Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Pizookies

Mmmmm, pizookies are AMAZING! They are SOO good that they do not even require an intro... A slightly undercooked cookie topped with ice cream and hot fudge. My mouth is watering more than the Bellagio fountains! ENJOY!!!


Chocolate chip cookie dough (I made my own 'recipe to follow soon', but you can easily use your favorite store bought brand...try other flavors too, yum)
Vanilla Bean Ice cream
Hot fudge
Whipped Cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Lightly grease a round pie dish (may have enough dough to make two pie pans)
Press dough in dish and bake for about 10-15 minutes. The trick is to underbake it by a minute or so. I check on mine at 6 minutes and every minute after that.
Take out of oven and top with a large scoop of ice cream and drizzle with hot fudge and whipped cream.
Serve immediately with spoons and eat right out of the dish...WARNING: this may create a feud over the last bite. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Homemade Salsa

Holy cow! I am shocked that I haven't posted this recipe until now. My family eats this probably once a week, but my husband would gladly eat it EVERDAY! It is amazing! Promise me one thing: do not attempt to make this unless you pinky promise me that you will make the salsa (below) with it. I promise you that it is NOT the same with ANY store bought salsa. Been there once and will NEVER do that again. I came up with the soup recipe. The salsa recipe was graciously given to me by a friend. Enjoy! :)

*just a note: when making the soup, make sure to taste test often. If you need more spice/salsa then add some...


2-4 Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 cups (or cans) chicken broth
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 TBL lemon juice
1 cup HOMEMADE EASY SALSA...recipe below
(I have tried it with store bought and it is NOT the same)


Place/mix all in the crockpot and warm until ready to serve.
Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, green onions, and extra cilantro for garnish.

*Easily be doubled...recommended! Leftovers taste even better the next day.


1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes (make sure it has garlic in it. I buy the basil, onion, garlic one)
1/4 of an onion sliced
1 bunch of cilantro, cut off stems
1 capfull of lemon juice
1 jalopeno, diced with seeds or without seeds (depending on personal preference. I do one half seeded.)
1/2 tsp salt


Drain the juice from the tomato can into a serving bowl (do NOT throw away).
In a food processor, pulse the cilantro and jalopeno.
Add the tomatoes (without the juice) and onion and pulse again.
Carefully pour all into the serving bowl with the tomato juice.
Add the lemon juice and salt and mix.
Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours until ready to serve.

*Can also be made in the blender, but wont be a chunky salsa.
*This salsa is a MUST for my Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe...and of course with warmed chips, YUM!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hannah's Stuffed Peppers

These babies were featured on a recent episode of The Biggest Loser. I am a "so-so" fan when it comes to stuffed peppers, so I was a little leary about them. I am HAPPY to say that these were a HUGE hit with ME, MY HUBBY, AND THE KIDS!!! The flavor is amazing and we ate every last bite...including the peppers themselves. The best part? Each serving is only 140 calories! :)


olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb extra-lean ground turkey
Salt to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth DIVIDED
1 Tbl chopped cilantro
3 large sweet red peppers, washed
1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Lightly coat a large skillet with olive oil; heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the turkey and break meat apart. Season with salt, garlic powder, and cumin. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, no longer pink, juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Add 1/4 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan. Reduce heat, simmer over low for 5 minutes. Add chopped cilantro. Set aside.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and stem. Place in baking dish and add spoonfuls of turkey mixture in each one. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth to the bottom of the pan and tightly cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes and when done sprinkle each pepper with some cheese.

*This can be made ahead. When ready to serve, bake in the oven. :)

**original recipe found on under The Biggest Loser

Friday, September 30, 2011

Everything But The... Brownies

Okay, so I must say that these are the most RIDICULOUS brownies I have ever made and tasted!!!! I take back ever saying that brownies from a box were disappointing, especially after making theses babies. I was searching around for some yummy brownies and when I came across these I couldn't resist. These brownies incorporate EVERYTHING in the recipe that I want in a dessert- brownies, chocolate, ice cream, hot fudge and, yes there's more, Oreos! Hence the reason why I like to call them Everything But The... Brownies.

I had my son help me make these and he thought I was the coolest mom because I let him add the chocolate chips, hot fudge and, this part made him REALLY excited, ice cream to the batter. Once we whipped up the batter I layered the first half of the mixture in the pan and had him layer on the Oreo cookies. Then we took the rest of the brownie mixture, covered the Oreos and popped them into the oven. We had them for dessert that night and topped them off with a scoop of ice cream (as if they needed more!). Seriously, can it get any better than this? I just look at it this way, I'm doing my gym a favor for making and eating these because I, and my behind, are just giving them more business:)! So not looking forward to my workout...


1 pkg brownie mix (I used the family size)
2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1 heaping 1/2 c ice cream (whatever flavor you have on hand)
1/4 c hot fudge topping
Oreo cookies


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 9x13 foil lined baking dish with cooking spray. Combine brownie mix, eggs and oil in a bowl. Then add chocolate chips, ice cream and hot fudge to the batter and mix. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan, layer with Oreos, then top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glorious Mashed Potatoes

The title and picture says it all! By far, this is my absolute favorite mashed potato recipe TO DATE (and I eat A LOT of potatoes)! The best part is that there is no need for gravy...they are THAT good! Mmmmm! I served this glorious side dish during our Sunday dinner of roasted garlic chicken, green garden salad, french bread, and warm peanut butter jumbo cookies with milk for dessert. Yumm-o!!!


8-10 potatoes, peeled (Idaho spuds are my fav)
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 white onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth/stalk

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1/2 cup milk (may need up to 1 cup)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used 1/2 cup)
garlic powder or garlic salt


Place potatoes, carrot, celery, onion, and chicken broth in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to barely cover all the potatoes. Boil for about 30 minutes (I have also done it where I boil just the potatoes for 20 minutes and then the last 10 minutes I add the vegetables....this gives it more texture).
Drain the water leaving just a little bit in the pot.
Mash it all with a potato masher.
Add the butter, milk, soup, cheese. Mix and add more milk (a little at a time) until desired consititency. Spinkle in parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your liking. Serve! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Caramel Brownies

It's been a HECK of a long time since I have been able to post some recipes. Having a baby really throws things off a bit, especially when they are a preemie and have to be in the hospital for 4 months, but I am hoping I will be able to post more often now that our sweet little baby is home and things are starting to settle down a bit.

Now before I begin, can I just say how AMAZING these brownies are!?! A couple of weekends ago I tried making the old brownies from a box and I was TOTALLY disappointed!!!! Is it me, or are they really not as good as they used to be? Anyways, even though you still have to use boxed cake mix for these brownies they are SUPER good. They are currently one of my new favorite desserts to make lately. They are so chocolaty, rich and I just love the whole chocolate and caramel combo. If you are in need of a chocolate fix.... these will do the trick!

1 (12oz) pkg chocolate chips
1 German chocolate cake mix
1/2 c butter, softened
2/3 c evaporated milk, divided
50 caramels, unwrapped and ready to go

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, butter and 1/3 c evaporated milk. Press 1/2 of the cake mixture into a 9x13 dish. Bake 6 minutes (make sure you do not over bake).
Meanwhile, melt caramels with 1/3 c evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat. Remove dough from oven and sprinkle the partially baked dough with 1/2 of the chocolate chips. Then pour melted caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Press the remaining dough on top of the caramel layer and bake for about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, until melted, then spread evenly over the brownies. Cool completely before cutting.

Side Note: (I really like my brownies soft and on the gooier side. If you are like me, depending on the way your oven cooks, you make want to reduce the baking time from anywhere between 20-23 minutes or so.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Orange Glazed Pork

There is something about the Las Vegas summers that makes me crave the cooler fall weather! Maybe its the scorching heat or being quarantined indoors in fear of melting outside...ugh, I'm sweating just thinking about it! :) So when I came across this DELICIOUS fall pork dish I knew I HAD to make it pronto! Oh boy, it didn't disappoint! The aroma from the glaze was AMAZING!!! It literally took everything I had not to run to the garage and pull down my many footlockers of autumn decorations! Not only did it smell and look SOO GOOD, it tasted ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! I thought I made enough for leftovers, but it disappeared in what seemed like an instant! Enjoy!


3 Tbl orange marmalade
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup carrot purée
1 Tbl soy sauce
1 tsp Ginger
2 tsp apple cider or white vinegar (I used lemon juice)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or ground cayenne

2 lbs pork tenderloin (I sliced my large loin in half to make two)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2 cup water


Heat oven to 400.
In saucepan, wisk all glaze ingredients until smooth. Heat until almost bubbles. Cook 10-15 min more until liquid reduces by 1/4 and glaze thickens.

Meanwhile, sprinkle pork with salt pepper (I added a little more and added parsley).
Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Carefully add pork and cook 10 minutes, turning once until both sides are browned.

Off heat, add the glaze. Turn pork once to coat in glaze. Slide skillet in oven and bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove skillet, add water, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until pork is cooked through and water has somewhat evaporated. Remove pork to cutting board and stir the glaze from the skillet until smooth. Slice pork and serve with the glaze! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Whole Grain Chicken Enchiladas with a Secret

These babies are "Oh So Good" (as my 4 year old exclaimed) and quite HEALTHY! The secret? CARROT/SWEET POTATO puree and SPINACH have been sneakily added! This is a recipe inspired by Jessica Seinfeld (the master at adding fruits, veggies, and whole grains to every meal)! Thank you Jessica! Not only was I pleasantly suprised that this dish tasted amazing, but even more impressive was the fact that I had it whipped up and in the oven in a jiffy! :) Plus the ENTIRE dish is only 302 calories (with carrot puree) and 310 (with sweet potato puree)! Eat up!!!


Nonstick cooking spray
1 Tbl olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed (about 3/4 lb)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup carrot puree OR sweet potato puree
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup shredded, reduced fat (2%) cheddar cheese or part-skim mozarella, divided
6 whole grain or whole wheat flour tortillas
1/2 cup spinach puree (I used fresh wilts down in the oven anyway)
1/2 cup mild tomato salsa


Preheat oven to 350
Coat 9 by 13 inch pan in nonstick cooking spray
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with garlic powder and pepper
Cook the chicken in the pan 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle
Take the pan off the heat and mix in the carrot OR sweet potato puree, sour cream, and HALF the cheese in the skillet
Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture and roll up
Place seam side down in baking dish
Dot the tops of each enchilada with the spinach puree (or sprinkle the middle with fresh spinach like I did)
Spoon the salsa over the spinach and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese
Cover with foil and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the cheese melts and the filling is hot

I made a few slight adaptations to this:
-I baked my chicken early in the morning with garlic powder, parsley, and pepper
-I added about 1/4 cup more of the carrot puree and decreased the cheese in the filling by 1/4 cup: 3/4 cup carrot puree, 1/4 cup cheddar/mozarella mix
-I used fresh spinach instead of the spinach puree...frankly I forgot to steam and blend the spinach earlier...the spinach wilts up anyways as it is cooked

*This meal can EASILY be prepared in advance too! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Last year, Sarah mailed me a cookbook and I have been having so much fun trying the recipes! This one quickly became one of my family's ABSOLUTE FAVORITES!!! Not only does it SMELL SO GOOD cooking on the stove, it is quite easy to whip up and tastes AMAZING! I made the mistake of not making enough and my husband and I jokingly fought over who would get the leftovers the next day...he won when he found the hidden tupperware in the fridge, haha! Hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we do! It is definitely a keeper! :)


4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
2 tsp butter
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4-6 large mushrooms sliced
1-2 cups heavy whipping cream (generic walmart brand is the best)
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
4 oz linguini pasta cooked and drained
grated parmesan cheese


Mix chicken with Cajun seasoning and saute over medium heat with butter until chicken is browned and cooked through. Add peppers, onion, and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat. Add cream* and seasonings (add more cajun seasoning if you prefer spicier). Heat thoroughly...I crank up the heat and boil it for a bit until the sauce thickens a bit. During this time (while sauce is heating), I cook the pasta in another pan. When cooked to my liking, I add the pasta to the chicken sauce pan and mix it all together. Top with parmesan cheese!

*for a healthier option, add 1 cup of apple juice and 1 cup cream instead of the 1-2 cups cream called for in the original ingredients

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Favorite No Bake Cookies

This is my FAVORITE no bake cookie recipe! It has the perfect amount of peanut butter and I LOVE the fact that the recipe calls for ingredients that most everybody has on hand. My family and I ENJOY these most when they are frozen! These are super YUMMY, super EASY and I love the fact that there is no baking required.... especially on those HOT summer days that are just around the corner!

1/2 C butter
2 C sugar
1/2 C milk
3 t cocoa powder
1/2 C peanut butter
3 C oats
1 t vanilla

1. Mix butter, sugar, milk and cocoa in saucepan over medium heat.
2. Bring to a boil and turn off heat.
3. Add peanut butter, oats and vanilla; mix well.
4. Line cookie sheet with wax paper and drop by spoonfuls on baking sheet.
5. Refrigerate for 1 hour and ENJOY!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Oh my goodness!!!! I can't believe it has been so LONG since our last recipe. Let's just say "Life happens":). This recipe has been one that I have been DYING to post since forever ago. I LOVE it because I am able to use up any leftover chicken that I have cooked up already. It's DEFINITELY a nice change up from the usual chicken casseroles. The cornbread bottom adds a nice SWEETNESS to the casserole.... which I LOVE!

1 C shredded Mexican cheese, divided (or I just use cheddar when I don't have it on hand)
1/3 C milk
1 box corn bread muffin mix
1 egg
1 can chopped green chile's, drained
1 t cumin
1 can/jar red enchilada sauce
1/8 t red pepper
2 C cooked chicken breast, shredded
sour cream, tomatoes and avocados

1. Combine 1/4 C cheese, milk, muffin mix, egg, green chile's, and cumin in a large bowl; stirring just until moist.
2. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until set.
5. Pierce entire surface liberally with fork; pour enchilada sauce over top.
6. Top with chicken, sprinkle with remaining 3/4 C cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the cornbread mixture is set.
7. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
8. Cut into squares and top each serving with sour cream, tomatoes and avocados.