Sunday, February 27, 2011


First, I'd like to start this post off by apologizing for the low quality of my pictures lately.  See...I accidently left my camera in our rental car when we were in Las Vegas.  Looking on the bright side though...I did manage to track it down & should be getting it back this week.  The people at the rental car company had to go through the pictures on the camera so I could "identify" it...which led to the weirdest conversation I've had all week.  And I work in an emergency room.  Enough said.

Second...this lasagna recipe is probably one of my top 5 favorite recipes...and I, in no way, can take any credit for it.  I got this recipe from my very good friend, Amy Kreps.  She was one of the first people I met in Denver, and this is the very first recipe I asked one of my "Colorado Friends" for.  While I sit here thinking about what to write for this post...I'm smiling because I tend to associate this recipe with some really happy times.  Like my first Valentine's day with my hubby...he made this recipe and was so overwhelmed (don't worry- it's easy...he's just a guy) that by the time I came over for dinner, he was drunk!  And I think of this past weekend...our friends Dzot & Kirsten were on their way to get married & got stranded in Denver.  So we hunkered down, played euchre, drank wine & ate lasagna.  I feel very strongly when I say...this recipe is an oldie, but a goodie. 

recipe compliments of Amy Kreps

9 lasagna noodles
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 pound monterary jack cheese; shredded
2 eggs; beaten
salt & pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons parsley
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sausage
2- 6oz cans tomato paste
1- 14.5 oz. petite diced tomato; undrained
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil 9 noodles.  Make cheese mixture.  Make meat mixture.

Cheese Mixture:  Mix together 1/2 cup parmesan, 1 pound mont. jack cheese, 2 beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon salt & pepper.

Meat Mixture:  Cook & drain beef & sausage.  Add garlic, 1 teaspoon basil, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1.5 teaspoon salt, 2-6oz cans tomato paste, 1 can petite diced tomato.

Layer: Add meat sauce to bottom of pan.
           3 noodles
           1/3 cheese mixture
           1/3 mozzarella cheese
Repeat x3.  End with meat sauce.  Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese.  Cover with tin foil.
Bake at 350 degrees: 30 minutes covered, 20 minutes uncovered. 
Let set for 5 minutes before cutting & serving. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jalepeno Pepper Jack Scones

These scones really compliment my recipe for white chicken chili.  The chili is so easy to make & so are these scones...try making them together!

{Jalepeno Pepper Jack Scones}
recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 6 large scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream  (plus more for brushing the tops of the scones)
1/4 pound pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
2 medium jalapenos, some seeds removed, diced small
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small saute pan and cook diced jalapenos  until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Let the diced peppers cool and them mix with the diced cheese.  Toss mixture in 1 tablespoon of flour and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Work in the cold butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Some butter pieces will be the size of peas and the flour will be nice and crumbly.

Whisk together 2 eggs and heavy cream.  Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients, fold together with a fork until almost fully incorporated.  Add the jalapeno and cheese mixture to the shaggy dough and work together.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds.  Form into a disk  about 8 inches around and 2 inches thick.  Cut disk into six wedges and refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking.

When ready to bake, place chilled scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and delicious.  These are best served the day they're made.


Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Monday mornings are always the best day of the week in our house.  My hubby & I both have the day we usually start are morning off with coffee, breakfast & some Sports Center.
I've made these pancakes a few times & we really like them.  Here's the thing with pancakes though...I've found that if I use a 1/4 cup measure, the pancakes turn out perfect.  Any larger than that & I usually end up burning some & under-cooking others.

{Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes}
recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

2 cups Origional Bisquick Mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel {if I don't have fresh lemons laying around, I just omit this}
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Heat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat.  Spray with cooking spray  In a medium bowl, mix all pancake ingredients until well blended.  Pour batter by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle.  Cook until edges appear dry.  Turn; cook until golden brown.  Serve with syrup.

Pineapple mango salsa

Sorry!  I've been in a bit of a bloggin slump...we've been really busy lately.  For Valentine's day, we went to Vegas.  We saw Cirque de Solei "Love" at the was amazing.  I also happened to see that crazy Michelle from The Bachelor.  We then had some visitors from Utah followed by some friends from Vail (who we happened to rescue from the airport on their way to get married in Mexico.) We've been busy, busy.  I did manage to do some cooking this weekend & made some really good stuff.

My hubby & I really enjoy Mahi-Mahi, especially when we blacken it.  He managed the grilling side of dinner while I made this awesome salsa to accompany the tacos we decided to make with the fish.  This salsa is best when everything is diced really small.

{Pineapple Mango Salsa}
recipe compliments of The Pioneer Woman

1 whole pineapple; peeled & diced
1 mango; peeled & diced
1/2 red onion; finely diced
1 jalapeno; seeded & diced
Fresh cilanto; chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Dash of kosher salt
Dash of granulated sugar (optional)

Combine pineapple, mango, onion, jalapeno & cilantro.  Add the lime juice, salt & sugar.   Chill for 1 hour. 

The salsa had such great flavor we didn't even need cheese on our tacos...just some cabbage & a little extra cilantro.  It felt like summer!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gummy Bears...

I saw this picture & I thought I'd share it because I love, LOVE, absolutely 100% fully enjoy gummybears. 

{photo compliments of Sweet Designs}

Yes, even the red ones are my favorite!
Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pastry wrapped Brie with Raspberry

{Pastry Wrapped Brie with Raspberry}

1/2 cup Raspberry Preserves
1/4 cup fresh Raspberries
1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Rosemary
1 sheet frozen pastry puff; de-thawed
Brie cheese wheel
1 egg; beaten
Crackers, baguette, grapes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together preserves, berries & rosemary.  Season with pepper.  Cut the rind off the cheese. Place cheese, rindless side up in center of pastry. Spoon berry mixture in center of cheese.  Pinch all 4 sides together to close over cheese & brush with egg.
Place on baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes & cool slightly before cutting.

Serve with crackers, baguette & grapes. 
{recipe adapted from}

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rocky Road Brownies

Meet my hubby...

I kid you not when I tell you that he eats a bowl of ice cream 
Right before amazes me.
According to him, he has to or else he'll lose weight. 
And he always claims this with a smirk on his face.
Ridiculous...I know.  
Regardless, I love him to bits.

Now I'm not a huge dessert/chocolate person, but my hubby happens to enjoy both of these things.  So this little treat is for him. 
A few things to note: literally the roasted marshmallows on the top of the brownies are absolutely essential.  They tasted like sitting around a campfire, it was perfect for this wintery day.
Another note: I would not walk away from them while they are under the broiler or within nano-seconds you will have a charred firey mess in your oven. With that said...Enjoy*

{Rocky Road Brownies}
Recipe compliments of Joythebaker
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons strong coffee or water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups minature marshmallows
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease & flour a 9 or 10" baking pan.  Set aside.
Combine butter & cocoa powder in small bowl & place over a pot of simmering water. 
Make sure that the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Add the coffee or water & stir to melt the ingredients. 
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs & the sugar.  Add the vanilla extract.  When the butter and chocolate have melted & come together, slowly stir the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture.  
Add the flour, baking powder & salt.  Stir to combine.  Fold in the nuts.

Pour the batter in the pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.  Bake for 18-25 minutes. Remove from the oven & set the oven to broiler.  Sprinkle the top of the hot brownies with miniature marshmallows.  Once the broiler is heated, place the brownies on an upper shelf close to the broiler heat.  Stand there.  Don't move.  The marshmallows will brown within 1 to 2 minutes.  I mean quick.   Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before cutting.  

Use hot running water to clean the knife blade after each slice into the cooled brownie.  This should help the marshmallow not stick to the knife blade.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I had the day off today, it's noon & I've gone to the gym, finished my grocery shopping, picked up some pants from Lululemon, taken the dog to the groomers...picked up the dog from the groomers & bought the dog a new parka (which he loves...I think.)  And now, it's time to make lunch, relax & watch Glee* re-runs.  This is a tasty, filling & healthy chicken wrap.  I wasn't going to take pictures of this one...but the sun coming into my kitchen made the plate look SO good!

{Poppyseed Chicken Wrap}

I never measure this one...I just throw everything together!

rotisserie chicken; shredded
grape tomatoes; halved
cucumber; diced
pine nuts; toasted
dried cranberries
low fat feta
low fat poppyseed dressing

Mix all together & place in wrap of your choice
{I tend to choose a sundried tomato
 flavored wrap}

Chicken Enchiladas

{Chicken Enchiladas}

1 large can + 1 small can green enchilada sauce
8-10 flour tortillas
1 block Reduced fat cream cheese
1 7oz can chopped green chilies
1 can black beans; drained & rinsed well
1 bag reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound chicken; cooked & chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 pinch each: cayenne pepper, cumin
Fresh cilantro

Put cooked chicken, cream cheese, chilies & black beans in sauce pan.  Stir until cream cheese is melted.  Remove from heat & cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour small amout of green chili into pan, so that a thin layer of sauce covers the bottom of the dish. 

Fill each tortilla with stuffing, sprinkle with small amount of cheese & small amount of cilantro.  Roll & place seam side down in dish.  Cover with enchilada sauce & then top with remaining cheese.  Cover with tin foil.  Bake @ 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 

{Recipe compliments of Ann Bishop}

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday Funday...

Happy Super Bowl 2011!!!  I had to work until 7pm today so I wasn't able to cook, but I thought I'd share some of my favorite "watching football foods."  I don't have any pictures, but I can assure you...these are my stand-by recipes, and they are good. 

{Football Dip}

1 pound ground beef
1 brick cream cheese, softened
1 jar salsa
1 package mexican cheese blend
small amout of taco seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle ground beef with taco seasoning; cook & drain.  Mix small amount of salsa into cream cheese.  Spread cream cheese into bottom of 9" square baking dish.  Cover with salsa, beef & top with cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Serve warm & with tortilla chips.

{Party Cheese Ball}
{Recipe courtsey of Kraft Foods}

2 packages cream cheese; softened
1 package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon finely chopped red pepper
2 Teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Cup chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese & cheddar in small bowl with mixer until well blended. 
Add all remaining ingredients except nuts; mix well.  Place cheese mixture into middle of saran wrap.  Wrap, and roll into a ball.  Refrigerate several hours.  Roll in nuts.  Serve with crackers.

{Hot Artichoke Dip}
Recipe courtsey of my aunt, Patti Green 2005

2 Cans Artichoke hearts; drained & chopped
1 Cup sour cream
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Pinch cayenne powder
1 1/2 Cups shredded mozzarella
1 Cup grated real parmesan cheese

Mix together & place in a greased 9x9 baking dish.  Sprinkle top with paprika. 
Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot & bubbly. 
Serve hot & with tortilla chips.

*this one is my favorite.  I think anyone who comes over to our house for any sort of occasion is probably sick of this one.  That's how much I make it.

{Tex Mex Black Bean Dip}
{Recipe courtsey of Cooking Light & Patti Green}

1 Teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomato
1/3 Cup bottled picante
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
1 Can black beans; drained & rinsed
1/4 + Cup monterey jack cheese
1/4 Cup cilantro
1 Tablespoon lime juice

Heat oil, cooking onion & garlic.  Add tomato & next 4 ingredients.  Cook about 5 minutes or until thick; stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, mash partially.  Stir in cheese, cilantro & lime juice.  Serve warm & with tortilla chips.

{Sheep Herder's Dip}
{Recipe courtsey of my mother}

This recipe is otherwise known as, wait for it....SPINACH Dip.  Tricky, I know.  Somehow my mother managed to get this recipe from The Bun Basket, which was a deli-type restaurant/bakery that used to be located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Now, I've never known my mom to STEAL* anything.  I just wonder how she "obtained" this one.  Oh Mom, you're now probably mortified...

10 oz. frozen spinach; chopped fine & very well drained
1 cup Hellman's Mayonaisse
1 cup sour cream
1 package Knorr's Vegetable Soup Mix
1 can {8oz.} water chestnuts; finely chopped
3 chopped green onions; finely chopped

Squeeze all moisture out of chopped spinach, add water chestnuts & green onions.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix very well, chill.  Serve with crackers or serve inside round loaf of pumpernickle bread, hollowed out & use with bread for dipping.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Porcupine Meatballs

It's snowing & very cold outside right now, so I thought I'd make something "homey" for dinner.  This recipe reminds me of a few mom & our home in Michigan; but mostly it reminds me of my little brother Nick- growing up this recipe was one of his fav's.
*Maybe I'm a touch homesick...well, probably more than a "touch.."

{Porcupine Meatballs}

1 Pound ground beef
1/2 onion; finely diced
1/2 green pepper; finely diced
1/2 Cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans tomato soup
1/2 Cup water (plus a splash more)

Mix soup & water in casserole dish (so you have a gravy-like consistency)
Mix all other ingredients together & form small meatballs.  Drop in casserole dish. 
Cover & bake @ 350 degrees of 1 1/2 hours

*I Always serve with egg noodles & sugar snap peas

{Recipe adapted from my mother & compliments of Ann Bishop}

Sugar Cookies

I was craving my mom's sugar cookies and got this idea from i am baker's blog- EKG rhythms- how perfect!  When I saw these cookies I thought "I'll make these for the girls at work."  So here's to you girls :) hopefully they were a bright spot in your day...

{Sugar Cookies}
5 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup butter; softened
2 1/4 Cups sugar
2 eggs
2 Teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup sour cream

Cream butter & sugar, add sour cream, eggs & vanilla extract.  Mix well.  Add flour.  Refridgerate at least 1 hour.  Roll out 1/2" thick. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes.  Frost when cooled.
Makes 5 dozen

{Sugar Cookie Frosting}

3/4 Cup Crisco (healthy...I know)
1/2 Teaspoon salt
approx 3 Cups powdered sugar
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
a few splashes of milk

Cream crisco, vanilla & salt together.  Add powdered sugar, mix well.  Begin beating in milk until becomes consistency of frosting.  May need to add more powdered sugar.

(both recipes compliments of my mother, Marcia}