Friday, September 18, 2009

split pea soup

*more about this recipe here*

Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 stalks celery, chopped, 1 3/4 cups dried split peas, 1 bay leaf, 2 carrots, chopped, 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed, 1 onion, chopped, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cans chicken broth, 2 ounces diced ham, 2 teaspoons dried chervil, salt and pepper to taste.

1. Saute the garlic, onion and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add peas, broth, bay leaf and ham. Cook on low heat 3-4 hours until peas are soft.

2. Once the peas are soft, stir in the potatoes, carrots and chervil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add water as needed to adjust the thickness of the soup.

Original recipe here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bento Box Lunches

I've been making these with my leftover for awhile... so much fun!
::turkey + cheese roll ups, shredded carrots, "tree" lettuce leaf, sliced olives::
::grapes, sliced strawberries, bamboo "fork", PB+J roll ups, junior mints::

::side view::

::hand for size comparison::

::string for easy carrying and label with name::

Monday, May 18, 2009

OK this was soooooo Yummy!
I was a little reluctant with it ... but yum!!

Sausage and Polenta with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Start to Finish: 30 min. Oven: 400 F

1/2 of a 16 ounce tube refrigerated cooked polenta (I made mine yesterday... used this recipe so it would be ready to bake today.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 uncooked sweet Italian sausage links (about 1 pound total), each cut into 4 pieces (I used polish... its what I had)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons snipped dried tomatoes (I used mine that I dried last year)
1 8 ounce package mixed salad greens
1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400F Cut polenta into 1/4 inch slices, cut each slice in half. Brush polenta with oil. Arrange in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until light brown, turning once. (you could totally cheat and just make corn muffin pancakes... if you didn't want to make polenta, or cant find it ready done, not the same... but similar)

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat for 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove sausage from skillet. Drain off fat; wipe skillet with paper towels.

3. Return sausage to skillet; add apple juice, vinegar and dried tomatoes. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 8 - 10 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink.

4. To serve, divide salad greens among four plates. Arrange polenta slices and sausage pieces next to greens. Drizzle balsamic mixture over all. If desired, sprinkle with nuts.

Makes 4 servings (so I doubled mine... we ate everything but the sausage... which will re-heat into something else. :)

Recipe from Better home and gardens special interest publications: Quick and Easy Recipes (reprint)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chicken Enchilada casserole
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 package taco seasoning
2 cups salsa Verde
9 fajita size flour tortillas
1 can re fired beans, warmed in micro
8 oz sour cream
3 cups shredded cheese

I put 3 chicken breast in crock pot with 1/4 cup salsa, a can of mexi tomatoes, and a small can of green chilies and let cook on high a few hours until chicken was done. ( I didn't have salsa I improvised).
Then I put two tortillas (I only had large ones...) in the pan and put have the chicken mix on top (I shredded chicken and put it back in crock and mixed it all together). The I covered with two more tortillas. Then I mixed beans and cottage cheese (Yup you guessed it... no sour cream...) together and then spread that on top of the tortillas, then add about a cup of cheese. Then two more tortilla's then the rest of the chicken mix on top and then another cup of cheese (If your keeping track ... that's only 2 cups of cheese... I didn't have 3). Then bake at 350 for 25 min., until bubbly.

This was really good and very easy. I will make it again... but I will try to use more of the original ingredients... but my throw together one was yummy too!

P.S. Original Recipe is in Mays Family Circle page 206 (this issue has TONS of meals in it and we will be trying more)
Original Recipe
Chicken enchilada Casserole
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups salsa verde
9 fajita size flour tortillas
1 can re fried beans, warmed in microwave
8 oz sour cream
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1- Heat oven to 350. Mix chicken, taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water and salsa verde in a skillet. Simmer on medium heat for 10 min.

2- Coat 13x9x2 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cover bottom of pan with 3 flour tortillas, overlapping. Pour half of the chicken mixture on the tortillas. Cover with 3 more tortillas. Spread with warmed beans and the sour cream.

3- Sprinkle half the cheese over the beans and sour cream, and cover with the remaining 3 tortillas. Top with remaining chicken mixture, followed by remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 to 28 minutes, until bubbly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Black Bean and Veggie Wraparitos
Serves 6

6 whole wheat tortillas
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Salsa (your favorite kind)

Heat tortillas and keep warm.
Using a little cooking spray, spray a skillet and saute the onion and mushrooms until tender. Add beans and heat through. Add spinach and remove from heat.
Divide mixture evenly among the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Fold up like a burrito and serve with salsa.

**Recipe from a yahoo group**
Beef Stroganoff
1 Lb. trimmed beef tenderloin
6 oz. sliced mushrooms (or 2 c. fresh)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 can beef broth
1 c. sour cream
2 1/2 tbsp flour

Put everything but sour cream and flour in crock insert. Cook on low until beef is done and shreds apart. When ready to serve mix flour into sour cream and mix in insert until moisture thickens (sauce should be thin but not liquid). Season to taste. Serve over rice or noodles. Makes 4 very large servings.


(original recipe from I played with this one a bit :)
Taco Soup
1 pound ground meat (I used hamburger)
1 can red beans, kidney beans, black beans
1 can mexican tomatoes
2 can low sodium v-8 juice
1 onion
16 oz of corn (frozen or canned)
1 tsp garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, parsley
Tortilla chips
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese

Cook meat mix in spices with cooking meat. Put everything in the insert and cook until hot.
To serve: put chips around out side of bowl, pour soup in center, top with sour cream and cheese (unless your like me then leave the last two off ;)
A good fast meal for getting to church on time! :)


Monday, March 9, 2009

Leftovers Sandwich *I just can't come up with something better than this...sorry*

Tomato Basil Focaccia Bread (from Target)
Leftover Pesto Sauce
Leftover sandwich meat (ham, turkey, pastrami)
Leftover sandwich cheese (3 slices cheddar, tiny block of asiago)
The need to make something that will feed a hungry family of 5....

Carefully cut the bread in half (like a muffuletta sandwich...which is what I was wanting soooo bad but my friend doesn't make for me anymore...sigh). Then spread with pesto, layer meat and cheese (I shredded the tiny amount of asiago). Put in oven on 350 for 5 min. to melt cheese and heat up a bit. Then put the top of the sandwich on and continue heating for an additional 10 min. Pull out and slice. Oh my! Yum! This was the best sandwich I have had in a looooooong time.
**I just discovered that while I may be the only person who adds up how much every meal cost in their house *geeky grin*... I'm not the only one looking for cheap meals... so I'll start putting the cost of the meals here (when there is time)**
$3.29 Bread *I so need to learn to make this* (OUCH!)
$0.50 Pesto
$2.00 Meats and cheeses (Why is sandwich meat so costly!?)
$0.00 Hunger and imagination (ahhhh my kind of price *wink*)
$5.79 Total
(We also have lunch leftover for two extra people over our family of 5... so if I add that to the amount of people that could eat this sandwich.... it makes it $0.83 each... not bad for expensive bread!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crock-Pot Chicken With Black beans and Cream Cheese

4-5 frozen boneless chicken breasts
1 can black beans (15 1/2 oz)
1 can corn (15 oz)
1 jar salsa, any kind (15 oz)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz)

1. Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock-pot.

2. Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn, drained.

3. Keep in crock-pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked.

4. Add 1 package of cram cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.

5 Done and enjoy.

(I found this on the Internet somewhere and didn't think to keep track of where... so who ever invented this YUM! Thanks.)

**Served with rice... very yummy must do again!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homemade Gyro's

Gyro recipe here:
WAY WAY WAY to salty... I'll have to try again without so much salt. But using pork tasted just as good and was much cheaper than lamb.

Tzatziki recipe here:
Really, really yummy. We like this and used it to dip our fries....

Over all this was good and we will be trying it again but with much less salt. Gyro's are one of our favorite meals and to eat them at our favorite restaurant costs about $38. This meal cost me $12.65 pricey but not as bad as eating out. If I shopped for this meal on sale then it would be even cheaper.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


1 1/2 lbs. ground hamburger
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 med onion sliced
1/4 cup flour
2 beef bullion cubes
kitchen bouquet browning sauce (I didn't use this in mine)
1/4 tsp water
salt + pepper

Mix hamburger, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and flour together. Form into patties. Brown on both sides. Remove from skillet.

Saute onion in the same pan, adding a small amount of oil if needed.

After sauteing the onion, remove from skillet and add flour for gravy. Stirring constantly, brown the flour. Stir water into the browned flour to make the gravy.

Add bullion cubes, salt and pepper. Thin with water for desired thickness.
Add Kitchen Bouquet if gravy isn't brown enough.

When gravy is made, put steaks and onion in gravy. Simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes, checking often and adding water to keep gravy from becoming too thick. (I put a lid on so I didn't have to mind the gravy...)

Serve with french fries, rice, mashed potatoes or your favorite side dish!

Submitted by: Rita Giles (off of the site)

YUMMY!!! a must try!