Sunday, September 20, 2009

Raspberry Freezer Jam


3 cups mashed raspberries
5 1/4 C sugar
One packet of pectin (found near the jello/baking products in grocery store)
3/4 C water

Mash berries with a potato masher. Mix with sugar and let sit for ten minutes (Stirring occasionally).
Mix water and pectin together in a small saucepan over high heat. bring to boil and boil for one full minute, stirring the whole time.
Mix pectin/water in with berry/sugar combo. Stir for three minutes constantly.
Pour in plastic containers. Let sit out for 24 hours, to set. Then pop them in the freezer. Will last for 1 year in freezer, 3 weeks in fridge.

Recipe is taken out of the box of pectin. This is super easy and yields delicious, natural Jam. The ratios are different for different fruit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Banana Tea Bread

Makes 2 Loaves

2 C. Flour (I use all-purpose)
1 tsp. B. Powder
1 tsp. B. Soda
1 1/3 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Chopped Nuts (I substitute Chocolate Chips and put them in right before the Bananas)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt (I only put in 1 tsp.)

3 Mashed Bananas
2 Large Eggs
1/2 C. Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream (I mostly use Sour Cream, but have also used Yogurt with same results)
2 Tbsp. Rum (I use Captain Morgan)
1 tsp. Almond Extract
1/2 C. Melted Butter

1. Mix dry ingredients.
2. Beat eggs and add rest of liquids & bananas - add to dry ingredients.
3. Bake in greased and floured pans at 350 Degrees, 50-60 minutes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Baked Ziti v.2

This is pretty similar to Casey's, but I'll add it anyway.

Serves 8?

1 box of ziti noodles
2 jars of sauce (I used DelGrosso's Tomato and Basil)
Sweet Italian sausage (in patty form from the meat aisle)
mozzarella cheese
various spices like garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper

Cook ziti noodles. Layer sauce, cheese, noodles, and sausage pieces over each other. Add spices. Bake at 350 for an hour.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spicy Basque Chicken

Serves 4

1 tea paprika (I use a lot more than this though)
1/4 rea black ground pepper
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into tenders
2 tea olive oil
2 tea minced garlic
1/4 C green olives
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained (Rotelo)
1/4 finely chopped prosciutto
2 T chopped parsley

Coat chicken with paprika and pepper (can mix the two together first). Heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes (without flipping). Add garlic for 30 seconds, then turn chicken over. Add olives and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan. Increase heat to medium high and cook for another two minutes. sprinkle with prosciutto and parsley, and serve.

I got this recipe years ago from a Cooking Light magazine (so its healthy for you). It spicy and yummy. Serve over rice (preferably saffron rice). I never remove the chicken before bringing it back up to high heat the last time though.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cheezy Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini "Pasta"

Serves 4
*Recipe taken from "Cook Yourself Thin"

For the tomato sauce and zucchini pappardelle
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, in juice, mashed (I used Roundy's Brand From Rainbow Foods)
1 sprig fresh basil (I used dry)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (I used dry)
4 zucchini, thinly sliced

For the chicken
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons extra for serving
1/4 cup dried whole-wheat or white bread crumbs (I used corn flake crumbs)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with a fork
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts split in half to make 6–8 large, thin cutlets
4 teaspoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons extra for serving
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (I skipped this, we aren't fans of it)

1. For the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. (Check a few times during cooking; if vegetables begin to brown, add 2 teaspoons water and stir.) Add the tomatoes with juice, basil and another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently 5 minutes. Then simmer very gently, partially covered, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

2. Meanwhile, using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick long pappardelle-like strips, turning the zucchini and slicing on 4 sides only until you see the center seeds. Discard the centers.

3. Remove the tomato sauce to a bowl with a rubber spatula; no need to clean the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until wilted, tossing often with tongs for even cooking, 8 to 10 minutes. Return the tomato sauce to the pan, add 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and season with 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cover and set aside.

4. On a plate, combine the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and the remaining chopped parsley. Place the egg white on a second plate. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the egg whites, and then into the bread crumb mixture to coat completely; set aside on a large plate or platter.

5. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in each of two nonstick 10-inch skillets over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken to each skillet and cook until lightly browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, and cook until chicken is firm, and lightly browned on the other side, 1 to 3 more minutes.

6. To serve, re-warm the zucchini in the tomato sauce over medium heat. Use tongs to make a “twist” of zucchini pappardelle on each of 4 plates. Lean chicken cutlets against the side of zucchini. Scoop 1 tablespoon ricotta onto each plate, and spoon remaining tomato sauce on top of the chicken. To garnish each plate, drizzle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan.

Side Note: We have made this a few times so far and one time instead of cutting the chicken into cutlets, we hollowed them out and stuffed them with mozzarella cheese. Turned out to be delicious.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Here's a recipe for my favorite meat loaf that my mom makes. I know, meatloaf is generally gross, but coming from an extremely picky eater- this is some awesome stuff.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

-Crack one egg into a smaller bowl and whisk it.
-In a larger bowl, mix:

  • at least a pound of hamburger meat (I use 90/10)
  • 1/2 cup of italian breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup of spaghetti sauce (any kind - my mom recommends Bertolli 5-cheese, I use regular Ragu flavored with meat)
  • pour in the whisked egg from the first step
-You are going to mix these ingredients all together with your hands (make sure you remove your wedding rings first!) until all of the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and evenly.
-Shape into a meatloaf shape, or put into a loaf pan/dish.
-Optional (but delicious) step: Smear a thin layer of ketchup over the entire top of the meatloaf before placing into the oven.
-Bake for 45 minutes, or until completely cooked all the way through.

American Lasagna

Recipe from
makes: 4 servings
prep time: 30 mins
cook time: 1 hour 30 mins


  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 6 dry lasagna noodles
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion and garlic; drain fat. Mix in basil, oregano, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoons salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x9 inch square baking dish. Cover noodles with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over the top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven about 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
I had some fresh parsley on hand, so i topped mine with that, and served with some frozen cheesy garlic bread.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Todd's Famous Double Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburgers

(My husband named them - but they are seriously great)

(Serves 8)

2 pounds hamburger (I used 93/7)
1 pound ground turkey (again 93/7 - use any combination you like)
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices pepper jack cheese

Mix the meat, egg, bread crumbs and spices. Form into 16 equal size patties, making the middles slightly thinner then the edges. On half the patties, place crumbled bacon and cheddar in the center. Top with the remaining patties and pinch the edges closed. Grill approximately 5 minutes on each side. Add the pepper jack slices to the top and cook until melted with the grill closed (about 1 minute). Do not press down on the burgers with the spatula while cooking or cheese is likely to squeeze out. Serve on fresh hamburger buns/rolls.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped and cooked
  • 4 slices deli ham, chopped (omit for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Poke holes with a fork so they don't explode in your oven. Place directly on oven rack. Bake potatoes on the middle rack in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes.
  2. Cut off the top of the potato in an oval shape and with a spoon gently scoop out most of the potato into a mixing bowl. Be careful not to scoop too closely to the skin or it will break. (You can save the tops and make potato skins out of them.)
  3. Stir in milk, sour cream, salt and pepper and mix till smooth.
  4. Add in broccoli and ham.
  5. Spoon mixture back into the potato skins, top with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees until hot all the way through and the cheese has melted.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lemon Garlic & Rosemary Chicken

  • Thawed chicken breasts
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 Tbs dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  1. In a mixing bowl combine olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken breasts to a large Ziplock bag, pour in your marinade, seal up and let sit for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. In a pan over medium to medium high heat add chicken breasts plus marinade. Cook on each side 5-6 minutes or until cooked through.
* Note: If you have a side dish disaster, i.e. pouring all of your pasta down the drain on accident, the chicken can be kept warm in a 150-200 degree oven until you correct your foolishness.

Baked Ziti

This is my favorite thing to make. It is sooo delicious, filling, and hearty. I don't necessarily use the healthiest of ingredients but you can tweak it as you see fit. It's ridiculously easy to make - and if you ever need to bring a dish to a party or anything, this is a great thing to bring. It's easy to make huge quantities and the leftovers are always amazing!

1 box of Ziti with lines (I prefer Prince)
Ragu sauce (flavored with meat)
Shredded mozzerella cheese

I also like to use a disposable tin to bake it in, the kind you get at the grocery store (like a rotisserie pan) that comes with the plastic cover. Makes it easy to store leftovers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line bottom of pan with sauce, sprinkle with cheese. Cook entire box of ziti. When ziti is fully cooked, drain water. Pour part of the ziti into the pan. Mix sauce and cheese in, and layer it on the pan. Keep doing this with the smaller portions of ziti until they are covered with sauce and cheese. I like to use a TON of sauce. It cooks really well and stays very moist for leftovers. Put a layer of sauce on the top of the pan and a layer of shredded cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Honey Nut Chicken and Oven-Baked Fries

There is a restaurant here in Louisville called the Hall of Fame Cafe which has the best walnut crusted chicken - its in their Honey Nut Chicken Salad and its what I order every single time we eat there. Their chicken is fried so I wanted to try to make a healthier version. (And I really wanted fries to go with it.)

Honey Nut Chicken
(Serves 2-3)

1 package of chicken breasts
3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of AP flour
1 egg
1 T spicy mustard
1 T honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound thin. Combine egg, mustard, honey, S&P and whisk together in a shallow bowl. Combine flour, walnuts, S&P on a plate. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, then transfer to the baking pan. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Oven-Baked Fries
(Serves 2 -3)

2 Russet potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
Lawry's seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean 2 large potatoes. Cut each potato into thin strips. Soak the fries in a bowl of hot water for approximately 20 minutes. Mix with olive oil and spices and spread onto a baking pan lined with foil in a single layer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, turning about half way through.