Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Peppermint Pie

This is one of my favorite desserts and will be my last post of the year. We only have it during the Holidays because the stores by my house only carry the Peppermint Ice Cream at Christmas. It is a super easy recipe from my mom and is always a big hit! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Peppermint Pie
From: My Mom

Peppermint Ice Cream
2 cups Rice Crispies
6 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup of butter
Chocolate Syrup

1. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of pie plate.
2. Melt butter and chocolate chips.
3. Mix in rice crispies until completely covered.
4. Press into pie plate and place in the freezer.
5. After crust is firm, soften the ice cream and fill crust evenly with ice cream (usually about ¾ of a tub).
6. Freeze at least an hour or overnight. Serve with chocolate syrup drizzled over each piece.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chilean Rice

first had Chilean Rice at my Mother-in-law's house and liked it so much that I my husband ask for the recipe. Since she doesn't really work from recipes we got a vague description of what to use and paired that with a recipe we found from Men's health and came up with this. It is as close as we could get it to the original and I think it is quite good. A little bit different than just plain rice as a side

Chilean Rice
From: based on My Mother-In-Law/Men's Health

1 1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 Tbsp finely grated carrots
1 1/2 Tbsp very finely diced red bell pepper
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil.
2 1/4 cups HOT water
1 1/2 tsp Salt

1. Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold running water and drain.

2. Boil Water.

3. While water is boiling, heat Oil in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, carrots, & garlic. Saute, stirring for 2 minutes.

4. Add the rice, and cook until the rice has absorbed the flavorful oil (1 Min)

5. Pour in hot water, and add the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 15-20 min. Do Not stir while cooking.

6. The rice is done when the water had been completely absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff the rice with a fork if desired and serve at once.

(served here with blackened Tilapia and mango salsa... that recipe to come)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This isn't a recipe, but it is a food I like so I wanted to share. I love cheese, and when Bill's Parents go to South America they bring me back some Quince paste which goes well with a soft cheese. I'm sure they have it around where I live, but so far, I have liked the kind they bring me best. If you haven't ever tried it and you like cheese... do yourself a favor and get out and try it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Black Bean & Veggie Soup

Here is another easy soup that I found from the blog suburban bliss. I love Black Beans so this was perfect for a cold November day watching football! Enjoy!

Black Bean & Veggie Soup
From: Suburban Bliss

1-2 cans of Black Beans (15oz) (I added 2 because I love Black Beans)
1 can chicken (or vegetable) Broth (15oz)
1 can Diced Tomatoes (15 oz)
1 can refried beans (15oz)
1 can drained corn
1 Cup Salsa
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

1. Mix everything together and heat. I added the corn... because I love corn in everything, but you could leave it out. You could also add some meat to this if you wanted, but it seemed hearty enough with out it to me.

2. Heat through

3. To serve, place crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the soup bowl and ladle soup over top. Top with cheese and sour cream if desired.

(you cant see them but there are tortilla chips underneath!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Easy Tacos

Since I like tacos and I like things that are easy, this recipe really appealed to me. I got it from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It was pretty good, and very easy.

(I also included Cilantro here... this is an optional ingredient... just as a garnish. I happened to have some so I used it)

Easy Tacos
From: Better Homes and Gardens

1 17oz pkg. refrigerated beef pot roast with juices
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Ro*tel)
1 green sweet pepper cut into strips
1 lime, cut in wedges
sour cream
corn tortillas

1. Microwave beef according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile place undrained tomatoes in small sauce pan. Heat through.

3. Remove meat, reserving juices.

4. OPTIONAL: It didn't say to, but I cooked my green pepper strips a little in a pan with olive oil to heat them up a bit... but I didn't let them cook too long, they still had a crisp bite.

5. Serve on warmed tortillas with tomatoes, green pepper strips, sour cream, and Cilantro. Drizzle reserved juices if desired.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cheese Broccoli Soup

Here is another soup recipe from my mom. It is easy to make any day of the week, and it is one of my favorites.

Cheese Broccoli Soup
From: My Mom

16 oz. Frozen Broccoli (heated and drained)
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cans milk

1. Combine ingredients and heat through

2. Serve with mozzarella cheese and croutons if desired.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Turkey Burgers

This is a recipe a recipe that Bill found in Men's health, we really like them. With the spicy salsa, and cool avocado and sour cream it is quite delicious. The recipe calls to cook them in a frying pan, but when it is nice enough out, we usually grill them - your choice. They are good both ways. Enjoy!

Turkey Burgers
From: Men's Health

1 lb lean ground turkey
wheat buns
1 avocado, sliced
Chipotle Salsa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of cumin
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
sour cream


1. Mix the meat, salt, pepper, and cumin. Form into 4 equal patties

2. Preheat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Coat with small amount of olive oil

3. Add burgers. Cook them for 4-5 minutes a side, until slightly firm to the touch. (Can cook on grill as well)

4. Dress each bun with avocado slices, tomato, and red onion. Top with burger, sour cream, and salsa.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chicken Pasta Jardin


I decided to be adventurous and try one of my own creations. It turned out pretty good, there are a few changes I may make next time (and make sure I come up with exact measurements), but it was quite tasty and light.

Chicken Pasta Jardin

1 lb Chicken, cubed
1/2 a zucchini, sliced
1/2 a red or green pepper, sliced, and halved
1/4 - 1/2 Onion, sliced and halved
1/4 lb Green Beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (You can really use whatever veggies you like)
1 Tomato, roughly chopped
White wine
Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Basil (I used dry because that is all I have)
Lemon Juice & Zest from 1/2 a lemon
Kosher Salt
Ground Pepper
Angel Hair Pasta

1. Chop vegetables, place all veggies, except tomatoes in a ziploc bag.

2. Add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp White wine, and a dash of salt and pepper.

3. Seal Bag and shake together.

4. Heat medium saucepan to medium high heat. When heated, add contents of bag.

5. Cook vegetables until tender crisp (more crispy then tender since they will be added to the mixture again later) - Also, start cooking pasta.

6. While vegetables are cooking, place cubed chicken to the bag used for the vegetables. Add another Tbsp of Olive oil, white wine, and a dash of salt and pepper. Shake to combine.

7. When vegetables are ready remove to a bowl, and return pan to heat. Add the chicken.

8. Cook Chicken until all pink is gone (this will vary depending on how large your cubes are 6-8 min)

9. Add vegetables to pan with Chicken, and add the tomatoes that were set aside.

10. Add aproximately 3 tbsp olive Oil, 3-5 tbsp white wine, a good squeeze from a 1/2 a lemon, Lemon zest from the 1/2 lemon, and a 1/4 tsp Basil. Add a dash of salt and ground pepper to taste.

11. Let simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Taste the sauce and add more of any of the ingredients (since I just eyeballed my measurements, I only took a guess at the exact measurements).

12. Serve over pasta. Garnish with Parmesan Cheese. (Looking back I might have mixed the past in with the mixture before serving it to get more flavor in the pasta). Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I really like sweet and sour chicken in Chinese restaurants, but I don't really like all the breading on the chicken so I haven't ever tried to make this at home. But when I found this recipe at Simply recipes, I was excited to try it and it turned out great. It doesn't take to long to make, uses pretty basic ingredients, and it tastes great!

(For some reason I put an onion in the picture... and then realized that it was not on the list of ingredients. Now that I think about it, I might try adding it with the mix next time.)

Sweet and Sour Chicken
From: Simply Recipes

1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
1 egg white
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cornstarch
1 can (10 oz) pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup juice from canned pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Red Bell pepper cut into chunks
1 Green Bell pepper cut into chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1. In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, 1 tsp salt, and cornstarch. Stir to coat chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature (or up to overnight in the refrigerator)

2. Meanwhile, whisk together pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, 1 tsp salt, and brown sugar to make the sweet and sour sauce.

3. Heat a large frying pan over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in 1 Tbs of olive oil and coat pan.

4. Spread Chicken in pan so it is in a single layer. Let chicken fry, untouched for 1 minuted until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side for another minute. Stir and let cook a few more minutes, then dish out chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

5. Turn heat to medium and add 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil. Let oil heat up, then add the peppers and ginger. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes.

6. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in.

7. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Cut into a piece of chicken to make sure it done, also taste sauce and add more brown sugar if needed.

8. Serve hot over rice if desired.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Easy Vegetable Soup

It is becoming soup weather here in Chicago, and ideally I would like to do soups from scratch, but that just doesn't happen when I work all day. This one is really easy and quite tasty! I got it from Taste of Home Magazine, and I chose to add a can of Black beans because I'm a black bean fan, so if you don't like them, feel free to leave them out.

(Sorry I forgot the pic of the ingredients!)

Easy Vegetable Soup
From: Taste of Home

1 lb Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg (16oz) Frozen vegetable blend of your choice (I usually like something with corn in it)
1 can(16oz) Kidney Beans, undrained
1 can (15oz) Black Beans, undrained (optional)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 clove garlic
garnish with shredded cheddar cheese & sour cream, with tortilla chips on the side

1. In a large sauce pan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain.

2. Add the tomatoes, vegetables, beans, broth, taco seasoning and garlic and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

4. Serve with Shredded cheese, sour cream, and Tortilla Chips if desired.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Impostor Salad

When we first came back from California, I loved the salad we had out there, and I was trying to figure out what it had in it. I took a stab at it, and while I found out later it wasn't the same as my favorite salad, it was still pretty good! I realize now there wasn't any Mango in it, but I do like mango, so it was a nice addition to this particular salad. Since this is an impostor salad of my favorite, that is what I decided to call it.

Impostor Salad

Cucumber (peeled)
Olive oil
Lime Juice


1. Roughly chop the Tomatoes, cucumber, Mango, and Avocado.

2. Place in a bowl, and dress with Olive oil, Lime Juice, and a dash of Basil. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Warm Black Bean Chip dip

I'm a sucker for appetizers, and this one had everything I liked. I'm not sure where this came from, but it is tasty.

Warm Black Bean Dip

8oz Cream Cheese
1 can Black Beans (drained)
1 can of Ro*tel (drained)
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips

1. Spread 8 oz of cream cheese in the bottom of a pie plate

2. Drain one can Black Beans and spread on top.

3. Drain on can rotel and pour over Black Beans.

4. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 for 10 min (until cheese is melted)

5. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


For those of you who don't know, Elote is a popular street food served in Mexico, it is corn on the cob (or off if you prefer), with a special mixture of toppings. Since I love corn... and I love the Mexican corn (Elote) you can get at some authentic mexican restaurants around here, I tried to create it in my own home (adapted from this recipe). It was good, although I think I like the ones I have had in restaurants better. :)

From: Food Blogga

several ears sweet corn
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp chile powder
2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt - to taste

1. You can bowl or grill the corn on the cob if you like, but I tried cutting it from the cob and cooking it with a little olive oil in a frying pan.
2. If you want to cut off corn from the cob, I was told once to use a bundt pan, and place the corn cob in the middle, when you cut them off, it falls off into the pan. This was a TON easier, and less messy, than when I tried to balance it on the edge of a bowl, or hover in the bowl. (see pic below)

3. For the sauce mix the mayonaise, lime, chile powder, and salt.
4. Spread over grilled/boiled corn, or mix it in with your corn off the cob then sprinkle with parmesan cheese! (I found out that this made way to much for us, I could definitely cut it in half and had plenty)

*** I actually accidentally mixed in the Parmesan cheese, instead of sprinkling, but it was still good ***

Margarita Pie

A few months ago we were at cookout at a friends house, and one of the guests brought Margarita Pie for dessert. It was very cool and perfect for a hot summer night. I know it is no longer summer anymore in Chicagoland, but I think it could also be a perfect dessert for a Mexican fiesta which I tend to have all year around! She shared her recipe with me, which I am thankful for, and now I'm sharing it with you!

Margarita Pie

8 Tblsp Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup crushed pretzels

1/3 cup lime juice
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed Milk
3-4 Tblsp tequila
2 Tbsp triple sec
1 tub cool whip

*** Note: I don't really like tequila, so I bought a very tiny bottle as you can see (this ended up being the perfect amount), and since the didn't have any tiny bottles of triple sec, I just went without. I think it tasted the same. Pretty sure you could make this without any alcohol and it would taste very similar. ***

For the crust:
1. crush pretzels into bite sized pieces and measure out 1 1/4 cup/
2. Melt Butter
3. Mix sugar with butter, then add pretzels and coat.
4. Press into bottom of an 8x8 square pan

For the Filling:
1. Stir together all ingredients in bowl
2. Pour over pretzel crust
3. Freeze for several hours or overnight.
4. Serve!

PS - I think some zest from the lime would have been a great addition to the top of the pie... would make a little more colorful and interesting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Garlic Zucchini Pasta

I got this recipe from My Wooden Spoon Blog. This recipe appealed to me because it looked very easy and I liked every single ingredient listed. While the end result was delicious, it did not look like how it was pictured in the original recipe (which you can see here). I couldn't get my zucchini to spread out and intermingle with the pasta, it just wanted to stay clumped together and I'm not sure why.

Garlic Zucchini Pasta
From: My Wooden Spoon

2 Large Zucchini
1 head Garlic
1 pkg Angel Hair pasta
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil


1. Shred Zucchini and mince Garlic.
2. Prepare pasta as directed on box.
3. While cooking the pasta Saute garlic in Olive Oil for a minute or two
4. Add the zucchini and saute 10 - 15 min. Longer
5. Add the cooked pasta and shredded cheese to the zucchini and mix well.
6. Salt and pepper to taste

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Southwestern Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

I tried this recipe out when we were having people over and I needed a side to go with some burgers, It turned out okay, but it made a TON! So beware, even with 7 people eating it we had a LOT left over. Also, I made a whole box of macaroni without looking at how many ounces were in the box, turns out there are 16 oz... so I had to cut it in half after cooking it. I do not suggest doing it this way. :)

This is not in any way a complete picture of the ingredients... I started preparing the salad and got about halfway through before I realized I hadn't taken any pictures, so none of the dressings appear and it is also missing the BB, salsa or tortilla chips... but oh well.

Southwestern Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad
From: Cara's Cravings

8 ounces wagon wheel macaroni
1 (15oz) can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (9oz) package Frozen Corn, thawed
1 cup salsa
2 tomatoes (Chopped)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 cups tortilla chips -crushed (I might omit the next time)
1 Avocado (pitted and sliced)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbls Lime Juice
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 large garlic cloves (minced)

1. In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients, mix well and set aside.
2. cook past as directed on package. Drain cooked pasta, rinse with cold water until cool.
3. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, salsa tomatoes and cilantro.
4. Add cooked pasta and dressing to bean mixture, toss until well coated
5. stir in half each of the cheese and tortilla chips.
6. Place salad in serving bowl and top with remaining cheese, garnish with remaining chips and avocado.


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