Wednesday, November 30, 2011

~English Toffee~

Supermom's recipe. I think she got it from's a really old recipe. And it's every bitfabulous!!!! Who knew toffee was so ridiculously easy to make? It takes 3 ingredients to make the toffee part, plus chocolate and nuts. It ain't gonna brake the bank. I carry all of the ingredients for this in my kitchen anyway. The only tough part to making toffee is taking it off the heat at the right time. If you take it off too soon, it will bend instead of breaking. If you take it off too late, it will smoke and burn and taste like bum! Thankfully, I have made this with Supermom on numerous occasions, so I have learned from the master on proper cooking color.
If you like your toffee thin, pour it over more foil space and nuts. I personally prefer my toffee a little thicker, which makes less (but then you feel better at only sneaking 5 pieces instead of 6....)

The magical caramel brown color it should be right before you remove it from the heat. If it starts to smoke, take it off!! I know there is a more sophisticated way to make this e.g. with a candy thermometer, but I don't have one. So if you don't have one, this is the easiest way to do it.

Once you pour the toffee on the chopped almonds, sprinkle the semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. Let them melt for a few minutes, then spread the chocolate with a knife, until the toffee is covered.

Then sprinkle some chopped almonds across the top! Put it in the fridge to cool a little and then break it apart and inhale it as fast as you can. :-)

you'll need:
1 c. salted butter
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
about 1 1/2. c. almonds, chopped
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

get busy:
Chop the nuts. Place most of the chopped nuts on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium sauce pan or pot and medium high heat. Stir constantly until "the stuff follows the spoon" my mom would say.* Once the coloring turns caramel brown, remove it from the heat. Carefully add vanilla (it can splash) and quickly stir. Pour toffee over chopped nuts. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot toffee. Once they have melted, spread them evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle remaining chopped nuts. Refrigerate for about 10-20 minutes or until chocolate is cold. Break up the toffee into small sizes. I like to put mine in a cute Christmas container, but now I will put this new batch in a special place where Jeremy won't find it hehe. Serves 2. Just kidding; it makes more than that. However, at my home, it serves 1 and a half...
*DO NOT a metal spoon to stir the toffee. It will get too hot. DO NOT use a plastic spoon. My mom did that once and the toffee gets so hot that the plastic spoon melted in it! ONLY USE a wooden spoon. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

~Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Streusel~

While this may not be the healthiest way to eat sweet is probably the most delicious way to eat them!! This recipe got rave reviews at Thanksgiving with my fambam. I was so proud and happy :-) It didn't take too long, and the walnut streusel was really what made it from average to fantastic. I can't wait to make this again. Funny fact: this recipe called for sweet potatoes, but yams were on sale, so I used those instead...couldn't tell a darn difference, and still just as yummy. SO you can use either!

I made these with my sweet sis-in-law Kelli. Without her help, these would not have been finished by Turkey Time! I completely lost track of time playing with my siblings' kids, so a big thanks to Kelli. Makes 6 servings.

you'll need:

3 large sweet potatoes (or yams)
4 Tbs. packed brown sugar
3 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbs. whole wheat flour*
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. butter, softened
3 Tbs. packed brown sugar

get busy:

Preheat the oven to 375. Prick the potatoes with a knife or fork after giving them a good scrub. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until soft. Once they are cooked, cut them in half and scoop out the centers of the into a big bowl. Combine with brown sugar, softened butter and brown sugar. Scoop mixture back into the skins.

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for streusel. Top the sweet potatoes with the streusel. Bake for 20-30 minutes. All done! Whoever you make these for will absolutely love them.

*If you are unsure about the whole wheat, you can substitute it for processed flour; however, you can't taste the difference, so why not use whole wheat? It's healthier!

Monday, November 28, 2011

~Homemade Taco Seasoning~

I can't count how many times I have started a dinner and forgotten to buy taco seasoning. Ugh! However, I had all the ingredients to make this in my cupboard; ergo, yay, no more buying taco seasoning! I also liked making my own taco seasoning because the store bought kind has some processed stuff in it. I like knowing what is in my food. In addition to that, this taco seasoning tastes delicious! I think I got this recipe from This taco seasoning also has over 2,000 5 star reviews! It's also cheaper to make your own seasoning than buy it every time. Make this in about 3 minutes, store in a sealed container, and it's all ready for your cookin'. The flavor of this seasoning is much richer than the store bought kind. I have found that two huge heaping tablespoons is about the same amount as one packet.

you'll need:

1 Tbs. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes*
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

get busy: (kind of...)

Mix together ingredients in a small bowl. I stored mine in a Ziploc baggie. This recipe makes 10 servings.

*If you are not a spice person, I suggest cutting this ingredient in half.

~Key Lime Pie~

I can't remember what website I got this recipe from, but I do remember it had over 1,000 five star reviews!! You know it has to be good! I hadn't ever had key lime pie before, but due to my recent obsession with limes and a purchase of 21 limes for 97 cents at a grocery sale (yeah that's right), I decided to make one. To clarify, this is not a true key lime pie, but rather lime pie. Key limes com from the Florida Keys and are somewhat difficult to find in southern California this time of year. However, this pie still tasted extraordinary and is the easiest thing to make. In fact, my family gobbled it up for Thanksgiving (pun intended) so quickly that I only got a couple bites! I have already had numerous requests to make it again for our upcoming Christmas party.

This is post-baked. Do NOT brown the pie when baking it. It's only cooked for a few minutes, then chilled in the refrigerator.

I think next to French silk chocolate pie, this is my favorite pie!

you'll need:

1 9 in. graham cracker crust (I made mine)
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. fresh lime juice (MUST be fresh!)*
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbs. grated lime zest
whipped cream (optional)

get busy:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into gram cracker crust. Bake for 5-8 minutes. DO NOT BROWN! Chill pie in the fridge until cold and serve cold. Garnish with whipped cream if you want. We had homemade whipped cream on top, which I would highly recommend. This pie will literally be a huge hit at any party, gathering or dessert; I promise!

*When squeezing the lime juice, it took me about 10 good-sized limes to get 3/4 c. If you use key limes, you will need about 20. They are much smaller.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

~Veggie Pizza~

Doesn't sound that amazing, right? But it IS!! This recipe has been my favorite hors d'oeuvre since I was little. It's probably the healthiest hors d'oeuvre I know, too! Veggie pizza usually gets devoured in about five minutes, so if you make this, make a lot! We had such a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend with all the family on my side (excluding Ashley because she just had her baby boy). I helped my sister-in-law, Shannon make these goodies for our appetizers on Thanksgiving day, and they really were gone in 5 minutes. {Shannon takes incredible photos especially for families. If you live in southern California, I highly recommend her; she is very reasonably priced. She took our family photos this year and I'll be posting those soon. Check out her website and work here.} Since I seem to never get enough veggies each day anyway, this hors d-oeuvre is a great way to get some in and not even think about it. Such a simple recipe (as are most of my posts) and quick to make for any kind of party or gathering.

I love all of the color veggie pizza brings to the table. Red bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, green onion over a Crescent roll.

I think this is our family's favorite appetizer, and that is saying a lot because there are a lot of us now! 7 kids, most married with kids. Holidays are nuts. And I love it :-)

There is maybe 10 minutes worth of chopping to make this dish, and then everything from there is assembled fairly quickly.

you'll need:

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) plain Pillsbury Crescent Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet*
1 8 oz. pkg. reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 c. non-fat milk
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
{No set amount of the following, enough of them combined to completely cover the pans}**
broccoli, diced
cauliflower, diced
green onion, diced
red bell pepper, diced
tomato (maybe 3 Roma), diced

get busy:

Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out the dough on a large cookie sheet, and you will have extra to put into an 8x8 pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown (do NOT overcook). In a small bowl, mix together ranch dressing mix, cream cheese and milk. Spread over the lightly cooled crust. Evenly spread chopped vegetables on top. Cut pizza into desirable size squares and serve on a pretty platter. Voila! You're done. SO easy, and will definitely be eaten quickly. Nom nom nom.

*Do not buy the generic store brand of this. They are terrible! Spend the extra 50 cents to get the Pillsbury brand.
**You can add diced cucumber for an even healthier alternative; I never have, but I will try it next time. I think it would go together well with the other veggies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

~Fall Salad~

I don't make salad for dinner very often, but boy oh boy--what a simple, healthy and delicious salad! I only wish I had mushrooms (mmmm mushrooms) to add to this delish dish. My favorite part of this salad is the candied nuts. I candy my own nuts (it's ridiculously easy) and I love the flavor and juiciness pear provides in a salad.

You can add virtually anything to this salad. I added cranberries, cucumber, pear, candied nuts and chicken breasts.

For a dressing, I chose light ranch dressing (and a very little amount at that!). Jeremy chose my homemade poppyseed dressing. I will post that recipe another day.

you'll need:

1-2 cooked chicken breasts, depending on how much chicken you want
1 bunch of romaine lettuce, spinach leaves or arugula
handful of cranberries
diced cucumber
handful of candied nuts
1 pear, sliced
2-3 mushrooms, diced
shredded carrots
dressing (light ranch or poppyseed are good)
sliced strawberries (optional: if you add these, do NOT use ranch dressing. Eww)

get busy:

Cook the chicken breasts in a saute pan with olive oil seasoned with Lowry's Seasoned Salt, or grill. Cut into small pieces. To candy nuts: throw some nuts and 1 Tbs. sugar in a small pan; cook on medium high heat until the sugar melts. Quickly stir the nuts to coat with the sugar and remove from the pan so they don't burn. I used slivered almonds and pecans tonight. Mmm. Add the rest of the ingredients. I placed my pear slices all pretty, but in the end it gets covered with dressing, so whatever. All in all, this is a very healthy dinner with less than 300 calories per serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend with the Bestie

...And other people, too!
Jeremy and I did summer sales together in Dallas, TX, and our manager/friend from that summer was in Carlsbad for the weekend. So we met up with Matt at Coldstone down at the beach and caught up. We meandered to a bar/grill where a live band was playing and people watched; it was fun!

My bestest friend in the world, Jenn Kershaw threw her dad a birthday party (his first ever, and he turned 70!). I have only seen her a few times since I got married, so it was so good to spend time with her in Corona. I helped her set up for Ed's party. He was so surprised!

Love you, Jenn! Jenn and I have been besties since high school. We played soccer together on our HS team.

Some pics from Ed's party. Jenn is an amazing cook, and she made just about all of the food for the entire party.

Ed's neighbors had some really interesting bike thingy called a Trikke. You swing the handlebars back and forth to propel forward motion. It was really fun actually.

Jenn doin' work!

I also showed Jenn how to do a chic sock bun. It turned out great!
Other highlights:
I made more choc. chip cookies
I made more homemade bread
Made daddy breakfast (Mom was gone)
Made chard for the first time. No bueno...

Friday, November 18, 2011

~Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce~

BEST CHICKEN EVER!!! Jeremy loved this recipe. He even said, "This is the best chicken you've made!" The combination of the sweet coconut and the sweet and sour sauce makes for a beautiful blend of flavors. I usually don't like cooking chicken in the oven because it tends to get dry, but this recipe made the chicken stay incredibly moist. Yes. I love coconut. It's great in cookies, on candy bars, and I learned tonight that it is good on chicken! Who knew? Jeremy wished there was more sauce, so the way I have the recipe on here is how much sauce I would recommend. I wished there was more sauce as well.

I made mine with green beans and white rice because I was out of brown rice. Normally we don't even have a starch and if we do, it's usually brown rice (healthier).
This is such a simple recipe. Aside from prepping the chicken, the part that took the longest was waiting for the oven to heat up, and waiting for the chicken to cook!

you'll need:

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 egg
1 c. sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. apricot preserves (sugarless)
4 Tbs. Dijon mustard

get busy:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a cooking rack on top of a cookie sheet. Beat the egg in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the egg, then into the second mixture bowl. Place onto a rack over the cookie sheet (see picture). This is so the butter has somewhere to go, instead of cook into your chicken. Evenly pour the melted butter over the breasts. Bake for 35-40, turning once so the other side cooks.

Apricot sauce:
Combine the apricot preserve and Dijon mustard. Place in the fridge to chill until the chicken is done. SO easy!

What's great about this chicken is you can freeze it up to a month, take it out and bake at 400 for 20 minutes and it will taste the same.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

~Grilled Honey-Lime Salmon~

I have to thank my awesome dad-in-law Jed for this one. Jed is an amazing cook! This past September Jeremy and I helped his dad cater a cycling tour through southern Utah. One night for dinner, Jed made this fabulous marinated salmon. He didn't have clear-cut measurements, so neither do I, but I will do my best to write the measurements down. This salmon turns out perfect when grilled; it's moist and sweet. I love limes lately, so much in fact the other day I bought 21 limes for 97 cents. Bingo!

you'll need:

2 salmon fillets
1 lime
1/4 c. honey (or more? eyeball it)
1/2 c. olive oil (or more? eyeball it)

get busy:

In a large ziploc bag or bowl, combine the fillets with honey and olive oil. Squeeze the lime juice in as well. Cut the lime in fourths and add to the mixture. Let the salmon marinate for a few hours (2 or 3). Grill. That's it. Serves 2. A very healthy and yummy way to prepare salmon without any fatty base. I served this tonight with steamed brown rice and green beans with slivered almonds. Enjoy!

He's Got the Smarts!

Jeremy has been slaving away for the past two months, studying for a government test called the Series 7. It is an incredibly difficult test that takes about 8 hours to take (yikes, count me out!). He has been studying almost 60 hours a week Monday through Saturday, which has been no fun for us as we just moved close to the beach and want to get to know the area better. I have tried my best to be supportive and not bug while he is studying, which is so hard because I can be annoying and loud, and I sing all the time! Sorry babe :-). Thankfully I got a job so I am gone most of the day. He took his test yesterday and we were just turning from the anxiety inside! If he received a score below 72%, he would have failed and been fired. Jeremy scored an 87% Look at my baby go!! I am so proud of my husband. With all of the distractions (like me) of studying at home, he kept focused. Now he has one more test, the Series 66 which is more intense studying than the last test and he takes the test in 2 weeks. Same requirements here--he has to get a 72% or higher or he's out. Wish him luck! He won't even get to take a real Thanksgiving break. He only has the actual day off, then back to studying Friday. We can't wait till we're past this! Then we can breath. Congrats J!

Monday, November 14, 2011

~Tortilla Back Bean Casserole~

For being cooked without an ounce of butter, oil or any fattening thing base, this is the darn best casserole out there. I got this recipe from my wonderful sis-in-law, Shannon. Thank you Shannon! I can't think of any casserole that puts together so many veggies, is truly healthy and really has a burst of flavor as much as this one does. Let's be honest though, can you really ever go wrong with avocado??

you'll need:

2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. diced green bell pepper
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
3/4 c. salsa
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15 oz. cans black or white beans, rinsed, drained*
12 6 inch corn tortillas
2 c. shredded Jack cheese (8 0z.)
avocado, and sour cream for garnish (not optional!!)

get busy:

1. In a skillet, combine onion, bell pepper, undrained tomatoes, salsa, cumin and garlic. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in beans, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

2. Spread 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.** Top with 6 tortillas and 1 c. cheese. Repeat until you run out of stuff--which took me two layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. The majority of the tortillas should be covered in cheese.

3. Cover with foil; bake for 27 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking for 8 more minutes, or 35 minutes in total. Let cool for a few minutes. Garnish with sour cream and avocado. This dish will not taste nearly as awesome as it will with the sour cream and avocado. Sprouts Grocery Store often has sales on avocados like 2 for a $1. Totally worth it!

*The original recipe calls for black beans, but I had white beans in the pantry, ergo I used white beans and it tasted just as good.

**I also made a half-recipe tonight, so I put cooked the casserole into an 8x8 pan.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

~Penne alla Vodka~

Yeah, you heard me right. Vodka! This is my signature dish. It's adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe, so it has to be delicious, right? When we have friends/family over, this is my go-to recipe. Because it's that good. Yep! Tried and true, everyone has loved it so far. I am obsessed with pasta. Plain and simple, I could never survive a carb-free diet because I won't let go of my pasta. This is one recipe I don't recommend whole wheat pasta, because I think it takes away from the sweet and amazing flavor the sauce provides. Don't worry, the alcohol cooks out! Then you're simply left with the sweet taste from the vodka. I usually love any pasta or meal that has alcohol in it... for example, my all-time favorite restaurant dish is chicken tequila fettucini from California Pizza Kitchen. Ahhh, in fact, I love that recipe so much, I ordered the CPK cookbook today just for that recipe. Can't wait for it to come!! Not as excited to buy tequila...
I forgot to buy mushrooms at the market (dang it!!) so these pictures are sans mushrooms :-( But still fantastic! But of course, I recommend mushrooms. They add a nice texture to the pasta.

I love pastas with creamy sauces, so I make sure to set the ingredients right to get a really creamy sauce. Not your cup of tea? Add less heavy whipping cream.

I made sauteed zucchini tonight with olive oil for the vegetable dish. I usually make this or a delightful strawberry spinach salad with a poppyseed dressing that I have gotten so many compliments on. One of these days, I'll post the recipe for that.

I think my favorite part of this recipe is that I got to use my fresh basil from my baby basil plant! I have been growing this basil since I lived in Laguna Beach this summer, and Supermom kept it alive while I was in Utah (thank you Mama!). I love my plant! Doesn't get fresher than that.

you'll need:

1 lb. penne pasta

4 to 5 tbs. butter, divided
1 pkg mushrooms, maybe 5 oz.? 9 oz? the more the better, sauteed
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. organic tomato paste
1/3 c. vodka (no weird flavor!)
2 tbs. fresh basil
2 tbs. salt
a pinch of cayenne
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

get busy:

Boil water for the pasta in a large pot. Meanwhile, sautee the mushrooms in one pan. In another, melt 4 tbs. butter and the whipping cream over medium-low heat in a large frying pan. In a small bowl, stir together the vodka and tomato paste. Stir into cream mixture. Add basil and cayenne. Cook on medium-low heat until you can't really smell the alcohol anymore. Add the sauteed mushrooms to the sauce. The sauce should be cooked enough to coat the back of a spoon. Want it thicker? Lower the heat and cook it longer.

Meanwhile, your water should be boiling by now. Add the penne and salt and cook until al-dente. Drain water; combine with sauce and parmesan and mix together. This recipe is great served with a yummy salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

~Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies~

Finally! A chocolate chip cookie that I love and can bake at the same time! My sister and brother make delicious cookies but for some reason, whenever I try to bake them, they don't turn out. Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe that turned out amazing (and yes, passed the hubby test). Some people prefer their chocolate chip cookies to be hard, but I like mine soft and chewy--almost undercooked. A pet peeve of mine is when cookies are made with margarine. NOOOOO! They must be made with butter!! They taste differently, I promise. Butter is the way to go, and there is just no replacement. I made these tonight with mostly whole wheat flour and a little white flour (heehee the husband didn't know!) and you could not tell a difference. I am making the slow switch to all whole wheat in my home for everything I cook/bake because it is healthier. We'll see how long I can make it before Jeremy notices/complains.

I made half a recipe, and used an ice cream scooper to ensure all cookies are the same size. I like my cookies bigger. So a half recipe with bigger cookies made 9--perfect, so I won't eat too many!

Bake anywhere from 8-13 minutes. It really depends on your oven. Because I make my cookies a little bigger, they take a little longer to bake.

Golden on the outsides, soft n' gooey on the inside.

I am a firm believer in bittersweet or at least 60% cacao. That's the good stuff. I grew out of milk chocolate a while ago. Besides, bittersweet chocolate is actually a little healthier for you, too!

you'll need:

3/4 c. salted butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar, or agave
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I use my homemade vanilla)
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

get busy:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugars. Add egg and vanilla; mix. Add the rest of the ingredients. Plop whatever size cookies you want on to an ungreased cookie sheet. I highly recommend air-bake cookie sheets. It is nearly impossible to burn the bottom of your cookies with these amazing cookie sheets. I also recommend using an ice cream or cookie dough scooper to all the cookies come out the same size*. Bake for 8-13 minutes, depending on how big the cookies are; let cook for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

*Christmas gift idea: make these cookies. Take a Pringles can and cover it with cute wrapping paper or scrapbook paper. Put your homemade cookies inside and it's a cutely wrapped gift for someone and a container to keep the cookies fresh!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

~Pumpkin Bread~

Well, this is my absolute FAVORITE pumpkin bread recipe ever! I have tried so many differeny pumpkin breads from lots of different ladies, and I still stick the same recipe I have from Supermom. In my opinion, nothing beats this recipe. I made it as one huge loaf, but I would recommend making this recipe in 5 small loaf pans and giving them away to neighbors or friends. They will love it!

Pumpkin bread without chocolate chips is like cookies without eggs or flour. They are a must! This bread is especially good warm, so the chocolate is melted and oozy. MMMMM.

Combine and mix all of the ingredients in a mixer well, so there are no chunks of pumpkin or shortening.

My bread split a little at the top because I kept taking it out every 5 minutes to check if it was done. Ha, learn from this: if you cook this entire recipe in one pan as I did, cook it for a good hour! Maybe more! When you bake them in 5 small loaves, they cook in about 30 minutes.

you'll need:

2/3 c. shortening (white)
2 2/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 can Libby's pumpkin
2/3 c. water
2 1/3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

get busy:

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer, cream shortening and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into well-greased bread loaf pans. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. If you are making this in one big bread pan, cook for at least an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. That's it! Easy, right??

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

~French Dip Sandwiches with Aujus Sauce~

I love my Crock Pot. What an easy to way to make a meal! Now that I work full-time and commute, I have been utilizing my casserole dishes and my Crock Pot (thanks again Ash for the Crock Pot!). This is probably one of the easiest dinners ever to make. The first time I made it for Jeremy, he loved it, and it is on our regular family menu. This meal couples well with spinach, but it really could go with any veggie. I just made a ton of spinach tonight because I didn't eat many vegetables today.

you'll need:

3 lb chuck roast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 beef bouillon cube
enough water to almost cover the roast

get busy:

Throw all of the above ingredients into your Crock Pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Mine always seems to be done in 8, but it depends on how quickly your slow cooker cooks. Once it's done, put the meat on either French rolls or hoagie rolls, and put the sauce in a ramekin. That's it! This is a crowd pleaser. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

~Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps~

I know what you're thinking. "Oh, lettuce wraps require so many ingredients, and/or would take too long to make." That is only partially true. It does take some time to makes these (only because it's a lot of chopping) but I only had to buy a few new ingredients for this recipe. After a considerable time scouring the internet for a good recipe, this is the one I stuck with. The other ones may turn out great, but they called for so many little ingredients I never carry in my cupboards, so I wanted to choose a recipe that was more cost-efficient.

This recipe only has a few ingredients that you'll need to visit the Asian section of any grocery story for. I hope you like these as much as the hubby and I do. This serves as an incredibly healthy and delicious appetizer or main course. We have it for dinner. I just love the combination of the warm food and cool crunch provided by the lettuce.

When dicing, all of the veggies/chicken should be the same size--very very small.

Once you add the vegetable oil and sesame oil, cook the green peppers, mushroom, and green onions.

Add the sauce and bring to a boil; then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Spread some of the chicken mixture onto your lettuce and munch away. Seriously, good.

you'll need:

2 chicken breasts
1 large carrot
8 whole mushrooms, diced
3 green onions, diced
1 red or green bell pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can water chestnuts, drained, chopped
2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1 head iceberg or butter lettuce, leaves washed and separated in wholes


1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (I don't always add this)

get busy:

Bring chicken breasts to a boil in water to cover with a pinch of salt. Boil for ten minutes. Remove from water and chop finely, about the size of a kernel of corn.

Meanwhile, finely grate carrot. Finely dice onion, water chestnuts, mushrooms and bell pepper to the same size as the chicken pieces, about the size of a kernel of corn. Mix together sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine; set aside.

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil in a large pan. Add onions, mushrooms and bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes to soften. Add chicken, water chestnuts, and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes. Add sauce to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until liquid is reduced and there is almost no liquid left in pan. Stir in grated carrot. This tastes yummy with some brown rice, but I don't cook starches too often anymore, so I made spinach instead.