05 February 2018

Baked Mac N Cheese Version 2.0

1lb of pasta, rotini, shells, elbows, etc
2oz of some type of salty pork, proscuitto, ham, or bacon, cooked
1 c chopped, cooked broccoli
1/2c panko
1/3c parmesan, grated

Cheese sauce
3T butter
3T flour
small onion minced
3cups+ milk, whole milk works best
2cups shredded cheddar.
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350*.

Cook pasta to al dente.  While pasta is cooking, continue making the cheese sauce.

Cheese sauce-
Melt butter in sauce pot. Add in onion and cook until translucent. Add flour, salt and pepper to make a reux base. Cook for at least a minute, constantly stirring/whisking. SLOWLY add in milk. Add just a little bit at a time. Completely blend milk and flour mixture, before adding more.  This will save you a MAJOR headache of trying to incorporate everything. It makes for a smoother sauce. Once milk is fully incorporated, add in cheese about a 1/4c at a time.

Once cheese sauce and pasta are done, mix together adding ham/prosuitto/bacon and broccoli. Put into casserole dish and top with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan. 

Baked at 350* for  about 15 mins. Optional- broil for a few minutes to make the top golden brown. just keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn.

Healthier French Toast

2 T  butter
1/4c bourbon (plus some)
1/4c light brown sugar
2-3 large eggs
2-3 bananas, sliced thin
1/4c + 2/3c milk, whatever kind you like. 2% will be better for the healthier version
1T vanilla extract
cinnamon to taste. I use around 1tsp or so
dense bread (like sourdough or brioche), make sure it's NOT super fresh.

- Sauce- Taste the bourbon. Make sure it's yummy. Melt butter in a nonstick pan and add half of bourbon and brown sugar. Cook until it makes a nice syrup. It really should only take a minute or two. Toss in bananas to coat. Slowly add in 1/4cmilk. Set aside but make sure to keep it warm.  Take another taste of the bourbon. You paid good money for it. It deserves to be loved.

-Whisk 2/3c milk, vanilla, cinnamon, remaining bourbon, and eggs together. Warm a large non stick pan and lightly spray with cooking spray. Dip bread into egg mixture, letting it soak for 45seconds per side.

- Place bread into pan and cook until lightly brown on both sides. Plate and top with bourbon-banana sauce. Serve Immediately.

29 January 2015

Balsamic Garlic Marinade for Steaks

Balsamic Garlic Marinade

2T Olive Oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3T Worcestershire Sauce (low sodium)
3T Balsamic Vinegar
3t yellow mustard
1/4c soy sauce (low sodium)

Whisk together and marinade steaks for a few hours.  It's super delicious!  I took the leftover marinade and boiled it to kill any germs and to reduce it some. Enjoy!

18 July 2014


Greek Seasoning

2t oregano
2t basil
2t kosher salt
2t garlic powder
1t dill weed
1t rosemary
1t marjoram
1t cornstarch
1t parsley
1t ground black pepper
1/2t thyme
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg

Shake well and store in air tight container for up to 6 months

Midwest Rub

Midwest Rub

4T salt
1T black peppercorn
1T dehydrated onion
1/2T dehydrated garlic
1/2T red pepper flakes
1T dried thyme
1T dried rosemary
2t  fennel seed.

Grind together and store in air tight container for up to 6 months.

Red Spice Blend

I'm on a kick for homemade spice blends.  I just get so bored with food that has the same spices on in, day out.  Here's another one to break up the monotony.

Red Spice Blend

1/2 c paprika
1/2 c salt (regular table salt is fine, or you can substitute kosher)
1/4 c garlic powder
2T chili powder
1T basil
2T onion powder
1T cumin
1T ground black pepper
1/2t celery salt.

Shake well and store in air tight container for up to 6 months.

17 January 2014

Fajita and a Taco Seasonings

I've come to love making homemade spice blends. I can control how much of what goes in it, avoid preservatives, and just make yummier things at home.  My latest attempt was Fajita Seasoning so here's the recipe I used:

Fajita Seasoning
1T Cornstarch
2t Chili Powder
1t Salt (I used Kosher)
1t Paprika
1t Sugar
1/2t Onion Powder
1/2t Garlic Powder
1/4t Cayenne Pepper
1/4t Cumin

Here's a bonus recipe:

Taco Seasoning
1T chili powder
1/2t garlic powder
1/2t onion powder
1/4t crushed red pepper flakes
1/4t dried oregano
1/2t paprika
1 1/2t ground cumin
1t sea salt
1t black pepper

19 November 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Gnocchi Soup

I adapted this recipe from a copy cat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese soup and my cousin's Gnocchi Soup recipes. It was AWESOME! I about licked the bowl clean :-)

Broccoli Cheddar Gnocchi Soup

1lb bacon, cooked and chopped, reserve the grease
1 lb chicken, cooked & cubed (I baked mine with Garlic & Onion powder and just a sprinkle of salt)
bacon grease 
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned
1 pkg Gnocchi
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese


1 Sauté onion in grease.

2 Add in melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

3 Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4 Add the broccoli and carrots. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

5 Add in Gnocchi.

6. When gnocchi is just about done, add in cheese and nutmeg. Once combined, add in the chicken and bacon. 

You're Welcome :-D

12 March 2012

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp and Apples

Honestly, I was a little timid to try this recipe.  I'm new to the world of shrimp, I didn't know what prosciutto was, and savory seasoning over apples just didn't sound like it would be good. O.M.G. I was SO surprised.  It's a definite must try recipe if you like shrimp and apples.

1lb large or colossal shrimp, shelled and deveined but with tails 
4 thin slices of prosciutto, cut into strips
2 granny smith apples
2T maple flavored syrup
2T Bourbon or orange juice
2T Dijon Mustard
1T teriyaki sauce (I used reduced sodium)
1/2tsp ground black pepper

Wrap each shrimp in a slice of prosciutto. Core and cut apples into wedges. Put shrimp and apples on skewers, alternating each.

Mix together remaining ingredients and brush over shrimp and apples. Cook on grill over medium heat until shrimp is opaque. Enjoy!

Vinaigrette Steak Sandwich

This is super yummy!  I was a little skeptical at first because Mayo and Italian Dressing don't go together in my head, but it was soooo good. Enjoy!

Vinaigrette Steak Sandwich

1lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cut 1/2 '' thick
1 bottle Italian Vinaigrette dressing, reserve about 1T
1/4c mayo
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2tsp cooking oil
4 hoagie rolls
spinach leaves, fresh
Mozzarella, shredded
pepperoncinis (optional)

Marinade the steak in Italian Vinaigrette for a couple hours. Mix 1T Italian Vinaigrette with mayo; cover and chill.

Cook steak and onion in oil over medium heat until meat is browned. Assemble sandwich with mayo, spinach, pepperoncinis, cheese, and meat. Enjoy!

Oreo Truffles

This recipe makes the most addicting truffles in the world.  I dislike cream cheese with a passion, but this was just AMAZING! These truffles did not last long in my family.

Oreo Truffles
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (1lb 2oz) package Double Stuf Oreos, finely crushed
2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Mix softened cream cheese and crushed oreos. Form into (48) 1-inch balls. Dip in melted chocolate and place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Place in fridge for 1hr. Enjoy. 

05 February 2012

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

This was so good, simple and healthy. It's another adaptation from the BHG's Dieter's Cookbook.
Ginger Beef Stir Fry

1lb beef top round steak, thinly sliced across grain
1/2c reduced sodium beef broth
3T reduced sodium soy sauce 
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1tsp sugar
1tsp grated fresh ginger
1lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 small onion sliced 
oil for cooking
2 cups hot cooked rice

In a small bowl stir together beef broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and ginger. Set aside.

Lightly coat nonstick pan with oil and warn to medium heat.  Add asparagus, mushrooms, and onions. Stir Fry for 3-4 mins or until crisp tender. Remove from skillet.  Add more oil and beef and cook until brown (about 2-3 mins). Stir sauce and add to skillet. Cook beef and sauce until thickened and toss in vegetables. Serve over hot rice. 

04 February 2012

Mojo Pork Sandwiches

This was simply just amazing! I loved it from the first bite.

Mojo Pork Sandwiches

for pork chops:
2 pork chops, boneless
1cup orange juice
2TBSP lime juice
2TBSP olive oil

for mojo:
3/4c chopped sweet peppers, finely chopped or minced
4 large garlic cloves
1/4c orange juice
1TBSP lime juice, fresh is MUCH better
1tsp cumin
1tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Mozzarella Cheese (thinly sliced or shredded)
shredded cabbage and carrot mix (like a coleslaw mix)

To make the mojo, cook sweet pepper and garlic in hot oil until tender.  Stir in orange and lime juice, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring up to a boil, reduce to a soft boil for about a minute.  Take off burner and let cool to room temp.

 In a medium skillet cook pork chops in 1c orange juice, 2 TBSP lime juice and 2 TBSP olive oil until no pink remains in the center.

Toast bread, and construct a sandwich with pork, mojo sauce, mozzarella and cabbage/carrot mix. Enjoy!

31 January 2012

Warm Shrimp and Pasta Salad

I'm a newbie when it comes to Shrimp. Majority of my life I stubbornly refused to eat any seafood, of any kind. I'll admit I'm still a little on the fence about it, but with recipes like this one, I could possibly see a lifelong friendship between those little critters and myself.  This recipe was adapted from the Dieter's Cookbook by Better Homes and Gardens. It's healthy for you and best part, it taste good!

Warm Shrimp and Pasta Salad

6-8oz fresh or frozen shrimp, salad sized
8oz pasta (gemelli or celletani) 
6oz snow peas, frozen or fresh
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, sliced or diced
4 green onions, cut/diced
1/4c rice vinegar
4tsp vegetable oil
3T reduced sodium soy sauce
1T honey
pinch of crushed red pepper

Thaw shrimp if it's frozen. Cook pasta according to box directions. Add the snow peas in the last minute of cooking. Drain and toss in peppers. Cover and set aside.

Combine vinegar, oil, soy sauce, honey and crushed pepper together to make a dressing. In a small skillet, warm/cook shrimp in dressing until opaque. Toss into pasta mixture and serve warm. Super yum!

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Here's another spice blend I've had a hard time finding in stores. Plus it's also more cost effective in the long run to make your own and you can control how much of certain spices you add. For instance, I'm not the biggest fan of nutmeg or rosemary so I always put slightly less than what a recipe calls for.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

1T onion powder
1T garlic powder (I added slightly more cause we are garlic fiends) 
2tsp thyme
2tsp salt
2tsp sugar
2tsp dried chives
1tsp ground allspice
1tsp paprika
1tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp ground cumin
1/4tsp ground nutmeg

Mix together and store in air tight container.