Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baked Ziti w/ Italian Sausage

I made this several years ago and just thought about making it again. It's easy and very good. Not exactly low-calorie, but hey- you gotta live sometime right?

This recipe is modified from Allrecipes.

1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 diced onion
1 diced red bell pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, one drained, and one with liquid
3 (3 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound dry ziti pasta
Handful of fresh mushrooms, coursely chopped
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage with bell pepper and onion until sausage is evenly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain excess grease. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt, and oregano. Simmer while preparing pasta.

3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a 3 quart baking dish, layer ziti and sauce mixture.

5. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle top with cheeses. Return to the oven for five minutes.
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French Dip Sandwiches

So I've been trying to find good crockpot recipes to break in our slow cooker. I told the hubs that I had found a french dip recipe using chuck roast. (He orders a French dip sandwich every time there's one on the menu!) He said why not just use deli roast beef. Who was I to complain about him making my job 100x easier???

This was so easy, quick, and very tasty. It's a good after-work meal.

1/2 pkg deli-sliced roast beef
2 bolillo bread rolls (or any other deli bread roll)
1 can French onion soup
1 can beef broth
2 slices provolone cheese

1. Stir together broth and soup in a small pot. Heat over medium heat until piping hot.

2. Halve the bread rolls. Using tongs, dip the roast beef into the soup mixture, then place on bread. Top w/ provolone.

3. Put the sandwiches, open face, into a toaster oven and toast until the cheese is nice and melty
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Crockpot Mu Shu Chicken

The husband LOVES mu shu chicken. This was really tasty. We haven't found the perfect bottled hoisin sauce yet, but the chicken this recipe makes was outrageously tender and juicy. The recipe is from a Better Homes and Gardens slow cooker cookbook called Better Than Mom's.

3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
8 taco-sized flour tortillas
1/2 cup bottled hoisin sauce
2 cups prepackaged cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage & carrot)

1. Put chicken in a 3.5-4 quart slow cooker and season w/ salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix water, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Pour over chicken.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 3-3.5 hours

3. Remove chicken w/ a slotted spoon. Skin and debone. Shred chicken meat with two forks and return to the cooker. Heat on low until heated through.

4. Serve by spreading tortillas w/ 1 tbs hoisin sauce. Top w/ chicken and cole slaw mix. Roll up and enjoy!
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Shrimp Creole

In honor of my Cajun heritage, I dug up a shrimp creole recipe. It was delicious. The hubs doesn't like tomatoes, but he loved this dish. You can tweak the spices to your liking. This is Louisiana Shrimp Creole II from Allrecipes.

I added quite a bit of cayenne and Cajun seasoning.

1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 pound medium shrimp - peeled and deveined

1. In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic; cook until tender.

2. Mix in cornstarch. Stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and red pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in shrimp, and cook for 5 minutes.
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Lemon Garlic Tilapia

This was a tasty, light meal, scaled down from Allrecipes.

2 tilapia fillets
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs butter, melted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a glass baking dish.

2. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, butter and garlic. Place tilapia fillets in baking dish and drizzle with lemon juice mixture. Sprinkle with spices. Bake 30 minutes.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parm is one of our favorite om-noms. This recipe hails from my beloved

On my last trip to the grocery store, I found some Italian bread crumbs that were SERIOUSLY good. If they're available where you are, check out Vigo brand.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness
2 eggs, beaten
Heap of Italian bread crumbs
Jar of pasta sauce
Shredded parmesan cheese
2 slices of mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Bread chicken by dipping in egg, then breadcrumbs. Make a trip around a skillet with olive oil. Heat oil over medium high until shimmering. Add chicken and cook until mostly done, about 3 minutes per side.
3. Place chicken in a glass baking dish. Cover with as much (or as little!) pasta sauce as you wish. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. Take it out, then top with parmesan and mozzarella. Pop it back in for another 5 minutes.
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The Perfect Boiled Egg/Egg Salad

For the perfect boiled egg, stick your egg in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Then just cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 12 minutes. It's good eatin' there.

For a quick lunch, I like to boil up 3 eggs, discard two of the yolks, chop them up finely, then add a little mayo, mustard, seasoned salt, and dill. Then I make a sandwich out of it.
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Poached Chicken

This is a good recipe when you have a recipe that calls for cooked chicken and you need it quickly. I've made the mistake many times before of boiling the hell out of chicken just because a recipe calls for it. That just leads to a tough, stringy mess. Here's my new method.

First, you need either 2 cubes of chicken bouillon or a can of chicken broth. Put either in a pot big enough to hold your chicken. Add your boneless, skinless chicken and add water until the chicken is just covered. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer. Check the temperature after 12 minues. (Seriously, I have boiled chicken for 45 minutes before and decided to check the temp after 15 yesterday and it was already at 190.)

The chicken was tender and juicy- great for chicken salad sandwiches!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cheesy Poofs! I mean sauce!

What good's steamed broccoli without a heapin' helpin' of ooey gooey melty cheese?! This is based on the Cheese Sauce and Cauliflower recipe on Allrecipes. In my typical fashion, I've altered the recipe to pare down on calories.

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and quickly mix.
2. Add milk a little at a time. Bring to boiling.
3. Reduce heat. Add cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste.
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Steamed Broccoli

I don't know why I've never given steaming a shot before. Whilst perusing the wares at our local Big Lots, I found a steamer basket. Now, I'm not going to admit to you whether I bought the thing because I was interested in steaming vegetables or because I was enchanted with the nifty way the thing folds out. *Averts eyes* Whatever the reason, I'll tell you- the thing cooks some DAMN good broccoli.

Bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp sugar
1 inch of water in a pot

1. Expand nifty thingamajigger. Fill with broccoli. Put inside pot w/ water. Bring water to boiling. Cover. Steam broccoli 6-8 minutes.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Baked Bananas with Honey-Brown Sugar Glaze

These baked bananas are amazing!  They taste so rich and indulgent, and you aren't left with a week's worth of calorie-dense dessert laying around.  (I know how dangerous that can be!)

An Ommy Noms Original


2 bananas, each cut into 4 sections
2 tbs butter, melted
2 tsp honey
Splash of lemon juice
Brown sugar to top


1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter, honey, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add banana sections and stir to coat. Place banana pieces in a glass baking dish.  Drizzle with remaining glaze.  Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake for 12 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Homeade 'Niller Ice Cream

Aka frozen sunshine.


4 cups half-and-half
1 14-oz can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs vanilla


1. Mix well. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

2. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturer directions.

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Crab Rangoon Cups

I love food. I love Asian food. And I l-o-v-e crab rangoons.

But there's something about deep-fried, cream-cheese-filled numminess that tells me it's probably not the greatest thing for my thighs. Hence, here is a tried-and-true recipe for non-fried, cream-cheese-filled numminess!

Inspired by


1 pkg wonton wrappers
1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese (See? It's practically diet food!)
1 can crabmeat, DRAINED
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
Seasoned salt
Garlic powder
Onion powder


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix cream cheese, crabmeat, green onions, and seasonings (to taste) in a small bowl.

3. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Put wonton wrappers in muffin depressions so that they form a little cup.

4. Place a heaping spoonful of crab mixture into each cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Edges of the cups should be light brown in color.

(5. Say "you're welcome" to your thighs, which should be thanking you by now.)
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White Trash Din-Din

Before we get started, let me just throw this out there- you may NOT pass judgement on me based on what follows. This was (is?) one of my favorite things to chow down on when I was but a wee lass. Now, I haven't yet worked up the cojones to try it out on my husband yet, but it is GOOOOOD.


Hot dog weiners, sliced into 1/4 inch sections
Diced onion
Spaghetti sauce


1. You haven't judged me yet, right?

2. Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain, and set aside. Sautee onion in a smidge of oil until starting to lose crunchiness. Add hot dog pieces. Stir around until onion is done.

3. Pour in spaghetti sauce and continue to stir until sauce is hot. Combine all ingredients.
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Chicken Legs

This recipe is quick & easy, down & dirty. It's a good recipe for those "Ugh, after a day like this I have to cook dinner?!" days.


Chicken legs
Melted butter or olive oil
Seasoning of choice


1. Rub your choice of "grease" all over the chicken legs.

2. Sprinkle liberally with seasoning.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, turning once. (Check temperature for doneness.)

4. Chow down, baby!
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Coconut Macaroons

I made these for my grandfather, who is a coconut fiend. He liked them a lot. I had to add a couple extra spoonfuls of flour. Be aware that this makes a very "wet" dough and it's impossible to mix and shape them without getting ooey-gooeys all in between your fingers and anything else that touches them. They bake up nicely though.


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups flaked coconut (ie one regular package)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand all the way!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut and salt. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla using your hands until well blended. Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about golf ball size.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted.
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Herb-roasted Onions

This is a very tasty side dish by Barefoot Contessa. I used two onions and threw in some halved new potatoes. I had been concerned about the Dijon, but it wasn't strong at all.


2 red onions
1 yellow onion
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onion in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My VERY OWN RECIPE!!! :) Avocado-Chicken Stir Fry

When DH and I ate at a local Chinese restaurant recently, I decided to find the weirdest thing on the menu and try it. I wound up with a chicken stir-fry dish that had avocado in it. It was sooo good! I created my own stir fry recipe from the bottom up inspired by that dish. I submitted the recipe to, so hopefully you can see it there soon!

Make sure your avocado isn't super ripe or it will turn to mush in the cooking process.

Avocado-Chicken Stir Fry

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large, ripe but firm avocados cut into large chunks
2 cups snow peas
2 cups cremini mushrooms, destemmed and sliced thinly
4 bunches green onions, cut into 1 inch sections

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 clove of garlic, minced

1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Coat the bottom of a wok with vegetable oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.

3. Stir-fry chicken until cooked through. Remove and set aside. Add snow peas and cook for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and bell pepper.  Cook until mushrooms are done and snow peas are crisp-tender.

4. Pour off excess oil and liquid. Return chicken to wok. Add sauce, green onions, and avocado chunks. Cook 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring gently. Serve over rice.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sauteed Mushrooms

These turned out soooo good! I'm always looking for tasty veggie sides!! I kept cooking spray close by in case the mushrooms started looking dry.

10 oz bag sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 shallot, thinly diced
Olive oil to cover pan
1/2 tbsp butter
Seasoned salt
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder

1. Sautee mushrooms in oil over medium to medium high heat. Add shallot and butter during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Season with seasoned salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder to taste.

Pretty easy huh?
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

So-good stuffed chicken

I have always wanted to try baking a stuffed chicken breast and today I put on my creative hat and gave it a go. The results were outstanding!! Next time, I want to add some thinly sliced green onions.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1/2 package light cream cheese
5 canadian bacon medalions, thinly sliced
1 minced garlic clove
Shredded parmesan
Seasoned salt
Crushed red pepper
Onion powder

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Mix all filling ingredients. Stuff into chicken breasts and secure with toothpicks. Sear on stovetop over medium-high heat in a little bit of olive oil on both sides, 2 minutes each.

3. Move pan to oven and bake 25 minutes or until done.
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Maple Salmon

Mmmmm!!! This recipe was absolutely delicious! It's maple salmon from Allrecipes. We actually ended up doubling the marinade recipe, then making another double batch to baste with halfway through baking. We served it with garlic mashed potatoes.

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon fillet

1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.

2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Ike and Ever After

Okay, the rest of these pictures are backwards. The first set is post-renovation, the middle set is the damage, and the first set is the house before we bought it.

This is over the front of the house/entryway.

This room bore the brunt of the damage. It was DH's office.

These two are from the house before we bought it. The countertops are pea green and cream flecked and the tile, despite what you see in pictures, is pink, pink pink.

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