Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chasing Chicken & Pumpkin Dip

So today we went for a 3.5 mile walk with Suzie. We got home and plopped on the couch. Suzie sat on the steps to look out the window and she just starts growling. Growling??? We got up to see what was up... and there was a loose chicken!!! :) She totally wanted to play... so we let her. The chicken eventually passed out or died. Fun fun for a Sunday afternoon!! :) Haha.

So the recipe for today is simple... 'cause I wasn't planning to blog today... but then Suzie freaked out and I thought it was too cute not to. This recipe is PUMPKIN DIP.

- 8 oz fat free cream cheese, room temp
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 regular tub of fat free whipped cream

Mix together cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, & spices. Fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate until use. Serve with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or apples.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's been up

Well, this week has been busy! I have been helping out with flu shot clinics and right now I am in an ACLS (advanced cardiovascular life support) class... which = lots of studying! :) I was quite worried about taking this class with my non eventful nursing history. Never worked in an ER or ICU which require ACLS, so I'm VERY unfamiliar and nervous with the information. But it's going very well and our instructors are quite breezy! So, what do you cook when you have nooooooo time? Lots of frozen meals... but I certainly don't want to advertise that because I love to cook! :) Haha. So there are a few things I've whipped up quickly this week, and a cookie recipe I'd like to share with you... because I like cookies!! :) And these are divine! Something different, unique, bursting with flavor...
Chewy Coconut Lime Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lime, finely minced
3 tbsp lime juice
½ cup unsweetened toasted coconut
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lime juice and lime zest.
5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and toasted coconut.
6. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
8. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

I enjoyed these plain... but mom did say that frosting on top would be great too, and I agree. You could frost those puppies up with some vanilla frosting and they would be delicious! But make sure you try at least one plain warm one!

The next meal I will show you is Apricot Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower.

You remember the Apricot Soy Glazed Turkey Burgers a few days ago? It's the exact same marinade (which I rather enjoyed)... except on a pork tenderloin! It turned out pretty good, although we did put some BBQ on as well when we served it. But hey... can't be perfect when you're in a rush. :) Roasted broccoli & cauliflower is straight forward- Toss with olive oil and seasoning (s & p, garlic salt, onion salt) and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Taa Daa!!

And lastly we have just a beautiful picture of a fresh, crisp, pure salad. I do love lettuce salads and am quite a ranch dressing enthusiast. This was just some fresh romaine lettuce, cheese, broccoli, portabella mushrooms (I heart), tomatoes, pre packaged chicken breast strips. I could not believe that after I had beautifully prepared this salad I noticed there was NO RANCH DRESSING! I settled for Creamy Ceasar which ended up tasting quite nice! I toasted some bread, spread with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt.

Hope you have a good night!! And weekend!!! Aaron and I are BOTH off!! A miracle... and we have not much planned! Movie night on Saturday. Ta ta!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A farewell to summer.... (one last time)

Well it's been a busy couple of weeks for myself. Fall season= flu shots!! The clinic I work for has lots of extra shifts I can pick up giving flu shots at various locations. And, of course, Wells Blue Bunny = 850 flu shots in 3 days! :) It's been fun though, lots of interaction with people.

Aaron has been busy with a few interviews. He recently interviewed in Minnehaha County, SD and has an upcoming interview in Seattle, WA. Yes... quite a stretch. But we are just checking out what happens. And whatever happens we shall follow God's plan. It will of course be bittersweet. LOTS of opportunities and diversity over there... but FAR FAR FAR away from home. Again, we're just taking it a day at a time, and the interview is Oct 29.

I LOVE fall, absolutely adore this time of year! I enjoy a chill to the air, the smell of falling leaves, and jeans/sweatshirts. But I do love a few things about summer... like burgers!! :) The next recipe is for a burger so rich and delicious.... it doesn't even require a bun. Actually, I wouldn't recommend a bun. Quite a few of my latest recipes are coming courtesy of She is such a cool girl and I LOVE her recipes.

- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- Salt & pepper
- Onion & Garlic powder
- Goat Cheese
Combine turkey, panko, s & p, onion and garlic powder to taste and divide into 8 portions. Cut apart 4 large gumball size pieces of goat cheese and top 4 portions of turkey with the cheese. Top with other portions of turkey, creating 4 burgers. Grill on outdoor grill or George Foreman.

- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Combine the glaze ingredients and divide into 2 portions. Use 1 portion to marinate burgers with while grilling, and the other portion to top burgers with when serving.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Ahhh.... a Saturday off of work!! :) And nothing on the agenda but tidy up the house a bit! So, right now I'm being lazy on the couch, watchin' TV, and thought I'd post another recipe. Aaron & I had this yesterday and the day before! That's how yummy they are! :) And I had leftover ingredients, so I thought we should use them up!


EGG ROLLS: This will make 16 egg rolls (I'm giving you measurements so you won't have leftover turkey or coleslaw mix)

- 1 package egg roll wrappers
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 4 cups coleslaw mix
- 2 stalks celery, chopped finely
- Mushrooms if desired (I love 'em!)
- Olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Dash of ground ginger & red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Sweet & sour sauce

  1. Place coleslaw mix and celery in a microwavable bowl. This is where I chopped a few mushrooms up and added them too. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes. When onion is softened add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add coleslaw mix to skillet and soy sauce. Combine well. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Lay egg roll wrappers out on counter. Top with 3 Tbsp turkey mixture and roll up. See picture.
  5. Spray tops of egg rolls with Pam or brush with oil.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top. Serve with sweet & sour sauce.

  • Cooked brown rice (whatever quantity you need)
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Ginger
  • Pepper
  • Handful of coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1-2 eggs, beaten
  • Red pepper flakes
  1. Heat 1-2 tsp sesame oil in skillet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, and ginger.
  2. Add rice, coleslaw, broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are hot and rice is browning.
  3. In another skillet or on one side of the skillet with rice, cook eggs. Combine with rice mixture. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lasagna & Lighter Fare

Hi everyone! Sorry it took me awhile to post this lasagna... I know you were salivating! :) It does take a little extra work to make the homemade sauce, but Mmmm it's worth it!



  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 t easpoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Hmm, what's new with us? Aaron is under going some personal training at Snap Fitness, so we are trying to stick to healthy menus. Lasagna is off the list! :) Haha. I do try to stick with healthy recipes for meals, but we do splurge every now and then... but we're going to do our best on sticking with it and not allowing ourselves "cheats" or "splurges" too often. :) Your help, support, and encouragement for Aaron & me would be greatly appreciated! It's a tough world out there to lose weight! :)

So, for the lighter fare menu I will share with you some delicious roasted veggies. These are perfect for this time of year as everything is turning colors and we're adjusting to fall vegetables. I will have to admit, I was hesitant of this "all vegetable meal", but it was DELICIOUS! And it filled us up! And yes, I would consider it a meal, not a side dish. But it could work as a side dish if you did some persuading! :) Haha. Enjoy!


- Acorn squash
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large Idaho potato
- Olive oil
- Garlic salt
- Pepper
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 package frozen brussels sprouts, thawed
- Brown rice
- Vegetable or chicken broth

1. Cut top and bottom off of acorn squash. Slice entire squash in half and remove seeds. Slice squash into bite size squares (the peel can stay on, it softens up while roasting). Place in a sprayed glass pan.

2. Peel sweet potato, chop into bite size pieces. Your choice for the Idaho potato- peel or no peel. Chop and add to pan.

3. Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.

4. Roast in a 425 degree oven for approx 25-30 minutes. Finish them off by broiling for a minute or 2.

5. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into florets, place in a seperate pan. Remove cores from brussels sprouts and chop in half if large. Add to broccoli & cauliflower. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt & pepper.

6. Pop the broccoli mixture into the oven about halfway through roasting the other mixture (potatoes, squash). They take only about 10-15 minutes to roast.

7. Meanwhile, prepare desired amount of rice on stove using broth instead of water to cook. Serve together! DELICIOUS!!