Thursday, December 22, 2011

Molly's Slow Cooker Chicken

I have been trying hard to keep our freezer stocked with pre-assembled meals that are easy to make. I have decided I am not a huge fan of including vegetables in with my meat when I use the slow cooker because they end up all tasting the same... so I have been focusing on finding a sauce/marinade for the meat and then "day of" making rice or potatoes along with a vegetable to go with it. This is one of the many meals that is part of my freezer collection, and since Andrew has requested that I make it again... I figured I should share it!

Molly's Slow Cooker Chicken
  • (2-3) Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce


  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and tomato sauce. Pour sauce over chicken.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low heat 8 hours or High Heat 4 hours. (I like to do high heat for 4 hours)

** To do the "freezer method" I put the chicken breasts & sauce in a foodsaver bag (or ziploc bag) and froze. The night before I was going to make this I took it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge. Place in slow cooker and follow instructions above #2.

Beef Stroganoff - My Fav

My mom used to make this all the time when I was growing up and it was an absolute favorite of mine! I always asked for her to make it on my birthday and to this day is still one of my favorite meals! Enjoy!

Beef Stroganoff
1 1/2Ibs Beef Sirloin Tips (I buy steak and cut it up :-) )
1/4c. Flour
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 Medium Sweet Onion Chopped
1 1/2 c beef broth
8oz Fresh Mushrooms
1tsp Worcestershire
3 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 1/2 c sour cream
egg noodles

Melt Butter in large saucepan over med heat. In large bowl coat beef with flour, salt and pepper. Add coated beef & chopped onion to saucepan. Let cook stirring occasionally until beef is cooked. Add remaining ingredients except sour cream and egg noodles. Stir and let simmer on low heat 1 hour. Stir in sour cream about 5 minutes before serving. Serve over egg noodles.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas- This One is FINALLY a "Keeper"!

I can't tell you how many different chicken enchilada recipes I have tried! I LOVE mexican food.. I could eat chips, salsa, cheese dip, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas etc every night of the week and be completely fine with it... so the fact I haven't been able to find a good chicken enchilada recipe has been a little frustrating! Andrew just says to make the Old El Paso kind out of the box but I just can't do that!

SO I FINALLY FOUND A KEEPER! When the hubs says "this is good!" that means it goes in the recipe box! Did I mention it was super easy also??

Drum Roll Please......

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans enchilada sauce (I used Harris Teeter brand)
kosher salt
ground black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
corn tortillas (whatever size you want)
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add the minced garlic to enchilada sauce in a deep skillet and heat to boiling. Generously sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper over the chicken breasts and then nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce, set aside and let both the chicken and the sauce cool.

Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts. Transfer the shredded chicken to a large bowl. Add a quarter of the enchilada sauce from the pan, 1/2 cup each of the Monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses and the 1/2 cup of cilantro to the shredded chicken. Stir to combine.

Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds until pliable and warm. Using cooking spray (if desired), oil a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture along the center of the tortilla. Gently, but firmly, roll the tortilla around the filling and place into the baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray (or brush lightly with olive oil). This will help the tortillas turn golden in the oven and will also help keep them from cracking. Place baking dish in the oven, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until the tortillas begin to turn golden.

Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle remaining cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro. Lightly cover baking dish with aluminum foil and place into the oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil after 20 minutes and bake, uncovered, for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

Remove form the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

I eat mine with a ton of light daisy sour cream... you should too!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie & Pumpkin Dump Cake!

For Thanksgiving this year I told my mom I would bring the dessert because I had a few recipes I wanted to "test" on them... I brought the fabulous Kahlua Cake that Amy shared at the recipe part and everyone loved it! Here are the two other recipes I brought that were delish! See comments after both recipes for suggestions for next time I make these.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

  • (1) 29 oz can pumpkin
  • (1) C Sugar
  • (3) eggs
  • (1) can evaporated milk
  • (4) tsp pumpkin pie spices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cubes melted butter (3/4) cup

Combine pumpkin, sugar, evap milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spices & salt in mixing bowl. Beat well. Pour into greased & floured 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Pour melted butter over top of cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. (I had to keep checking mine... it took mine 70 minutes to be done)

*My Comments: This was SO GOOD, it was the perfect mixture of pumpkin and yellow cake! My dad doesn't even like pumpkin and he devoured this! It is especially tasty with a little whipped cream on top! When I make this again... I am thinking about using the yellow cake mix/butter as the "crust" and putting it on the bottom. If I do this, I will probably put the boxed mix on the bottom... I would mix the cake mix, butter and ADD one egg to the recipe and then spread over bottom of 9 x 13 pan, put the pumpkin mixture on top and then bake... if anyone does this before me let me know how it turns out!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

  • (3/4) Cup dark, semisweet chocolate morsels
  • (2) Cups Heavy Cream, Divided
  • (1 1/4) Cups Salted Pretzels, finely crushed
  • (3/4) Cup firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar, divided
  • (6) Tbsp. butter, melted
  • (1/2) Cup Cream Cheese, softened
  • (1/3) Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Shavings
  1. Microwave chocolate morsels and 1 cup of heavy cream on high for 60 seconds or until chocolate melts; stir until smooth. Chill for 2 hours.
  2. Combine pretzels, 1/4 cup brown sugar and butter. Press into a 9-inch pie plate. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
  3. Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup brown sugar and peanut butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.
  4. Meanwhile beat 1 cup heavy cream and gradually add in remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into prepared pie crust; cover & chill 1 hour.
  5. Whip chocolate cream at medium speed with mixture or until soft peaks form. Spread over pie and garnish with chocolate shavings. Chill 3 hours.
My Comments: Perfect balance between sweet & salty! Who doesn't love pretzels, chocolate and peanut butter!! The only thing I would do differently is DOUBLE the "Chocolate Layer" of this recipe... being the chocolate lover that I am, it just wasn't enough! If you decide to do this to just use the entire bag of chocolate chips and make sure you get a large container of heavy cream (enough for 3 cups).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stuffed Chicken in Puff Pastry -YUM

I have loved puff pastry since I was a kid... but I have never actually cooked with it! I decided to give it a try, it can't be that hard right?? After reading a handful of different recipes for chicken in puff pastry here is what I concocted:

Stuffed Chicken in Puff Pastry

  • (2) Chicken Breasts
  • (1) Large Sheet of Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm)
  • (4) oz Cream Cheese
  • (4) Slices Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
  • Handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley Chopped
  • (3) Green Onions Chopped
  • (1) Egg (beaten)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  1. Cook Bacon, let cool and crumble. Place in small mixing bowl
  2. Chop Green Onion and Parsley and place in bowl with bacon.
  3. Soften cream cheese and add to bowl with bacon, onion and parsley. Add Red Pepper Flakes, Black Pepper and Garlic Salt all to taste. Mix ingredients well.
  4. Dry chicken breasts as best you can and cut a slit in each one to insert the cream cheese mixture. (I cut the slit right down the top/center of the breast)
  5. Stuff Cream Cheese Mixture Evenly between breasts.
  6. Puff Pastry: make sure puff pastry is no longer frozen (takes about 40 min to thaw from freezer). FLOUR THE SURFACE you will be using to work with puff pastry (I learned the hard way that wax-paper is an adhesive to puff pastry!!) Roll out the puff pastry sheet and cut in half. (should be a good size to wrap the chicken breasts in)
  7. Place (1) piece of chicken in the middle of one of the halves of puff pastry. Wrap the puff pastry around the chicken, sealing the edges with the beaten egg. Once chicken is sealed in puff pastry coat the top of the pastry with egg. (this helps to brown it).
  8. Wrap remaining breast in puff pastry repeating step 7.
  9. On a foil covered baking sheet cook chicken in puff pastry for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

I forgot to take a photo before I dove into it... so here was a "after" pic

Apple Cake- Perfect for Fall!

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try because Andrew loves apples... this is definitely a "keeper." =)

Apple Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch pieces

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan. Dust the pan with flour, or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with the buttermilk in two additions and mixing just until blended (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour). Stir in the chopped apples by hand with rubber scraper.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, until it is golden and toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Frost the top of the cooled cake with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows). Cut the cake into squares and serve it directly from the pan.

Store in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 3 days. Bring cake up to room temperature before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz cream cheese (softened)

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

~Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla ‘til light and fluffy. Gradually add powd. sugar and beat ‘til smooth. Ice “cooled” cake.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kahlua Cake!

I had a recipe exchange last weekend with some girlfriends and WOW... there was some amazing food! I have been talking non-stop about a cake Amy Herring brought to share with us and many people have requested the recipe! Here it is!
Thanks for sharing Amy!!

Kahlua Cake
Shared by Amy Herring

1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1 vanilla pudding
12 oz chocolate chips
1/2 c. kahlua
1 pint sour cream

Mix all ingredients. Cook in a bundt pan @ 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (until clean with toothpick)
Sprinkle powdered sugar on top if desired once cool.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marinated & Baked Pork Chops

This is ANOTHER super easy recipe! Harris Teeter had Value Packs of Bone-In Pork Chops on sale... now what are Andrew & I going to do with (8) Pork Chops??? Prep & Vacuum-pack them with this new fabulous & easy recipe!

Marinated & Baked Pork Chops

*I quadrupled the below ingredients for my 8 pork chops and individually packed them in pairs for future dinners*
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (honestly- I was out of soy so I used Teriyaki and they turned out great)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Bone-In pork chops, trimmed

Directions (if you are going to eat them now)

  1. In a bowl, thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup.
  2. Place pork chops in a medium baking dish, and spread with the sauce.
  3. Bake pork chops 30 minutes in the 350 degree preheated oven. Turn chops and continue baking 15 minutes or until done. * I put the broiler on for about 4 minutes once they were done to thicken the glaze a bit

Directions (if you are going freeze them and eat them later)

  1. In a bowl, thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup.
  2. Divide Pork Chops however you wish between freezer bags. (I put (2) chops in each bag) Before I put meat in freezer bags I wrote the following directions on each one: 350 degrees 30min/flip/15min (so I wouldn't forget how long to cook them)
  3. Pour the sauce over the pork chops, evenly distributing between bags. Close bags, removing air (or vacuum pack them) and coat chops well with sauce.
  4. Place in freezer.
  5. When you are ready to enjoy these for a meal, take them out of the freezer and place them in fridge overnight to defrost. Dump defrosted chops & sauce in prepared baking dish. Bake pork chops 30 minutes in the 350 degree preheated oven. Turn chops and continue baking 15 minutes or until done. * I put the broiler on for about 4 minutes once they were done to thicken the glaze a bit


Easy Steak in the CrockPot!

Harris Teeter had New York Strips on sale a couple weeks ago so I bought a pack and prepped them and then vacuum-packed them to save for a rainy day, or should I say... a day that I was working late and didn't feel like cooking! This recipe is SUPER easy and you can use it on any type of beef/steak.... ENJOY!

A-1 and Dijon Steak in the CrockPot

  • Steak (I used (2) New York Strips)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons A-1
  • 1/4 c. white wine (I used red wine bc thats what was opened!)
Combine Dijon Mustard & A-1 in bowl. Paint mixture onto all sides of each piece of meat.
At this point you can place meat in crockpot and add 1/4 c. wine and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours OR put the sauce-covered meet in a freezer bag or vacuum pack it, throw it in the freezer and take it out in a couple weeks when you need an easy dinner!

I vacuum-packed mine and when we were ready to eat it I just put it in the fridge the night before to defrost a bit, before work the next morning I threw it in the crockpot with the wine and came home to an amazing smelling house!

*If you use more than 2 steaks I would recommend making MORE of the sauce mixture to coat all sides.

Serve with Potatoes or Rice and Vegetable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Freezer Cooking- Slow Cooker Meals!

**Update 9.2.2012-  Many of the recipes below turned out a bit more "bland" than my husband and I like so at the end of this post I have offered some "additions" to the recipes that you can try if you wish!  Also-- I did a Freezer Cooking #2 post that you should check out that came out better in my opinion and I did a Freezer Cooking #3 "Sauce-A-Palooza"  and a Freezer Cooking #4 "Soups" post also that you may enjoy!     ~ Melissa **

Fall is SUPER BUSY for me at work... and I typically get home late and don't have time to cook (Okay I'll admit it.. I don't FEEL like cooking! ) I LOVE using my crock pot and never thought about pre-assembling meals (until I found PINTEREST) that I could freeze & dump in the crock pot before I head to work in the A.M. There is nothing like coming home to a house that smells like you've been slaving away all day making a gourmet dinner, when in fact the crock pot has done all the work!

Andrew was out of town this weekend so I thought it would be the perfect time to experiment with this whole "Once A Month Freezer Cooking" thing I have read about on After some research, and some inspiration from 's Freezer Cooking poste...I narrowed it down to (5) meals that sounded good (or that I already make in the crock pot on a regular basis) and use them for my 1st experience with Freezer Cooking...

I chose the following:

Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (I make this 3-4 times a winter)
Teriyaki Chicken
Balsamic & Onion Pot Roast
Healthy BBQ Chicken *
from *LinkStephanie's Goulash *adapted from *

I printed all of the recipes and made my grocery list. Most of the main staples I had: basil, thyme, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, brown sugar, white sugar, olive oil, garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, mustard and teriyaki sauce. If you don't have any of these you will need to add to the list below =)

*Please note that all "bags" are 2-4 servings* Adjust ingredients to increase or decrease serving sizes. I figured each of my freezer bags would be dinner plus lunch the next day.

My Grocery List:

Fresh Produce:
(3) Green Peppers
(1) Red Pepper
(1) Zucchini
(1) Red Onion
(1) Bag of Onions (you need approx 8-10 onions)
(1) Bag Potatoes (I bought Red) (You will need approx 14-16)
(1) Large Bag of Whole Carrots (Baby Carrots would work also if you don't feel like chopping- 2 bags of baby carrots would work) I got a bag of whole & a bag of baby.
(1) Bunch of Celery

4.5-5Ibs of Chicken Breast (I bought the HT Value Pack)
3-4Ibs of Beef Stew Meat (It was B1G1 at HT today!)
3Ib Chuck Roast (B1G1 at HT today!)
1-1.5Ibs of Ground Beef

Other Groceries:
(2) 20oz cans of Chunked Pineapple
(2) 15 Oz Cans Tomato Sauce
(2) 6oz Cans Tomato Paste
(1) 28oz Can Diced Tomatoes
(1) pack of v8 juice (I buy the 6 pack of cans)
(1) small box Tapioca (I had no clue where to find this in the store-- It's right above the pudding/jello at HT) =)
(2) Boxes Beef Broth (I buy low sodium)
Steak Rub (I bought grill mates in the spice aisle)
(1) bag egg noodles
(1) Bag Frozen Cut Green Beans (you will need 2 cups)

AND DON'T FORGET TO BUY A BOX OF GALLON FREEZER BAGS! I used 8 for this go around...

Okay... Once you get everything home leave it all out on the counter and admire what you are about to do!

First I labeled all of my Freezer Bags with a permanent marker. I wrote on the bag todays date, the meal name and the instructions for the day I will make it. (some of the meals will need beef broth added, water added, sour cream added etc.. so I made note on the actual bag what I needed to do so I don't forget!) I also notated on my bags if the dish was supposed to be served over rice or egg noodles etc..

Teriyaki Chicken (2 Bags)
Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (2 Bags)
Healthy BBQ Chicken (2 Bags)
Stephanie's Goulash/Beef Stew (2 Bags)
--I made the Balsamic & Onion Pot Roast immediately so I won't include this in the instructions, I will post the recipe at the bottom. =)

Next... I started CHOPPING VEGETABLES! (It's not as bad as it sounds!)
As I chopped I placed the correct amount in each bag. (I started with ALL the onions, then did peppers, then potatoes... (see below for instructions).
I lined up all of my freezer bags across the counter and just dumped the correct amount of veggies for each recipe in the respective bags (see below). I never measure anything so I just guesstimate!

After I had the veggies chopped and distributed I tackled the meat... for this round of freezer cooking I only had to cook the ground beef for the vegetable soup... the chicken & beef stew meat stay raw.

For the ground beef.. take (1) chopped onion and (2) chopped garlic cloves and brown them together. If you are feeling super savy you can let the beef brown while you are chopping the veggies! Let cool, instructions below on how to finish.

For the chicken, I washed & trimmed it and left (4) of the breasts whole (for the teriyaki chicken) and the other (4) I cut in half just because I felt like it (for the healthy bbq chicken).

I trimmed the beef stew meat of any fat and also cut it down into smaller cubes.

After placing the meat in the correct bags I added the spices and remaining ingredients.

Here is how it broke down per bag..

Teriyaki Chicken (2 Bags)
  • Split a large bag of Baby Carrots between the 2 bags
  • Cut Red Onion into Large Chunks and split between the 2 bags
  • (1) 20oz can pineapple in each bag (undrained)
  • (2) Garlic Cloves chopped per bag
  • (2) Chicken Breasts in each bag
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
*Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to mixture. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice.

Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (2 Bags)
  • Chop (1) Onion and Chop (2) Cloves of Garlic- Brown in Pan with the Ground Beef- once cool divide mixture between bags
  • (2) whole carrots chopped per bag
  • (2) celery stalks chopped per bag
  • (3) Red Potatoes chopped per bag
  • (1) can v8 split between bags
  • (1) 28oz can diced tomatoes SPLIT between bags
  • (1) cup frozen green beans in each bag
  • (1/2)TBSP Worcestershire per bag
  • (1/2) cup Beef Broth per bag
  • (1) TBSP Parsley per bag
  • (1) tsp Basil per bag
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme per bag
  • (1/2) tsp salt per bag
  • (1/2) tsp pepper per bag
  • (1) TBSP Sugar per bag
*Place in Crockpot with 1.5 cups of water and 15 oz Beef Broth. Cook on LOW 8 Hours.

Healthy BBQ Chicken (2 Bags) * from *
  • (2) Green Peppers Cut into Slices split between 2 bags
  • (1) Red Pepper Cut into Slices-split between bags
  • (1) Zucchini Chopped and split between bags
  • (3) Onions Chopped and split between bags
  • (6) Red Potatoes Chopped and split between bags (you can also use Sweet Potatoes)
  • (4) Garlic Cloves Chopped & Split Between bags
  • (4) Chicken Breasts Split between bags (I cut each breast in half again)
  • (1/2) TBSP Quick Cooking Tapioca per bag
  • (1) 15 oz can of Tomato Sauce Split Between bags
  • (1) TBSP of Brown Sugar per bag
  • (1) TBSP Worcestershire per bag
  • (1) TBSP Mustard per Bag
  • (1/4) tsp Salt per bag
Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice or Egg Noodles.

Stephanie's Goulash/Beef Stew (2 Bags) *adapted from *
  • (1) Green Pepper Chopped split between bags
  • (1) Chopped Onion per bag
  • (2) Carrots Chopped per bag
  • (2) Chopped Garlic Cloves per bag
  • (3) Ibs Beef Stew Meat Split Between Bags
  • (1) 6oz can Tomato Paste per bag
  • (2) tsp Paprika per bag
  • (1/4) tsp Black Pepper per bag
*Cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW in a slow cooker. Add (1/2) Cup of Sour Cream about 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve over Egg Noodles.

Once ALL INGREDIENTS are in freezer bags push all of the air out of them and seal. Lay bags flat so they freeze flat. Stack in Freezer... once they are frozen you can re-arrange to best suit your freezer space. Take meal out of freezer the night before you want to put it in slow cooker so it thaws a bit.

Here is the Balsamic & Onion Pot Roast Recipe... I went ahead and made it for dinner instead of freezing it:

There is a TON of shredded beef leftover... I will probably make the leftovers into Sandwiches or Beef Enchiladas later in the week!

Since all of the meals are in the freezer... freezing... as I cook them this month I will let you know what I think of the taste (I guess I should say that I will let you know what the husband thinks of them!!)

If anyone else happens to try them let me know what you think!

If you have any questions about this post let me know.. Being my first time doing this it might be a bit hard to follow... I tried to translate it best I could from what I actually did today in the kitchen!

Thanks for reading and Good Luck!

*** UPDATE: 9.2.2012:  The Healthy BBQ Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken and Goulash were the ones that were a bit bland for my husband and I's tastes! I would just recommend adding some spices into each one! For the teriyaki chicken you can add in brown sugar, garlic salt and soy sauce to add a little more flavor. To the BBQ Chicken- I just added some actual bbq sauce out of the bottle to the recipe and to the Goulash I added some basil, oregano, worcestershire and beef broth. This helped a little with the flavor! =)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last-Minute Bruschetta Dip!

I was craving my mom's good ole' spaghetti recipe so I whipped up a pot of the sauce and Kelly, Will and Harper came over to enjoy some good "comfort food" with us! I realized I didn't have anything for an appetizer so I emptied out the fridge and came up with a "Bruschetta Dip!" I warned Kelly and Will that this was a test kitchen recipe before they tried it... and everyone gave it their stamp of approval! I didn't really measure anything but I will do my best in sharing the recipe:

Last-Minute Bruschetta Dip


  • 2 Large Ripe Tomatoes (mine were from Freida's garden and were AMAZING! Thanks Freida!)
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Balsamic Vinegar (approx 1 Tbs)
  • Olive oil (approx 1/2 Tbs)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (dash)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (1/8 cup)
  • Fresh Basil or Dried Basil (whatever you have) approx 1-2 tsp
  • (1) Block of Cream Cheese softened


1 Spread softened block of cream cheese in a round pie plate evenly.

2 Dice tomatoes and place in small mixing bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chopped garlic, black pepper and basil. Mix well and let sit 10-15 minutes and "marinate". (Taste mixture to make sure it has a nice flavor--add more of ingredients if need be)

3 Spoon mixture over cream cheese evenly. (I tried not to reserve some of the juice so the dip wouldn't be too runny.)

Serve with wheat thins, bagel chips or ritz crackers!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marinade!

I have used a Southern Living marinade recipe for Pork Tenderloin for as long as I can remember... I decided to find another one to "mix it up!" This one flavors the meat so nicely! Enjoy and let me know what you think!


  • 2 (3/4 to 1 pound) pork tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger


Trim the tenderloins of all fat and silverskin. Place them in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold them without crowding.

Combine the soy sauce, sherry, honey, vinegar, oil, and orange juice in a medium bowl, whisking until well blended. Stir in the shallots and ginger. Pour the mixture over the tenderloins. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours OR in the fridge for 6+ hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.

Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Place the tenderloins on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for about 18 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 155 degrees F. Transfer to a platter and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

My New Favorite Salad

Mixed Greens, Pecans, Goat Cheese, Red Pepper with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • 4 ounces pecans, whole
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb mixed salad greens, including fresh baby spinach
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-2 inch thin slices


1 Preheat oven to 300°F. Place pecans in a bowl, pour melted butter over them, sprinkle with sugar, and gently toss until the pecans are all well coated with a dusting of sugar. Place them in a single layer on a parchment paper or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool to touch.

2 Whisk together the honey mustard, garlic, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar in a medium sized bowl. Slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture, whisking constantly until completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3 Place lettuces and baby spinach in a large bowl. Add the goat cheese, dried cranberries, red bell pepper, and pecans. Toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing.

Roasted Cauliflower


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the oven hasn't reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has.

2 Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Roasted Baby Carrots

This is a Quick, Easy and Great-tasting side! I found this recipe along with a couple more I will post off of Check it out for great recipes!


  • 1 1/2 lbs of 5 inch long baby carrots, carefully washed, patted dry, greens cropped to 1 inch above top of carrot
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, cut lengthwise (root to top) into 8-12 wedges
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, or 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently toss together the carrots, red onion, rosemary to coat with the olive oil. Lay out on a rimmed baking pan, lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.


2 Roast for 30 to 40 minutes on middle rack or bottom rack, until well browned.

Yellow Squash Casserole

Andrew begs for me to make this in the summertime! It takes a little time...but is worth it in the end!

Yellow Squash Casserole
  • 1 3/4 pounds crookneck yellow squash or other yellow summer squash
  • 1/4 pound zucchini or additional yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 cup coarse-chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, preferably yellow, chopped
  • 1 plump garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups saltine or Ritz cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated mild to medium Cheddar cheese
  • Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a medium baking dish.

Slice the yellow squash and zucchini lengthwise into quarters, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Place the yellow squash, zucchini and carrots in a saucepan, barely cover with water and salt well. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft.

Meanwhile, warm 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion and cook slowly until very soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl. Wipe out the skillet, return it to medium-low heat, and add to it the remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cracker crumbs and cook briefly until the crumbs are golden. Scrape them onto a small plate and reserve them.

Drain the squash mixture, mashing the vegetables just a bit. Spoon it into the mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of cracker crumbs, cheese and a good splash or two of the pepper sauce. Salt and pepper generously to taste. Stir in the eggs and spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the toasted cracker crumbs over the top. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and lightly firm in the center. Serve hot.