Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BBQ Burger

Trying out another fun burger combination.

Plain hamburger patty, whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, sauteed onions, dill pickles, BBQ sauce...

Served with a cup of Brunswick Stew.

These are some of my favorite BBQ sauces.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mexican Pizza

We eat at Stevi B's and CiCi's pizza buffets a little too often... But I love the variety! They both have a version of a Taco or Mexican pizza, but I decided to make my own. All my favorite ingredients in one place.

That's a Boboli whole wheat crust this time, topped with canned refried black beans, taco seasoned ground beef, salsa, black olives and Monterey Jack cheese, in that order. (Did not use the entire can of beans and used less than 1/2 pound of meat, froze the rest for another time.)

Bake at this point according to the crust package directions, maybe a little longer.

When baking is complete, top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, diced avocado and drizzle with sour cream. (I put the sour cream in a ziploc bag and cut off a corner to drizzle this way.)

It was so good!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Broccoli Salad

So many versions of Broccoli Salad... Here's mine.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar (or Splenda)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 bunch fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or a handful of Hormel bacon pieces)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dry roasted sunflower kernels

Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine all other ingredients. Pour dressing over and toss to combine.

As you can see, I don't like too much mayo. The red wine vinegar thins it out a lot so a little can go along way and really cover the salad. Make it early so that it can refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Patriotic Strawberries

Independence Day is just around the corner. Impress your friends and family with these!

Dip strawberries in melted vanilla candy coating, then dip in blue sugar sprinkles while they are still wet. So easy!

Save this idea for Valentine's Day, too. They would look great with pink sugar sprinkles, don't you think?

If you have melted candy coating left over, find something else in your pantry to cover! Nuts, raisins, pretzels....

I wish I could remember where I saw these strawberries to give proper credit, but I can't.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guacamole Burger with Chipotle Mayo

Last Friday's dinner...

Plain hamburger patty, whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, pepperjack cheese, simple guacamole, chipotle mayo...

Simple guacamole - Mash one avocado with 1/2 tablespoon lime juice and some chopped cilantro.

Chipotle Mayo - Mix pureed chipotle peppers in adobo with mayonnaise. Start with just a little and add more to get to your desired level of heat.

Yes, those are Tater Tots! Eddie loooooves them. Also, Bush's Grillin' Beans new Black Bean Fiesta flavor - delicious!

Great idea borrowed from The Other Side of 50: When I open a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, I puree them in the food processor and then freeze them in an ice cube tray. When frozen, I remove them and place them in a baggie and keep them in the freezer. Each cube contains approximately one tablespoon of chipotle in adobo puree.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

The Dad's in my life got Chunky Monkey ice cream for dessert last night!

That was after a dinner of Creamy Chicken Enchiladas.


1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or 2 large eggs)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup 1% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large overripe bananas, mashed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons vodka
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the 3/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream, milk and vanilla; whisk to blend. Stir in mashed bananas and vodka, then chill for at least 30 minutes.

Once chilled, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.Once the churning is complete, stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. Transfer your ice cream into a freezeable container and freeze for a few hours.

Note: The vodka helps to keep the ice cream from freezing super hard like most homemade ice creams. This is the best ice cream base I've found so far. I will probably use this one from now on, just changing up the flavors.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mediterranean Shrimp

One of my favorites! And it can be done in less than half an hour.


1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes (Italian herb variety)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 tablespoon Cavender’s Greek seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2/3 cup dry orzo

Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes. Add onions, Greek seasoning and pepper. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook until pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Toss with feta cheese. Mix in cooked orzo and serve.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beef Stuffed Shells

Eddie has been requesting a stuffed shells recipe with beef inside since I made these Cheese Stuffed Shells a while back. I found a recipe at Recipezaar and modified it to my liking.


18-20 jumbo pasta shells (about half of 12 ounce box)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper
1/4 cup sundried tomato pesto (Classico brand)
1/4 cup basil pesto (Classico brand)
1 (26 ounce) jar pasta sauce
1/2 cup red wine (optional, but really good)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta shells according to package directions, drain and cool.

Meanwhile, cook ground beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet until browned; drain well.

Stir crushed red pepper, tomato pesto and basil pesto into the meat mixture.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture into each shell. Arrange in 13 x 9 baking dish.

Combine pasta sauce and wine; pour evenly over the shells. Cover.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Uncover, top with cheese and bake for 5-10 more minutes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Eddie's Plants Update

So, the crazy tomato thing is actually working to some degree. These two pictures were taken over a week apart. The plants are not growing alot, went through a phase where we thought it would die, but looks pretty healthy as of now. And the one tomato we've eaten from the top plant was delicious!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pork Loin Roll-Up Sandwiches

It's good to have leftovers!

Eddie's parents were here for dinner Friday night and we made Polynesian Pork Loin and a version of pineapple rice. So, on Sunday night we made these Roll-Up Sandwiches.

Follow this link to the Polynesian Flank Steak... we used the same marinade on the pork loin. Roll up sliced meat with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and the condiments of your choice.

For this version of pineapple rice: Cook package of yellow rice according to package directions. Meanwhile saute diced red bell pepper, diced onion and canned or fresh pineapple chunks. Mix into rice when it's done.

I also made another cute salad! I saw the cucumber and grape tomatoes set up like this on another blog - there's a restaurant somewhere that serves it like this.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


We made a couple of pizzas recently, using up some things we had on hand.

I had half a pound of smoked sausage left over from one of the soups I made a couple of months ago. It had been waiting in the freezer to go on this Smoked Sausage Pizza.

I had Eddie grill an extra chicken breast the night before, so I'd have it for BBQ Chicken Pizza.

First, I used an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (basil, garlic, oregano variety), divided it into 2 separate bowls. In one bowl I mixed in 1/3 cup sundried tomato pesto (like Classico brand) for the Smoked Sausage Pizza. In the other I mixed in 1/3 cup BBQ sauce for the BBQ Chicken Pizza.


1 pre-made pizza crust (I used Mama Mary's? Mia's? whole wheat thin crust)
sauce as mentioned above
1/2 pound smoked sausage sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
red, green, yellow bell pepper sliced thin and cut into 1-inch pieces
onion sliced thin
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Spread sauce on pizza crust. Top with sauteed vegetables. Add sliced sausage. Top with cheese.

Cook according to crust package directions, maybe a little longer to due heavy toppings.


1 pre-made pizza crust (same as above, I can't remember the exact name)
sauce as mentioned above
1 cooked chicken breast shredded or chopped
Hormel bacon pieces
BBQ sauce (I use a vinegar based sauce)
red onion sliced thin (usually, but not this time)
shredded cheddar and mozzarella (smoked gouda is really good too)

Spread sauce on crust. Add chicken and bacon pieces. Drizzle extra BBQ sauce on top. Add onions at this point is using. Top with cheeses.

Cook according to crust package directions, maybe a little lonter due to heavy toppings.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jerk Shrimp & Cuban Black Beans

Nothing new here, just favorites in a new combination.

Follow the link for the Cuban Black Beans recipe. This time served over seasoned yellow rice.

I sauteed the shrimp in McCormick Perfect Pinch Jerk Seasoning.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Grilled Pork Tenderloin & Pineapple Salad

Grillin' and chillin', eating outdoors on the deck...

Eddie grilled this nice pork tenderloin.

I amuse my husband by arranging the salad ingredients. I like pretty food, don't you?


Romaine and iceberg lettuce
Cucumber slices
Red bell pepper strips
Diced fresh pineapple
Sunflower seeds
Marzetti citrus poppy seed dressing

Arrange ingredients in desired portions and proportions. Make it pretty! Top with dressing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tortellini Salad

I'm back.

School became very time consuming for a while. My speech class required alot of time in research and rehearsal. But, it paid off with an A.

Of course, the anatomy class took lots of time, too. I still have a final exam to take this Tuesday. Then I'm done with school for a few weeks.

I have one class this summer, it only meets one day a week. I'll have to find some other things to occupy my time and not get too lazy!

Here's one of my favorite summer pasta salad recipes.


1 (16 ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons prepared pesto
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I added an orange pepper, too)
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half

Cook tortellini as label directs. Drain and cool by running cold water over. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper and pesto. Combine green and yellow peppers, tomato, artichokes and tortellini in a large bowl. Pour dressing in; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate if not serving right away.