Sunday, February 28, 2010

Farfalle with Turkey Sausage

Who doesn't love Giada De Laurentiis? One of the first presents Wes ever bought me was a dvd of Giada's cooking show - Everyday Italian because I could watch her on Food Network for hours on end. Her recipes are generally very easy and always very good. Now if only I believed she actually ate all of that delicious pasta she makes...

Some side notes - I used one whole package of Jenny O's sweet Italian sausage, but I have used her hot Italian sausage too, which is excellent for a little kick. Since they were out of hot sausage at the grocery store, I added a little red pepper when seasoning the meat. Additionally, the recipe says that the peas need to be slightly defrosted - well, I didn't do that and it turned out fine. Enjoy! - Allison Y.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 pound ground turkey sausage (removed from casing), sea salt and freshly ground black papper, 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms (coarsely chopped), 1 10 oz. package frozen peas (defrosted slightly), 1 pound dried farfalle pasta, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. In a large saute pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Add turkey and saute breaking any large lumps until the meat is no longer pink. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and heat. Add chopped mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the liquid from the
mushrooms has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and saute for 4 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the pot of water has come to a boil, add pasta and cook to package directions. Drain in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot and add the meat mixture. Combine thoroughly and gently cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Drizzle
in remaining olive oil. If the mixture is dry, add more olive oil! Chances are that you will need to. Check the seasoning. Turn off the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir well and serve in a large bowl.

Quick Strawberry Chicken Salad for 2

I whipped this salad up in less than 20 minutes for Louann and she loved it! I had dinner at Rachel's house last week and she introduced me to the greatness of rotisserie chicken! A quick-fix meal staple.

1 rotisserie chicken
1 bag lettuce - use your favorite kind
1 small container of strawberries, sliced with egg slicer (neat trick!)
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 bottle of Fat free or Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Peel skin back and cut the breasts off of the chicken. Slice into bite-sized pieces. Distribute lettuce leaves onto two plates. Top with cubes of mozzarella, sliced strawberries and chicken. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette on top. I served with a slice of Take-n-Bake french baguette. You can find these in the bread section at Ukrops and Kroger and they're super cheap and take about 10-12 minutes to bake.

Note: We agreed that it needs pine nuts for some crunch, and maybe even a tiny bit of finely diced red onion.

Enjoy xoxo,
Alison J.

Mom's Souper Bowl Chili

This is a great dish for company because it makes a large potful. It's a big hit with the guys too!

2 lbs. ground beef

2 or 3 links hot Italian Sausage - we use Johnsonville
2 c. diced onions
2 (15 1/2 oz.) black beans
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can kidney or pinto beans
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can white shoepeg corn, drained
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can of Rotel
2 (4 1/2 oz.) cans diced green chilies
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. ranch salad dressing mix

Garnish with: sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef, sausage and onions in a large pot. Drain off the excess fat. Add cans of beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilies, taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix. Simmer on low for an hour. This works well in the crockpot too. You can cook it slow and low for 6 to 8 hours. Ladle in a bowl and top with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips.


Alison J.

Mom's Honey Bun Cake

This cake stays great for days and is delicious with coffee. Great excuse to eat cake for breakfast!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9"x13" pan.

Mix the following:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (we use Duncan Hines Butter Recipe)
8 oz. sour cream
2/3 c. Wesson oil
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs

Pour into pan. Mix together the following with a fork until blended:
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
4 tsp. cinnamon

Sprinkle this mixture over the batter. Take a knife and make circular swirls going down the cake. (Mom does it in 3 rows) - only going about halfway down into the batter.

Bake 350 for 45 min. to an hour. Check at 45 min. to see if it's done - it will depend on your oven. Let the cake cool. Combine the following with a fork and drizzle across the cake with a spoon.

1 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla flavoring
2 1/2 - 3 tbsp. milk

Note: Mom doubles the icing recipe! You can also tint it with food coloring. I tinted it orange for a Clemson tailgate last season.

Alison J.

Sinfully Delicious French Toast

Good morning 3 Gals and a Kitchen followers. I decided to create a recipe for those of you who love french toast, but are tired of the same old french toast recipe. This is a sinfully delightful recipe and I managed to create it and prepare it in under 30 minutes. The majority of the ingredients you will have in your pantry already or in your stocked bar.

Sinfully Delicious French Toast

1 cup milk (I used skim milk)
4 eggs
1 pinch of salt
½ t ground cinnamon
1 t white sugar
1 T butter
12 slices of bread (or french bread for thicker slices)
Golden Raisins
Confectioner Sugar

Sinful Topping
2 T rum
2 T brown sugar
2 T butter (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
1 T Maple Syrup

Heat 1 T of butter in a non-stick skillet and set on medium-high heat.
Add milk, eggs, salt, ground cinnamon, white sugar into a mixing bowl and beat. Soak each slice of bread and then lay each bread slice onto a non-stick skillet (do not overlap).
Cook each slice of bread until golden brown, and then turn them gently so they do not break apart. You may have to cook them in batches if you do not have a large enough skillet or griddle.
Meanwhile, heat 2 T butter in a small non-stick skillet and set on medium-high heat. Add rum, brown sugar, and maple syrup and bring to a boil (bubbling gently). Stir occasionally as it heats up.
Serve immediately and use the sinful topping instead of maple syrup. Please note that a little bit goes a long way.
Top with golden raisins and sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top of the french toast.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peach French Toast Bake

I made this recipe a few years ago and remembered loving it. Last night, our friends Meredith and John made the hike out to the boonies to visit Wes and me. Wanting to make something special for breakfast, I remembered this recipe being very easy. The best part is that Ellie Krieger's claim to fame is her ability to create delicious but HEALTHY dishes - how often do those two things go hand and hand? Certainly not often enough!

This dish sits in the fridge over night, and the bread soaks up the sweetened egg mixture. I ventured away from Ellie's recipe a little bit using large slices of whole wheat bread since I wasn't able to find the right kind of french bread at the grocery store. I'm thinking that the french bread is a little bit thicker than regular whole wheat, so each piece soaks up a little bit more of the liquid. I was worried it would end up soupy, but it turned out just fine! Next time, I will let the bread overlap a little bit so that I can fit a few extra pieces in the casserole dish.

The recipe I'm posting below includes some changes to the original. If you want the original recipe, search "Peach French Toast Bake" on Food Network's site.

Ingredients: cooking spray, 6 large/thick slices of whole wheat bread, 4 whole eggs, 4 egg whites, 1 cup low fat milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 large bag of frozen peaches (enough to completely cover the top of a large baking dish), 1/2 lemon, juiced (approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons), 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange the bread slices in the baking pan. It's okay if they overlap a little. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. In a medium bowl, toss peaches with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Scatter the peach slices evenly on top of the bread. Combine the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 45 - 50 minutes. Serve this with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and a little bit of maple syrup. - Enjoy! - Allison Y.

Turkish Fiery Omelet

Turkish Fiery Omelet

Serves 2 people

3 eggs
1/4 c chopped onions
1 c chopped tomatoes
1 chopped jalapeno
2 cups of fresh spinach (will equal about 1 c once it is cooked)
1/2 c feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Roasted Red Pepper & Olives for garnish

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushrooms & chopped onions and cook until softened, then add chopped tomatoes, & diced jalapenos. Reduce heat to medium. Add spinach and let it cooked down. Once it has cooked down add feta cheese and let it melt. Meanwhile, whisk 3 eggs until well blended. Spray 10-inch non-stick skillet with non-stick cooking spray, add 3 eggs to the skillet. Let the uncooked egg mixture run onto the empty portion of the pan and cook until omelet is moist but fully cooked, about 3 minutes. Pour the ingredients from the first skillet over half of the omelet. Using a flat spatula, carefully fold the untopped half over the filling. Let it cook for another minute. Using the spatula slide the omelet onto your cutting board. While you let it stand for a minute or two, chop olives & roast red pepper to garnish the top of the omelet. Add a little bit more feta cheese to the top of your omelet. Cut the omelet in half and serve immediately. You made serve with hot sauce for more spice.

**I would not recommend salting the omelet since the feta cheese has a strong salty flavor already**

If you need an additional pick me up in the early mornings, then I would recommend serving this with Turkish Coffee.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My "Famous" 3-Cheese Spaghetti

Back in the day, my mom used to make a 3-Cheese spaghetti that Alison Joyce and I would die over. When I first started cooking in my post-college days, that was the first dish I had to try on my own! All of my mom's best recipes are the ones she knows by heart - a pinch of this, a pour of that - so it was up to me to come up with an actual recipe. Over the past couple of years, this spaghetti has become something I'm famous for among friends and family. When I called Wes to tell him I was making my spaghetti tonight, he responded with "You must really love me!" here it is! I hope you enjoy!
Posted with love by Allison Y.

Ingredients: 1 lb. angel hair spaghetti noodles, 1 T extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 - 3 cloves garlic (chopped), 1 lb. ground beef (or turkey if you prefer), 1 medium-sized jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce,
1 - 4.5 oz. jar sliced mushrooms (drained), 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper to taste


1. Saute chopped onions and garlic over medium heat until tender (approx. 3 - 5 minutes). Add ground beef and cook until there is no pink left in the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Pour the jar of spaghetti sauce over the meat. Add mushrooms and stir until fully combined. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta to package directions. Drain pasta and dump it into a large casserole dish.
4. Toss the cheddar cheese in with the noodles.

5. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the top.
6. Pour spaghetti sauce/meat mixture over top of the noodles. Use a fork or spoon to make sure the sauce seeps throughout the noodles.
7. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese to cover the top of the dish.
8. Place the casserole dish into an unheated oven. Turn the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

*The sauce can be changed to meet your tastes. If you don't like mushrooms, don't use them. If you like a chunkier sauce, add peppers to the onions and garlic. You might also want to try using hot Italian sausage rather than ground turkey or beef. I've used the hot sausage before, and it is really good. Just be sure your group can handle spicy. And - don't be afraid to use a lot of cheese - it's the best part!

Penne with Homemade Vodka Sauce

Yummy…this was the perfect meal to cook up on such a cold and rainy day. I made this meal 30 minutes before my dodgeball game tonight. I reduced some of the calories from this meal by using low fat/reduced fat ingredients. The hardest part about this recipe was peeling and trimming the pearl onions.

Penne with Homemade Vodka Sauce
• 1 bag fresh red or white pearl onions
• 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 2 tablespoons butter (I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter)
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
• Salt and pepper
• 1/2 cup vodka
• 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, drained
• 1 cup cream (reduced fat)
• 1 box penne rigate (whole wheat)
• 1/4 cup tarragon, chopped
• 1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn
• Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Add pearl onions and boil 3 minutes. Drain, cool and trim root ends. Pop onions out of the skins.
Place a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta.
Heat a deep saucepan or skillet over medium heat with EVOO and butter. Add onions and garlic to skillet, season with salt and pepper. Add vodka and reduce a minute or 2. Add tomatoes and stir. Heat through then add cream and let reduce at a low, bubbling simmer while pasta cooks.
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente and drain.
Add herbs to pasta sauce and stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Add pasta to sauce and toss 1 minute to combine. Serve pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.

Recipe Adapted from Rachael Ray Show

Ham Biscuits with Cracked Pepper Honey

Clemson Valentine's Day Brunch! Recipe courtesy of Southern Living Magazine

24 bite-sized tea biscuits (Recommended brand: Mary B's Frozen Tea Biscuits)
1 lb. deli sliced Virginia ham
1/2 c. honey
2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 drops of hot sauce ( I add a few more than the recipe calls for!)

Bake tea biscuits according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine honey, ground black pepper, and hot sauce with a whisk. When biscuits come out of the oven, stuff them with sliced ham and top with a heavy drizzle of Cracked Pepper Honey. Serve biscuits with honey on the side, because you know you'll want to add more!

Enjoy! xoxo,

Alison J.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Left over chicken, veggies, potatoes, and juice from the Whole Chicken and Potatoes recipe can be used to make chicken noodle soup.


Homemade Chicken Soup
Compliments of Crystal Miller

  • 1 whole chicken or leg and thigh combination or leftover chicken and bones from last night’s chicken dinner :) If using a whole chicken you could get more soup stock and have extra dinners for the freezer
  • 1 onion
  • Add more carrots and celery, if desired
  • Salt
  • Seasoning salt
  • Poultry seasonings
  • Garlic
  • Noodles, egg or fettuccini (I think bow tie noodles are pretty so I used them in the soup)
Put chicken or pieces into soup pot. Cover well with water. Add onion and salt (I use about 1 T. salt for 12 cups of water). Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken falls off the bone, about 2 to 3 hours. I strain out the chicken by pouring the soup into a colander that I set inside of a large pan. I pour the broth back into my soup pot and let the chicken cool to the point I can take the meat off the bone. While the chicken is cooling I add the carrots to the simmering broth. I also put in about 1-teaspoon poultry seasoning and a little bit of seasoning salt. When I finish deboning the cooled chicken I put the meat into my pot. I then add noodles and cook for about 10 minutes or (amount varies, I just put in probably 4 or 5 cups of dry noodles for the 12 cups of water). I then adjust my seasonings according to taste and enjoy with fresh homemade bread. This soup freezes well. The noodles will sometimes fall apart when it has been defrosted and heated up. We are not picky about that, but if you wanted intact noodles you could freeze everything but the noodles and add that after it has defrosted.

Alison's Eezee Peezee Baked Zeetee

This was a quick fix meal for mom and dad as a thank you for this weekend. It's a family favorite. Lindsey, this one's for you, sista!

xoxo - Alison

extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
2-3 links of Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage
1 large sweet onion
1 small can of sliced mushrooms (or small pkg. of fresh is better)
Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt
1 jar of Paul Newman's Sockarooni (my favorite jar sauce)
1 c. sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
3 c. dry penne pasta

In large pot, saute chopped onions in a little olive oil. As the onions begin to turn golden, add sliced mushrooms and continue cooking until they become tender. Sprinkle onions and mushrooms with Jane's Crazy Salt and pepper to taste. Then add your ground beef and Italian sausage to the pot and cook on medium high until all the pink disappears. Spoon off the grease and check meat for seasoning. If needed, add more Crazy Salt and pepper. Add jar of Sockarooni and stir.

In the meantime, boil your 3 cups of penne pasta according to package directions. Drain, and combine with meat mixture and 1 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese.

Grease a 9x13 dish and pour in the deliciousness. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Drizzle with olive oil and pop into a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whole Chicken and Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

This recipe is really quick an easy. After such a long fun filled weekend I needed something I could prepare in about 30 minutes before getting for work this morning. I was half awake while preparing this recipe this morning and thought it would take longer than anticipated, but the longest part was removing the skin off of the chicken. I was a little lazy and left the skin on the wings and plus wanted a little fatty deliciousness in my dinner. I love pita bread so I decided to serve the completed meal on top of a piece of pita. Since we are all busy and even us working women don’t have time to make a new meal every night I try to make meals that are great reheated or can be used as a base to make another recipe. Below the Whole Chicken and Potatoes recipe you will see a recipe for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. This is a wonderful way to use your leftovers to make something new and fresh that everyone will love the next day. I will post a picture of the soup tomorrow once I have prepared it :)

Whole Chicken and Potatoes (Crock Pot Recipe)

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 stalks celery (more if desired)
  • 1 baking potato (chopped into pieces-circle or cubed)
  • 8 oz of baby carrots chopped (more if desired)
  • Pita bread 
  1. Remove skin from chicken and empty inner cavity of contents within. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and place inside the slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the chicken broth, soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, and minced garlic.
  3. Pour mixture over chicken, and cover.
  4. Chop potatoes, carrots, and celery and place around the chicken.Cook chicken on low setting for 8 hours, or 4 hours on high setting.
  5. Place pita down on your plate, add the chicken, veggies, potatoes, and juice on top of the pita bread.

Left over chicken, veggies, potatoes, and juice can be used to make chicken noodle soup.

Homemade Chicken Soup
Recipe compliments of Crystal Miller

  • 1 whole chicken or leg and thigh combination or leftover chicken and bones from last night’s chicken dinner :) If using a whole chicken you could get more soup stock and have extra dinners for the freezer
  • 1 onion
  • Add more carrots and celery, if desired
  • Salt
  • Seasoning salt
  • Poultry seasonings
  • Garlic
  • Noodles, egg or fettuccini
Put chicken or pieces into soup pot. Cover well with water. Add onion and salt (I use about 1 T. salt for 12 cups of water). Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken falls off the bone, about 2 to 3 hours. I strain out the chicken by pouring the soup into a colander that I set inside of a large pan. I pour the broth back into my soup pot and let the chicken cool to the point I can take the meat off the bone. While the chicken is cooling I add the carrots to the simmering broth. I also put in about 1-teaspoon poultry seasoning and a little bit of seasoning salt. When I finish deboning the cooled chicken I put the meat into my pot. I then add noodles and cook for about 10 minutes or (amount varies, I just put in probably 4 or 5 cups of dry noodles for the 12 cups of water). I then adjust my seasonings according to taste and enjoy with fresh homemade bread. This soup freezes well. The noodles will sometimes fall apart when it has been defrosted and heated up. We are not picky about that, but if you wanted intact noodles you could freeze everything but the noodles and add that after it has defrosted.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Alison's Engagement Party Menu

We enjoyed a fun filled evening at Alison's and her man's engagement party last night. The recipes are below!

We can't take credit for this delicious brisket, it came from our favorite BBQ joint - Extra Billy's!

Sausage Balls - A party staple!

3 c. Bisquick
1 lb. uncooked pork sausage
4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (16 oz.)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. milk

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Stir together all ingredients. Shape into 1-inch balls. Bake 20-25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Place on rack for cooling.

Fruit, Cheese and Cracker Tray
My future grandmother-in-law, Sue plated this one up! It's all about presentation, right?!

Butter Cookies with Butter Cream Icing and White Chocolate - My future sister-in-law, Maddie and I made these together and had a blast!

Butter Cookies

1 c. butter - softened

1 c. sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla

Dash of salt
2 c. flour

Buttercream Frosting

1 1lb. pkg powdered sugar

1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened

3-4 tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring - optional

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, mixing well. Add vanilla and salt, then flour, a little at a time. Batter should be stiff. Add a little more flour if mixture is too soft. Form into a large ball and refrigerate a few hours. (It gets too hard if you refrigerate it overnight). Roll out with rolling pin onto floured surface. Cut into desired shapes.

Place on greased or lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 10-12 minutes (just until the edges turn slightly golden). Let cool & frost. Melt chocolate and pipe onto cookies if desired.

Jann's Chocolate Bar!
Add chocolate and melt away! This was a huge hit with "Maddie and company" :)

Lemon Bars - Recipe courtesy of THE Paula Deen

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

4 eggs
2 c. granulated sugar
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Make the crust: Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling: Mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired when done. (The Pampered Chef powdered sugar duster is awesome for this, or a sifter works well too!)

Sue & Lou's Orange Balls

1 12 oz. pkg vanilla wafers
1/2 c. soft margarine
1 c. chopped pecans (for the party, because it was a "Doug friendly" party!)
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
1 6 oz. can orange juice concentrate, thawed
Flaked coconut

Crush vanilla wafers to make fine crumbs. Add next 4 ingredients and mix well with hands. Form small balls & roll in coconut. Chill for a couple of hours and serve. Also freezes well!

Louann's Chicken Cheeseball - quick, easy and delish

2 blocks cream cheese - make it "skinny" and go for fat free or reduced fat, but she used the good stuff for the party
1 can chicken
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

Combine all ingredients and roll in pecans or parsley. Again, "Doug friendly" menu, so Louann opted for parsley.
Serve with your favorite cracker. We love the pita crisps from Sam's.

Sauerkraut Balls

Our new favorite appy!

2 16 oz. pork sausage
1/2 c. onion
1 lb can sauerkraut, drained (rinsed if you like a little less of the strong taste)
1/4 c. bread crumbs
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. dried parsley
2 tbsp. garlic salt (or a little less)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1000 Island dressing - optional

Combine sausage and onion. Cook and drain. Add sauerkraut and bread crumbs and mix. In another bowl, combine cream cheese and all other ingredients. Add to sausage mix. Shape into balls. Coat in flour and roll in egg/milk mixture. Then roll in bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Optional - serve with 1000 Island dressing!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wahoo Marinade

When Wes goes out fishing, I always have my fingers crossed that he'll bring home a big tuna - mmmm sushi. But, if he brings home a wahoo, I get pretty excited too! I highly recommend serving the wahoo over angel hair pasta. Pour the extra sauce on top and add some grated parmesean. Easy and delicious! -Allison Y.

1/2 cup butter (melted)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 fresh cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh cilantro or parsley
2 tablespoons Cajun seafood seasoning
1 lemon (juice of)
6 wahoo fillets cut 1/2 inch thick

1. Spray grill with nonstick spay. Preheat on high for 10 minutes.
2. Mix first 6 ingredients in a blender (butter, EVOO, garlic, cilantro, seafood seasoning, and lemon juice). Puree into a smooth sauce. Put some sauce aside to use later.
3. Brush both sides of fillets with sauce. Place fillets on grill and cook, turning once or twice. Brush more sauce on as needed.
4. Fish is done when it flakes easily (about 5 minutes)

*Courtesy of Recipe Zaar

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

This is the most amazing recipe I have ever prepared! I've only made it once, and I pretty much used "fatten your thighs" ingredients, but Esra tried it recently with the low fat/low calorie milk, cheese, etc., and she said it still turned out yummy. I didn't get a picture, but I will promise to post one the next time I make it. The ingredients are expensive, so save it for a special night. Enjoy! -Allison

Tip - Use prep cups and measure everything out before you start cooking. You have to multi-task - so this will help you stay on track!

Credit for this recipe goes to Jill Jones who passed it along to me! Love you Jilly-O!

Part 1: Cheesy Grits


2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
4 ½ cups water
4 ½ cups milk
4 T butter
½ tsp. hot sauce
2 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 block sharp white cheddar, grated

Bring 2 T butter, milk, salt, hot sauce, garlic, and 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes until thickened. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 T butter until melted.

Part 2: Shrimp


2 lb. unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
2 T all-purpose flour
5 bacon slices, chopped
1 8 oz. package sliced fresh mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tsp. hot sauce
½ tsp. salt

1. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Toss shrimp with flour until lightly coated, shaking to remove excess.
2. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in the skillet.
3. Saute mushrooms in hot drippings 4 minutes or just until mushrooms begin to release their liquid. Add shrimp, and sauté 3 to 3 ½ minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add garlic, and sauté one minute (do not brown garlic). Add lemon juice, green onions, hot sauce, and salt. Serve immediately over creamy cheddar grits. Sprinkle with bacon.

Roasted Red Pepper Mac n Cheese

The time has come to load up on some carbs for my dodgeball game tonight. I know, I know, eating carbs right before you go play sports is not exactly what they meant by loading up on carbs.

Allison sent me a version of this recipe to try and I decided to add ground beef, garlic, and roasted red pepper to this recipe. She has made this without eggs and said it turned out wonderful. The next time I make this recipe I will add fresh spinach, try shredded chicken, and top it with some feta cheese to give it that European flare that I have grown to love.


 Roasted Red Pepper Mac n Cheese

  • 2 cups uncooked penne (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces (I used I Can’t Believe It’s not butter)
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 roasted red pepper (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese. 
  1. Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
  3. In a pan, cook the ground beef. Do not overcook since it will be in the slow cooker. Drain.
  4. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and ground beef and stir again.
  5. Add the diced roasted red pepper and the garlic. Stir again.
  6. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Mini Caprese Skewers

Confession...i love ANYTHING mini!

I've seen many different variations of this recipe, but I think this one may be my favorite. I made these last year for a valentine's day appy and they were to-die-for!



  • 1 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into about 1 inch bite-sized cubes
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
Skewer your tomato, a basil leaf & a mozzarella cube & dunk in balsamic vinaigrette. That's it!

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

You will soon realize that I love Paula Dean's southern cookin'.  I have made this recipe with reduced fat milk, cream cheese, and whip cream and it turned out very well, but know when you use the fatty ingredients it turns out that much better.  We definitely finished this tasty dessert within a couple days.


Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream


  1. Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
  2. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
  3. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.
  4. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
  6. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Super Bowl Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen - bless her heart!

I tested this app recipe on the guys last year for our Super Bowl party.  Not sure which was better...these delicious bites or the Steelers win?!


  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
  • 1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Christmas Party Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

a tip of the hat to Ina Garten!

I've been making her delicious lasagna for the past few years and it's quickly becoming a family fave.

The rosemary sprigs are simply garnish and aren't in the recipe

bon appetit y'all!

  • Kosher salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup freshly ground Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.

For the white sauce, bring the milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture all at once. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.

Separate the mushroom stems from the caps and discard the stems. Slice the caps 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally to make sure the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all the mushrooms aside.

To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

I found this recipe on the Rachael Ray website and had to give it a try. It was extremely easy to make and many of the ingredients I already had in my kitchen.

The one thing you will notice when I post recipes is that in parenthesis I will write if I strayed from the original recipe at all. I tend to make my recipes a little more figure friendly to help eliminate the hours afterwards that I need to spend on the treadmill.


Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
3 stalks celery, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, grated
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons butter (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
4 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (i used fat free and only used 1 can)
1/4 cup hot sauce (or more for more kick!) (I used Frank's hot sauce)
17 ounces boxed cornbread mix (like 2 boxes of Jiffy mix)
2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
2 eggs
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used reduced fat)

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped chicken chunks and sauté them on both sides until golden brown. Remove chicken chunks from skillet and reserve on a plate.
3.Add another 2 tablespoons of EVOO, the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 5-6 minutes.
4.While the veggies are cooking start the sauce: In a medium-size sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat then stir in the flour and cook until light brown, about 1 minute. Whisk the chicken stock and hot sauce into the butter/flour mixture and bring it to a boil. Simmer the gravy until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
5.Return the reserved chicken chunks to the skillet with the cooked vegetables and add the gravy, stirring to combine. Transfer everything to a 9x11" casserole dish and set aside while you prepare the topping.
6.In a medium-size mixing bowl, prepare the cornbread according to package directions. Stir the blue cheese crumbles into the cornbread mixture and drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the top of the casserole, covering it completely.
7.Bake the pot pie until the cornbread is baked through and the filling is hot, 20-30 minutes.