Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pastrami Provolone Sub








Happy after Christmas to everyone...

It seems my bunch is tired of turkey, stuffing, roast, vegetables, and heavy meals. They seem to have gyrated towards a few sandwiches. I find a good sandwich makes for a quick meal and actually helps with moving leftovers out of that refrigerator.

I actually tried the pinterest one that used the Hawaiian rolls, with ham and cheese then this mix of butter and stuff poured over top. It was a big hit and it makes a full cookie sheet, which equal less work, make and pop in oven and serve to the bunch.

Today I bought some turkey pastrami at the Sam's club, a package of provolone cheese and a bag of 6 - 12 inch hero bread. I took estimated one loaf per every two people with one half leftover for anyone extra hungry.

Pastrami Provolone Sub

Ingredients:

Turkey Pastrami (or any you like thin sliced, I am cheap I used 6 slices per loaf, you can just pile it up and make it authentic yummy)

Provolone Cheese (you can also here use whatever cheese you like, use what you have I prefer provolone or mozzarella)

Grain Mustard ( here also any you like)

Sour Kraut (you can opt this one out if you don't like it and put a dill pickle)

Instructions:

1) Cut open all loaves and build the sandwich, pastrami, sauerkraut, provolone, and mustard.

2) On a foil lined sheet pan, lightly butter entire loaf on each side and lay on sheet pan.

3) With another sheet pan, put on top and put something heavy. I used my iron grill.

4) Place in oven at 400 for the first 10 minutes, then remove top (carefully it was hot)
leaving in the loaves to brown up a bit and get crunchy (about another 10-15 minutes)

5)  Pull out and cut into quarters and leave there and let them come and get it...

You could also do this with ham/cheese, cornbeef/swiss, salami and mozzarella...endless possibilities.

This again was a big hit at my house and I will most probably do it this way again. There was virtually no mess, except when putting together, and cleaning up was just a roll of the foil and toss.

_______________________________________________________

So another year is coming to an end. It seems as sometimes, it is a long time and sometimes it is just brand new.

I wish for all my friends a Happy New Year. I wish for you all, just enough, just enough love, for those days you need it, just enough memories to carry you through, just enough of all that you will need.

Take time to enjoy you family, make great memories and remember..."It really is just that simple."

Much love to all...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cauliflower-Brocolli Salad







I was looking today, for something fresh to eat. I am over all the heavy Thanksgiving foods and such. I am enjoying way too many cookies. So I decided to get my veggies in me.

Today I made a Cauliflower-Broccoli Salad. Fresh, cool taste and really not bad for you.

Cauliflower- Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 head of cauliflower (cut into little bites) (don't throw anything away, put to the side)

1 head of broccoli (cut also into the little bites -little trees) (don't throw those stalks away)

2 tablespoons of minced onion

1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 cup of mayonnaise ( I use fat free)

2tsp of sugar (I used stevia)

3 tbs of red wine vinegar

Instructions:

1) Mix all together and let chill.

This was my lunch today. I just enjoy the freshness. I have seen this recipe with bacon added. But hey I figured if I didn't miss it I wouldn't miss it. Less calories and more cookies.

With all the left over cauliflower and broccoli you can save it up in freezer and make a soup. What I did was go through my entire refrigerator and made a whole tray of veggies to roast for dinner tonight. Then what is left will be put in fridge for later this week to make into meatloaf or a Stromboli. Not really sure yet.

I am hoping to get back and post a few more before the Christmas Eve. I do an appetizer night on Christmas Eve. I hope that this next year, brings you many blessings..

Please take time for you and your family and make memories. They are the glue to what makes you who you are. It really is just that simple...From my house to yours...

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

McCain Smiles Crispy Outside and Mashed Potatoes Inside


Not real sure this is a new item. I think I have actually seen them in a microwaveable meal with chicken nuggets for kids. I found these at the Aldi's Grocery here in GA.

They are a nice little add to a meal. I actually think they kinda taste like a less seasoned potato knish. I love the smiley faces.

I thought they were really good, the kids like them too.

Here is the nutrition information on them.


Just sharing again....finished for the day...lol...

Spinach Artichoke Dip



We seem to always have appetizers and I am always trying to make them at least a little healthier.

This is my spinach artichoke dip. This year I decided to make the dip, leave in container in the refrigerator and then take it out, and put in a small throw away able (like a pot pie pan) that way we would only eat what we would like, instead of just eating to keep from wasting.
The leftover that I have I am using to stuff into my sweet peppers this week. Note that I really try not to waste anything.

The artichokes were really a find at the Aldis, they were just canned in water. Which in turn brought the calories way down. I you can't find any you can leave them out. I just like the texture that they bring to the game.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen spinach (12 oz-16 oz) (I cut it up just a bit) (thaw and get water out)
1 jar of artichokes (cut them up just a bit )
1/2 block of fat free cream cheese
1/8 cup of fat free mayo
1/4 cup of fat free sour cream
2 tbs of grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder
1tbs of Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:

1) Mix all together and put into a baking dish.

2) Bake at 350 until all bubbly.

Serve with anything to dip. I use wheat thins.

When you make things simple and I even doubled this one. So it is even more simpler for the next time.

This mixture I also can use stuffed into shells, rolled into pinwheels,
pizza bread sticks.  It can be remade into a brand new appetizer.

I wanted to share this so you can have a few ideas of what we have been making over here.

From my family to yours....Here is hoping you have a wonderful Christmas, Holidays and a very Happy New Year!.

Pepperoni, Cheese Pizza Stromboli






So on the tail of the Sausage, Peppers, and Onions Roll Up. I had to find something for my children to eat. They are not into Italian Sausage and so they were complaining.
I then just searched again into the pit of the refrigerator and I made this for them.
Stromboli I consider it like a roll up with goodies inside. This can be made of anything.. as long as there is cheese..

Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Stromboli

Ingredients:

Pepperoni Slices (I had two bags of the turkey slices that were both open)

1/2  cup of mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup of shredded cheese (you can use any cheese, cheese slices...)

1/4 cup of sauce

1 pizza dough (today I used a can of Pillsbury)

Instructions:

1) Spray a sheet of foil or parchment paper and spread out your pizza dough.

2) Spread sauce all the way to about a quarter inch from edges.

3) lay out the pepperoni on top of sauce.

4) Sprinkle with the cheese.

5) Then start from bottom and roll up. I use the paper to roll with and releasing it until I finally finish a the rolling  up. Now remember to roll small and all. Like a jelly roll cake. Pinch ends and poke a few holes to vent.

6) A little olive oil on top and a touch of garlic salt.

7) Pop in oven and bake at 400 for 30 minutes until melted and brown.

This one also you need to let cool. It lets the cheese set up and tastes so much better.
The kids also dip this in spaghetti sauce.


Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Roll Up







We did an open house brunch thing here at my house this weekend. I did a tray (9x13) of Sausage, Pepper, and Onions with a tray of Baked Ziti and then a crock pot full of meatballs and sauce. Finishing with a tray of salad, with rolls. Rolls you could make the sausage and peppers as a sandwich and even the meatballs as a sandwich. This was really an affordable meal and I served about 30 people. I made two trays of each entree and the only leftover I had was a half tray of sausage and peppers.

The Sausage and Peppers were just a simple recipe. I bake the sausage until it is done and then cut into bite size slices. In a large saute pan I took 3 green peppers, 3 onions all julienned sliced and saute them down with a bit of garlic and 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 can of tomato sauce. Slip the sausage into the softened down peppers and onion mixture and let simmer just a little. At this point you can transfer to a crock pot and keep warm.

As I wrote above we had Sausage and Peppers left. I had about 4 cups left. I took 2 cups and put into a freezer container to use again later. The other 2 cups I made our dinner.


Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Roll Up


Ingredients:

2 cups of Italian sausage and peppers and onion (leftover or can be made just for this occasion)

1 Pizza crust dough

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

1) Spread out dough onto a pam sprayed piece of foil or parchment paper.

2) Put sausage, pepper and onion mixture all down the middle saving an half inch from sides.

3) Put mozzarella cheese on top.

4) Roll from bottom, to across top of mixture, keep dough on paper and pick up paper and bring across the top, then release dough from paper, which leaves it laying on top (the dough) then flip entire thing over, pulling with the paper, then shape and then peel paper away, it will leave the entire thing on the top end. You can leave there or put on another sprayed sheet pan.
Poke a few small holes, to vent while it cooks.

5) Slightly sprinkle with olive oil and Parmesan and a little garlic salt.

6) Pop in oven for about 35 minutes until all brown. at 400.

7) Please let cool a few minutes, before cutting. It will hold together better and you won't scald your mouth.

I love sharing these recipes, because they make what you have leftover, look brand new. That in turn feeds your family and saves you money. If you ever wanna share any ideas, please always feel free to holler my way.

Until then remember life is " really that simple" enjoy it and make it your own.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Vegetable Egg Rolls Fried in Coconut Oil Revamped wwpp = 2 eggrolls =3 points



I know after all that Thanksgiving food, a little Chinese food sounds really good. We actually have an all you can eat buffet near us, but I choose to try and make my own. I can watch the ingredients and calories. Since I am back on WW I can also try to make them delicious with the least amount of points.

I have made these a while back, as a baked egg roll option. I really like them baked, but my husband seems to think that it is lacking that fried taste. So today I made them a little differently, giving my coconut oil a try. Let me say I did not taste any coconut at all.

I also made these out of necessity to use up the big bag of coleslaw mix I bought before the holiday. So let me get to writing out this recipe for you.

Vegetable Egg Rolls  Fried in Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NO LEFTOVERS --- OVER HERE...



 Photo: A wild turkey

 GOBBLE...GOBBLE....

Hello everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving...we are now entering the holiday season..

In this time of less we must all step up so that we can feed our families and keep food on the table. I am sure we all have leftovers from this weekend. So I decided I was going to take this post to tell you what I did to make a difference. I tried to use up all that I had bought. In sharing maybe I taught you something new. Maybe I made a difference is how someone looks at what they considered a leftover. 

First let us start with the turkey. I picked off what meat I could get off the bird, don’t make yourself work too hard, just a quick pick. First I picked out any decent sized meat to make a sandwich or two. With the little pieces I chopped into bite size and put 2 cups each into a freezer quart bag. Squeeze air out and roll up and then put at least 4 filled bags into a freezer gallon bag. With these they can be used to make soup, pot pies, tetrazzini, faux bq, or even cream of turkey on toast, or  anything you would like turkey with. 

Making faux  barbeque out of it. I put into a small crockpot with bq sauce and let simmer for awhile and it takes very good, on a bun, a baked potato.

Cream of Turkey on Toast – you make a white sauce (like a gravy) with green peppers and turkey on toast. I will share that recipe and a picture sometimes this week.

With the carcass and the bits left on it. I put the whole inside my pasta boiler pan. You know the one with the strainer pan that goes inside a regular pot .  I then added water about 6 inches above it all and let it boil away making at least a gallon of broth. When done you just pull out the strainer pan and pick off any remaining meat (comes off easier after boiling ) and finally throw that carcass out. 

The  broth is then divided it up into quarts. I put the other 3 quarts into the freezer. With the last quart I put into a pot or a crock pot and started the base to a soup. I picked whatever was left on the  carcass and that actually gave me enough meat (If not stop here and get one of the two cups heading for the freezer). Adding that to your soup.  I had a veggie plate also for thanksgiving. So I chopped up all the carrots, celery and added onion to my soup. I also add another 3 cups of water, or chicken broth, or more turkey broth, but usually just water and a some chicken bouillon. I also add any other veggies. Like the peas, Lima beans, and green beans. This makes a nice soup.  Sometimes, I add rice in it, sometimes I make noodles ahead and just pour soup over them and then sometimes I let the noodles cook in it all. It really all depends on how you like things.

If you have a pie crust hanging about you can also just thicken this all up (minus any noodles or rice), and at this point I even add all my leftover gravy,  and make a pot pie. I always keep a pie crust in freezer, you know like the Pillsbury, the one you just roll out. In a pinch you can thicken up and just put on refrigerator biscuits on top. As long as there is that lovely turkey gravy broth and something to sop it up with.. gosh I'm hungry just telling you what I am doing to day.

Now on to the ham. I first take out the nice slices, enough for a sandwich or two. If there are a great many slices, I will portion into a ham meal and seal it for the freezer. With the smaller chunks I can cut into bite  size pieces and fill a snack baggie full. And place them into a freezer quart. Saving them for omelets, pizza, and soups or smaller add in.
I always save the ham bone.. either for some collard greens or some great beans on into the winter. Good on a cold day with cornbread.

This year I took a portion and made my moms ham salad. Put your ham in a processor, a bit of onion, mayonnaise, sweet relish and splash of mustard. I just love this.  I will also share this recipe soon too.

Mashed potatoes I usually try to use them up the next day. I will add an egg, a little flour and make potato cakes.

Stuffing , is always gone, they love it fried. So I just do that
.
Sweet potatoes, I always, take them and buy won ton wrappers and make a sweet potato pirogi. Just stuff the won ton and cook in a bit of butter. Yummy. 

With any of the other leftover vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, onions. I will roast them and have with a first meal and then with leftovers, puree down and put into my meatloaf. Usually after a week of turkey they are ready for some meatloaf.

The pies, if they are only half done, I will probably cut them and freeze them, by portions.  Apple pie freezes well and heats back up really good. So if they don’t heat them up as single servings, I will have them for Christmas week.

I also made a spinach dip, in making it this year, I made the mixture and split into two containers and when ready I filled a throw away foil dish and baked a portion right then. Hot and tasty. With this other portion I am going to use to fill my sweet peppers, or make a crescent roll up. If it makes it till Christmas I will use it again as a dip.

My crab dip will just get put up, until Christmas eve appetizer night. It is still in mixture form, so all I  will need to do is thaw and bake.

I also bought a big bag of shredded cheese, I will re portion it into freezer quarts and freeze. I crumbles just the same. 

All the other sides, like the casseroles, I try to incorporate them into other meals during the week.

I think that just about cleared my refrigerator out.  For a palate cleaning meal tonight, we are having pizza.

I hope I at least left you with an idea, maybe saving something you thought you couldn’t re-use. Saving a bit on groceries.

I am in a hurry to post this, but I want to wish every a very Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. Make the days yours, make memories.
“It really is just that simple”

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pinned It -- Did It-- and Loved It Slider Ham and Cheese Bake






Okay, It turned out to be one of those days, last Saturday. I had already gone to the store, decided we were going to have sliders, you know of the hamburger kind. I the frugal mother that I am, said, "Okay, I have hamburger in the freezer, and it is 9am and when I get home, it will thaw by 6pm" NOT>>NOT

So I had three packages of slider buns. Kroger's make an actual little itty bitty slider bun, like really cute. They are 1.00 a package of 12. You can also use the Hawaiian rolls, and I have even used regular size rolls from Sams.

As I was looking at the frozen meat, I remembered a recipe I came across on the Pinterest Site. It was for actually a ham, provolone, and Hawaiian roll one.  I always have lunch meat hanging around. So I just modified it to fit what I had in the refrigerator.

Slider Ham and Cheese Bake   package of 12

(Since I have a big family I never have anything of 12) You can make this any size you want. A 9x13 pan, or as big as a sheet tray. Just make sure you get enough ham and cheese to put on each sandwich. )

Ingredients:

1 package of ham ( I actually cut the ham in half and put both halves on the roll, just to give it a easier stack instead of folding it)

Cheese ( I used 1/2 slice for each sandwich, I found that Swiss or mozzarella had a better taste with the sandwich.)(use what you like)(you could use shredded too!)

Margarine or Butter. I used 1 stick for 24 rolls.

1/2 onion (minced really small, could use dehydrated)

3 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

Instructions:

1) Spray your pan, that you are going to use.(or I use parchment for everything)

2)Lay in the bottom of your rolls. Side by side, squeezing them all in.

3) Lay on your meat and then your cheese. Put the top of rolls back on.

4) In a microwave bowl, put butter, minced onion, Dijon mustard, and the worcestershire and melt down.

5) Pour liberally across the top of the rolls, trying to kinda get some on them all.
(at this point on pinterest it said to let sit in fridge overnight, not me I popped them right in.)

6) Put in oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Remove and enjoy.

This was really easy, really quick and it filled everyone up. You could do a salad and a tray of these. A pot of soup, chili and a tray of these. The mixture you pour on, flavors it and then while it is cooking it crisps up the bottom.

I was thinking though you could come up with other combinations.  Maybe an Italian twist. Salami and Mozzarella and add a bit of oregano to the top mixture. Maybe do it with hero bread and cup into pieces.

This could be a quick meal. Maybe after thanksgiving, with the turkey and make a topping using a little of cranberry, or do with the same topping as above and then make a gravy to pour over...yummy..

 Great way to use old rolls too, cause once you bake them, it will make them fresh again. A meal saved from what you would have wasted..That is right up my alley.

Gosh, I made my self hungry.

___________________________________

Haven't posted in awhile, and I hope I will change that, kinda been trying to get back on a diet and watch what I am eating. I find now, that I can eat anything, just in moderation, special occasions.

Be good to yourself. Take this recipe, tweak it, make it yours.

It really is that simple....

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cooking From My Pantry Fried Rice

Fried Rice (minus the egg)






Pantry by definition: Is a room or closet that food items are stored. I consider anywhere I store food items my pantry. Scarey right!

Today I am going to walk you through a Fried Rice Dish. This Dish is always something I make with the stuff I keep in my pantry and my freezer.  If you are ordering out Chinese for Fried Rice, you really can make one in just minutes on the fly, if you have it on hand in your pantry. Or what is hiding in that freezer.

First what is your favorite kind of fried rice? Mine is usually a little meat, sometimes egg, loads of onions, sauteed garlic slices, always peas and carrots, and sometimes another vegetable, if I have any on hand.

Let's talk about Rice.

I keep on hand at least 2 bags of the Uncle Ben's Ready Rice 90 seconds. One bag will make enough for two people or a quart serving of fried rice.



Or a box of Minute Rice. These two rice, seem to hold up better in a fried rice. Now white grain rice if left over night, also will hold up to the second cooking.

Now the Vegetables:

I adore onions when they are softened, so I kinda go heavy on a small dice.
Garlic is another of my favorite and I keep fresh garlic bulbs and any time I get a change to soften them in a stir fry I always add them. I slice them paper thin.
Peas and Carrots are another nice vegetable to add to a fried rice. You add them frozen and they soften as you start making the rice. If you have any brocolli add it in too, frozen and it will soften all together.

The Meat:

Chicken - next time you cook breasts, make one extra and cut in chunks and put into a freezer bag and just pull out when you want it with chicken.
Pork - next time you are making chops, just pull one off and slice it really thin and store it also in a freezer bag.
Kielbasi - which is usually my go to, I take it from the store and cut into 4 pieces and then into bite size pieces and into a freezer bag.

I actually keep a freezer gallon, and put all the smaller meat bags inside and they are labeled for fried rice..sometimes although I sneak over and take a little for a pizza now and again.   SHHHHHH!

 The Egg:

I always do it first in the pan and make scrambled eggs and put to the side. I usually sometimes skip it because I really don't miss it. If you like it, and need the protein then add it. Makes it authentic fried rice.

So now lets us see what we can make here:

Fried Rice  (serves 2)

(Today mine is made with Chipolte Kielbasa)

Ingredients:

Rice (already made) 1 cup

1/4 piece of Kielbasa (diced)

1/2 onion small (diced)

3 garlic cloves (paper thin)

1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots

1 tbs of soy sauce (reduced sodium)

1tbs of olive oil

Instructions:

*If you want the egg in it, scramble egg first in pan and pull out for a few minutes, you will add back in with rice.


1) In a pan large enough to make the entire rice dish. Put in olive oil and kielbasa. Let kielbasa brown just a bit. Keep on Medium heat.

2) Throw in onions and garlic (watch garlic) just enough to soften.

3) Throw in frozen peas and carrots.. Saute until unfrozen just a bit.

4) Add the rice and egg into the pan. Start to toss all around with the other things in the pan. Add a little soy to it.

5) Heat until rice is warm and continue to toss while it is heating.

Serve and Enjoy

______________________________________



 Lunch from my Pantry.

Once you get the hang of trying to remake things that you have. Saving that little bit that you usually don't know what to do with it. Can make an entirely new meal.

So if you are hankerin' for that fried rice, you can do it.

Make it your own, add what you like...

Yes, it really is just that simple.....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Calizone Round 2 Frozen Store Bread Dough







I know, I know...she ain't too pretty....but come on guys looks are deceiving...
Her cargo is full of spinach, garlic, onions, mushroom and oooeye gooey mozzarella cheese. Pulling into shore on this one, you gotta let her sit, so she cools down, cause she is one hot babe...

I laughed the whole time I wrote that. I am my best entertainment. The other day I went to the store and bought the bag of frozen bread dough (5 in a bag) I actually took out three and put each one in a gallon baggie sprayed with Pam spray and slipped back into my fridge. Not really sure what they would become, but as you see during this week they are taking on a life of their own.

Now we all know, I just love spinach, I buy a whole bag or carton almost every week. The thing about spinach is, it can sneak or go boldly into any meal. Also if it looks as if I might not make it in freshness much longer, one can cut into ribbons and put into a freezer bag. Or freezer baggies in serving sizes to pull out for what you are cooking.

I am also a fan of fresh garlic (which can be used and then again saved in freezer) onions which also I have on hand and they can also be prepped for saving too. Mushrooms is another one of mine.. wow these are all fresh things and can be kept a little while and then if you don't use them in the right time, you can preserve them into serving in freezer. Note freezer is my best friend. I have a shelf just for the small things I save.

Saving in these days is so very important. It stretches my grocery bill and if you are like us it can really wrack up in the money. I can spend as much as a house payment in one day.

When I find something I can do multi things with I am delighted.

Today I made a calizone, a big one. I will eat a piece for lunch, the baby will eat a snack piece, the big boy will take 1/3 and eat and the other 3rd I will pack away in the daddy's lunch box.  Gone Calizone....



Calizone

* calizones can be filled with whatever you like. I try to use only dry things that don't have alot of juice. If you use sauce (which I didn't even miss, use a little.) You can use all meats, all veggies. When I have time I sometimes roast all kinds of veggies and keep to put into one. Eggplant is delicious in one.

Ingredients:  (in mine today)

1 thawed pizza dough ( use can use Pillsbury canned, or make your own)

4 mushrooms (diced)

1/3 onion (diced)

2 cups of spinach ( ribboned or chiffonade)

2 large cloves of garlic (minced)

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

sea salt

Instructions:

1) I cup up everything and put into a bowl and added cheese and tossed together by hand.

2) Foil a cookie sheet and then spray with non-stick and spread out your dough, like you are doing a pizza.

3) Lay all the mixture kinda down the middle towards the front, leaving clean edges.

4) Pull over top (if you have a hard time pick up the foil at the top and use it to pull top dough over the mixture) Be quick .

5) Pinch all the edges and fold over a bit if you can to make sure you sealed it all. (It will look like a big mountain)

6) Poke a few holes.

7) Pop into a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes. I liked mine browner so I turned it up to 400 for a few more minutes.




PLEASE YOU MUST LET IT SIT AND COOL FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES OR SO. IT IS SUPER GOOEY AND HOT.  BE PATIENT (I know this cause I wasn't)

_____________________________________________




Now check her out. She was as yummy as she looks. I know I am making you hungry and any time you want, holler, I love company. I love cooking.

Keep praying for me, I am working on a cookbook. I know food and me. It is a new path for me. I will keep everyone posted. If you are going to be interested and would like for me to hold one for you. Please post a comment.

Again my friends.. This was made with simple things and from simple things came a really great meal. One to share with your friends and family.

So get out there and make it yours.  It really is just that simple.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Meatless Monday - Indoor Grilled Pizza



MONDAY......
I know today is Tuesday and I tried really hard to get over here and post this, but my Laundry was the boss yesterday...Try like 8 loads...geezzzzz...

I am trying to incorporated at least 3-4 meatless days into our weekly menus. One because it seems we eat a little more veggies and it saves a little more money.  I am making Monday our first Meatless day. Meatless Monday..I know alot of people use that name, so I can borrow it too.

This week I made  personal pizzas. I keep most of the veggies on hand so I can just throw them in a pinch and make the meals more nutritious.  I have shared with you how I cut up and try to use what vegetables I have before they go bad, and right when I run out of ideas I either dice them up into small portions, into freezer bags for other meals, or I boil everything into a purree for a wonderful meatloaf.

For cooking this pizza, I thought I would try something different without cranking up the stove. I have an electric indoor grill that I wear out all the time. Which left me with a great idea... grilled pizza.

When I was younger, I grew up with 5 siblings. My mother would always want to make the birthdays special. We were allowed to choose the meal. Not like these days, we didn't go out, but that was okay, because she was a wonderful cook. My oldest sisters favorite was chicken and dumplings. My oldest brothers were liver and onions. (mine too, but not on my birthday). One of my littlest sisters, hers was chicken pot pies from the freezer section..go figure. Mine was homemade pizza. She would hand make the dough (when it cooked you could smell the yeast) and then take a can of whole tomatoes and squeeze each one onto the top of the pizza, a little garlic salt and then cheese and we were on our way. I loved birthdays..

So let me share with you my new creation

Indoor Grilled Pizza  (2)

Ingredients:

pizza dough ( at this point you can make your own, pillsbury in the can, or I buy the frozen dough bread rolls and let thaw out)
*tip - If you use the frozen bread rolls, I spray a gallon ziplock with pam spray and slip frozen dough in and let it rise in that. You can keep a few days in refrigerator.

Motzerella cheese (or what you like)

Vegetables ( small diced - I used onions, mushrooms and spinach.)

Olive Oil

Garlic Salt

Sea Salt

Instructions:

1) Pre-heat your grill with a little olive oil.

2) Prep your toppings, make them a little small on the dice, so they get tender from the grill.

3) Take 1/2 dough and stretch in kinda rectangly, or how you can get it.

4) Lay on grill. Grill until side is crunchy brown, and flip.

5) Now put on toppings, you can use sauce, but I just skipped it. I also just used a little cheese. Put a dash of garlic salt on top.

6) Crank the heat down just a bit so the crust will heat through and get the toppings cooked a little ( at this point you could slip into an oven) but I proceeded to finish on the grill. I then took my crock pot lid (any lid, or even a pan and flip over top to kinda let the stuff all melt and get gooey.)

When it is kinda melty (watch the bottom you don't want to burn it) Slide off onto a cutting board and let sit a minute. (melts the cheese a little more)

Finish with a splash of olive oil and dash of sea salt. Cut and enjoy.




Here is a shot of the bottom..
 and of course the bite...Yummy...

I think the easier something becomes, the easier it is to plan. Slip in a frozen dough loaf into the fridge and plan something great.. You could fill half of it up, with the same fillings, pop in oven and have a wonderful calizone.

Some things in life are just that simple...















Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spaghetti Casserole with Zucchini Noodles







Spaghetti Casserole with Zucchini Noodles

I bought the new gadget, which I posted previously about. It can make zucchini into the shape of spaghetti noodles. Paderno Vegetable Peeler.
I thought as a first try that I would sneak it into my spaghetti casserole. Well this is really made on the stove and then transferred to a crock pot on low and cheesed and left for an hour.
I do this alot when I have things to do right before dinner. Like take a dip in the pool, to get some much needed exercise. When I transfer it to a low crock pot, all the sauces and such soak up into the pasta and makes it really taste good, especially with some melted cheese on it...yummmy.

Spaghetti Casserole with Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients:

1 box of spaghetti

2 medium sized zucchini

1/2 lb ground beef

1/4 onion diced

1 can of sauce

Instructions:

1) Brown your meat and onions and drain.

2) Boil Spaghetti and drain.



3) Make zucchini noodles and cut up a bit, cause the gadget leaves some really long strands and it makes it easier to mix in. Mix into drained spaghetti.(leave zucchini uncooked)



4) In the crock pot pour in can of sauce, meat mixture, boiled spaghetti - zucchini mixture.
*notice the crock pot liner.. I always use one..they leak sometimes, but they sure make it easy to clean.



5) Mix up with tongs and sprinkle with cheese, put on lid and turn on low...will be really ready in about 1 hour 1/2 hours..





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If you look you can barely see the green. The family all liked it. I used the Hunts canned sauce and it seems they must be cutting back on the tomatoes, because it is usually a little darker. My family liked it, but like my husband said, "Doesn't taste like spaghetti." Well it does, it just doesn't have that full carb feeling and the zucchini gives it a lighter taste to it. I will do this again. After I told him he could have more because the veggies stretched out the meal. He was pleased.

You can also do this and bake in the oven. Which is what I usually do, but here in Ga we are having 90 degree weather in the middle of September. Doing it this way keeps my kitchen tolerable.

The next way I will try the zucchini spaghetti noodles with be with a pesto sauce. I will let you know how that works out. I actually think that make be an Italian Dish.

I hope you enjoy my cooking and my blog. If you ever want to contact me always feel free to drop me a line.

Until next time...enjoy life...put your feet up and relax...it really is just that simple...





Zucchini Faux Spaghetti Noodles Kitchen Gadget - Paderno Vegetable Peeler






My new kitchen gadget. Let me introduce to you the Paderno Vegetable Peeler. It is available on Amazon.Com.


http://www.amazon.com/Paderno-World-Cuisine-A4982799-Tri-Blade/dp/B0007Y9WHQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378817913&sr=8-1&keywords=zucchini+spaghetti+maker

First time in posting a link. If it doesn't work let me know.

This little baby is one of the coolest things I have ever had. I have at this time only tried the zucchini. I actually added it to a spaghetti casserole and everyone ate it. I will post the recipe in the next post.

Let me show you a little about this bugger..


You cut the ends off of the zucchini. and push it on a little post and then push the right side into it. Turn the handle. It has little suction cups on the feet to keep it from sliding.






Turn the handle and you are off.




Look just like spaghetti strands.




Another shot. This was actually two medium sized zucchinis.




Here is a shot of back of box, thought you would like to see. It comes with a 3 more blades that do different stuff. I am wanting to try the dehydrated apple slices.




More stuff from the box.. Just for information.

This gadget will be used alot. I am always looking for way to incorporate or just eat more vegetables in my home.

You must remember though, that zucchini doesn't need much cooking and is tender to start with.

I put it into a spaghetti casserole, I just incorporated it into the mix and left in my crock pot, or oven.
I have also sauteed it with olive oil, garlic and melted a few laughing cow cheeses into it.

My family actually enjoyed everything I have used or put zucchini in.

It was really very easy and very easy to clean. I just squirted it and let it all dry.

I just love gadgets, especially if it is one that really works and does what I want it to do.

So my friends, enjoy my post, and I hope you found it informative. If you get one, let me know what you think.

Have a great day, and make something yours...it really is just that simple...






Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pinned It ---- Did It--- and We Loved It Angel Food Apple Cake






Angel Food Apple Cake

Another success. I sometimes browse the boards of Pinterest and find a few easy things that we give a try. Here is the site I found mine on : so I try to give credit where credit is due and this is my closest one.

 http://kim-thislittlelifeofmine.blogspot.com/2012/05/2-ingredient-apple-angel-food-cake.html

I decided to make part of my blog, trying out new things. I have actually done this recipe with crushed pineapple. A Weight Watcher dessert to begin with and then into a great little two ingredient cake. Even better is that it is low fat. A double whammy.

So for this chilly Saturday in the middle August. Yes, in the middle of August in the South and we are 70 degrees. I made fish sandwiches for lunch and popped this into the oven.

Angel Food Apple Cake

Ingredients:

1 box of Angel Food Cake

1 can of apple pie mix (I used Walmart Great Value)


Instructions:

1) Pour Angel Food mix into a bowl, empty in can of apple pie.

2) Stir, At first I thought the cake mix was too dry, but I continued until it was kinda like a batter.

3) Pour into a grease 9x13 pan.

4) Pop into 350 for 35-40 minutes. Until nice and brown.

Let cool just a bit (the apple parts are kinda hot) and cut. You can put ice cream on top if you want. It had a really nice taste the top part mixed with the stuff in the apples and it was kinda brown sugary meringue yummy and inside was moist with chunks of apple.

a piece is missing...??

A prettier picture of the brown sugary merangiey yummy!


The next one I will make will probably be a can of peaches. I love peaches in the summer.

For this chilly day in August, this dessert really hit the spot. That is why I hurried to blog it so you could give it a shot.

 Get back in those warm jammies and enjoy your Saturday...

So there you go......"Yes, It is really that simple"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Make It At Home --- Stuffed Burritos







Stuffed Burritos

I have seen oodles of commercials from Taco Bell this week, stuffed burritos. They always look so wonderful on TV, and they may taste great, but I have a family of 5 that would enjoy them and the cost would just be outrageous. I am constantly trying to re-make what they would enjoy out, at home. I like that I  can control what goes into the ingredients and the portions.

For this meal I had to do a little more prep work, but I also made extra for another day or another type of meal. Saves me time and money.

Stuffed Burritos
(for 5- The kids and I all ate one, and my husband had 2) and still had a bit left over)

Ingredients:

1 package of large size flour tortillas
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of small diced onion
1/2 head of shredded lettuce
3 chicken breasts
1 large can of enchilada sauce (next time I will make my own)
1 can of re fried beans (I will also next time make my own)
1 can of pinto beans  ( I will do these my own too)
2 cups of rice (Instant Minute Rice)

3 chicken bouillon
sour cream

* you could also add in jalapenos, black olives, tomatoes, salsa or anything else you would like

Instructions:

Prepping:

1) In my crock pot (put a liner) lay in 3 chicken breasts and pour in a can of enchilada sauce. Simmer all day on low and then shred.


2) In my small crock pot, I put my re fried beans and a can of pinto beans and left on warm.


3) For the rice: add chicken bouillon to the water and then instant rice and microwave (this is done about 15 minutes before you get ready to serve.)

4) Shred lettuce/ dice up onion, prep what ever you are going to put into your burrito.

5) For the sour cream, I actually put it into a squeeze bottle. 
(Kitchen Tip, put sour cream into a quart baggie and squeeze up into corner, (like an icing bag) hold over top of bottle you are putting it in and cut a the corner and squeeze it into bottle. Like a pro, no fuss and no mess. )
I also do this with hot sauce.

Now let's build this baby....

1) Lay tortilla on a plate. (build down the middle)
2) Smear a few spoonfuls of re fried beans down the middle.
3) Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4) Squirt of Sour Cream
5) Then the rice, pile a little all the way on the top, down the middle.
6) Then onions, lettuce, salsa, or what else you like.
7) Last put on the very top the chicken enchilada mixture.
8) Pull up one side and the the other and roll, until you completely flip it over with the seam on the bottom.
9) Decorate it how you like, I just squirted with Sour Cream. (You could cheese it and pop back in an oven to melt... )


* With the extra chicken enchilada mixture I put into a quart freezer bag. I will use it to make a pizza, maybe enchilada, and actually was thinking of maybe a southwestern egg roll.



This was dinner last night, it was very, very filling. It was the prep work that took the most time, but it was worth it. The littlest ate his like a taco, he could work with something that big. One of my oldest liked it and the other one doesn't care for food all mixed together...sigh, so she had just chicken. 

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Been 75 degrees here in GA for the past two days, and it is August. Not sure what that is all about, but we are enjoying it. Windows all opened up, AC off. The pool is just that refreshing chilly. School is on here in Ga, so it has been early mornings and out to the bus stop. Everyone is adapting to the changes, but I have noticed the house is sound to sleep by 9pm.

So my friends, keep in touch...remember I am always thinking of you..
"It really is just that simple"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pinned It ---- Did It--- Liked It Zucchini, Squash, Potato, Tomato Tartan






Zucchini, Squash, Potato, Tomato Tartan

I was going through the many pins I have on my Pinterest Board and I have a category, labeled .." Gonna Try"

I try to always give credit where credit is due and the only one I tracked it to was this website.eatlaughcraft.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/tomato-potatoezucchini-summer-squash-casserole/.

I did however changed it a bit around. I had all the components to make this dish, so I thought...gonna try..

Zucchini, Squash, Potato and Tomato Tartan

Ingredients:

2 potatoes
3 tomatoes
3 medium yellow squash
2 medium zucchini
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
Rosemary and thyme

Instructions:

1) I pulled out a 9x13 pan. Spray with non-stick spray.

2) Melt the butter and add to bottom of pan.

3) I minced the onion and garlic together in my food processor. Pour this on bottom of pan.

4) Layer in the veggies. Alternating with the different types.

 Pretty Right?



5) Sprinkle with a little spice, I used rosemary and thyme.





6) Cover with foil, 350 for 30 minutes.

7) Uncover and sprinkle with cheese, let cook until brown (about 15 minutes) (we used a little too much cheese)

Serve as a side dish or as a meal. It was really very good. The veggies were all tender.

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With the leftovers I put them in a pot with a bit of water and pureed them down and added them to my meatloaf recipe. It made the meatloaf moist, and really delicious.
That way nothing gets wasted.

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Happy August!

This is the last month of Summer. Here in Ga we send our kids back to school around the 6th of August. I wish it was like when I was little, a full summer from memorial day to labor day. I feel that it is way to short and way to hot.

This year is the year that I packed my last littlest child on the bus to go to kindergarten. I thought hey, I have done this twice before, it will be a breeze. Maybe it is because I am older now and I love spending time with my kids, but hey I miss that little boy.  It seems as if the house has become quiet and still. The one good thing is that he likes going to school, and that makes me happy, at least we aren't crying at the bus stop.
So until I get into a new routine, my posts might be a little sporadic, I want to make it a habit to come back and write.
Not sure what my future holds for me, I am kinda at an impasse, until I get to walking better, then I really can't get a part time job to help out with the bills and such. So I am exploring my options.
Starting a new diet today, well not a diet, just a conscience effort to drop the weight. I will kinda let you know when I get my plan all ironed out.

Enough for today.. get out there and make it yours...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pinned It....Did It... Liked It. Apple Pie Tortilla Rolls

 
I found this one on Pinterest and decided that would be a great quick dessert.
I also find that I always have a few apples hanging out and always a pack of tortillas. So it is a win, win...

I re-did the recipe for me, I like any extra fiber I can get and I don't mind the skin on the apples. I am sure it would have been a little more creamier without the skins.

Apple Pie Tortillas

Ingredients

5 apples
10 medium tortillas (I still cut them in half)
1/2 cup of sugar (I used half sugar and half truvia)
1/4 cinnamon
1/2 stick of butter
vanilla (how much you like)

Instructions

1) Spray a 9x12 pan.

2) Dice apples up into a bowl.

3) Mix the sugar and the cinnamon together and add 3/4 to the bowl.

4) Add vanilla, and stir.

5) Take each tortilla and slightly from the middle down. Place seam side down.
Fill container.

6) Melt butter and pour over the top.

7) Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar.

8) 350 oven for 40-50 minutes. Leave a piece of foil on until last 15 min. I didn't use mine and it was a little dark, but still good. Taking the foil off will make the top crunchy.

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When finished, remove and serve with ice cream. I thought this was a nice dessert. The top was crusty and sugary, and the bottom, was soft and apple-ly.

If you try this you know, you can make it yours. The next time, thinking raisins, or cranberries. I have had this two nights in a row.

Easy, Simple and Cheap.