. Enjoy!

1 lb. lean ground sirloin
1⁄2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2/3 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups frozen corn
1 package (10-12 oz.) egg noodles
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices (We only used 14 oz-a small can, and then one can of tomato soup)
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
(1 green pepper)

Brown ground beef in 5-quart Dutch oven or large skillet with a lid.
Add onion, mushrooms, (green pepper) and corn.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread uncooked noodles evenly over top.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over noodles.
Pour the entire can of tomatoes (and tomato soup) over all making sure it covers all the noodles.
Simmer, tightly covered, for 1 hour, then let it stand 3-5 minutes before serving.