Friday, December 10, 2010

Merry Christmas

I'm not sure if this is considered sooo 2010 or if I'm just lazy, but I have decided to do my Christmas letter on my blog this year. As you can see from the previous posts it has worked overtime on recipes this past year, and frankly needs a break, but we'll go there in my section of the letter, ha.

2010 has been an interesting year, as always. As it comes to a close I think we're more glad it's over than anything else. Through it all God has remained faithful as always. We are so thankful for His constant love and His abundant blessings, and have continued to see His provision over and over especially this year.

Kaley is 22 years old and is still living in Jacksonville. She and her roommate Tiffany recently moved into a new house and are loving it. Kaley is still the softlines manager at The Sports Authority, and is really hoping that this will be her last year in retail at Christmas, ha. She changed her major this past Spring at Florida State College to Sports Management. She would ultimately like to work with kids organizing sports programs at places such as the YMCA or the Boys & Girls Clubs. She has such a heart for children. We couldn't be any prouder of the woman Kaley has become.

Jordyn is 20 and still living at home with us. This past October she started in the Cosmetology program at Virginia College in Jacksonville. She goes to school Tuesday-Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The program is a year, and is a lot of hard work. Upon completion she will get both her Florida & Georgia license and see where God leads her. She is still playing keyboard and singing with the worship team at the Journey Church. Music is her first love, and she hopes to pursue her calling into worship ministry in the future. We are so proud of all she has accomplished, and we know that God is going to do great things in her life. She and David are still dating, and coming up on their 2 year anniversary. He plays bass on the worship team as well, and is currently working for Patrick at Island Kitchen & Bath. He is also the head of our drama dept at our church. We are so thankful for such a Godly young man in Jordyn's life.

Colton is 19 and currently living at home, but is hoping to find a place in Fernandina Beach Florida after the first of the year. He has been working at Target for the past 9 months and loves it. He recently received the "Great Team Hero" award for his entire district. We are very proud of his hard work and dedication. I think he is still trying to figure out what he "wants to be when he grows up", but for now he's working hard and saving his money. He is such a sweet, kind young man, and I'm so thankful for the man he has grown to be.

Patrick is still operating Island Kitchen & Bath. He moved into a larger facility the beginning of this year which has allowed him to do a lot more cabinet fabrication. In spite of the bad economy, God has always provided work for us, and we are so thankful for that. We remain optimistic for the future of IKB and are excited to see what 2011 holds for us. Pat is still serving on the production team at The Journey Church operating the camera.

Nothing much new with me, still a full time wife & mom, which is still the greatest job on the planet. I would say I have done more baking/cooking this past year than ever. After being asked for so many of my recipes, I decided to start blogging them. I have had a lot of fun with it and hopefully helped some people provide some delicious meals for their families. The biggest thing for me this past year was the death of my step-mom Shirley in July. It was unexpected, and such a difficult time for our family. She was such a Godly, loving, generous person, and she is so missed. We do know that we will see each other again in Heaven, which gives us much hope & joy.

As we celebrate this Christmas season, may we never forget that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to this earth to save each and every one of us and to give us abundant life. We pray that each of you may know Him and that abundant life in Him.

Merry Christmas & a Joyful New Year,

The Mooney family

Monday, November 29, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 oz.) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce (I use Frank's wing sauce)

Heat chicken & hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese & ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm, transfer to a slow cooker. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or baked baguette rounds. (I slice a french baguette thinly, put on a baking sheet, spray with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and bake at 400 for a few minutes, until lightly browned.)

Vanilla Bean Scones

You have probably heard me raving about these vanilla bean scones I have been making. I would love to take credit for these sinfully delicious little pieces of heaven, but it's not my recipe. All the credit goes to Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. You can find her awesome blog at It is much more than a recipe site, so plan on doing some reading, and laughing, and of course, lots of cooking. To find the scone recipe click on the "recipe" tab, then the "breakfast" tab. Trust me, they are well worth the calories, and according to everyone who has tasted them, better than Starbucks.

Enjoy :)

Turkey Meatloaf

1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs, plain or italian
3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped fine (I do mine in the food processor)
3 lbs ground turkey (lean or xlean)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium saute pan, over med-low heat, cook the onions & garlic in olive oil until translucent, but not browned, approx 5 minutes. Add chopped mushrooms & cook until all the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated, approx 10 minutes, season with salt & pepper. Add the worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste, and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. (I line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper first.) Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temp is 160 degrees and meatloaf is cooked through.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold on a sandwich.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

I do this in a 1 1/2 quart electric ice cream maker.

1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla

Put the milk and sugar into a medium bowl; combine, using a whisk, until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in heavy cream, yogurt, and vanilla.

Add mixture to the ice cream maker, and mix until thickened, about 20-25 minutes. The yogurt will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the yogurt to a container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.

Makes ten 1/2-cup servings.
130 calories/3 grams fat per serving

Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

This a Paula Deen recipe and is SUPER easy and good! Enjoy.

1 pkg fudge brownie mix (I like the dark chocolate)
24 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18-24 regular muffin cups with paper liners.

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies (3 eggs). Fill the cups half full with brownie batter. (Mine usually only does 18, not 24) Press 1 peanut butter cup into the batter in each muffin cup until the batter meets the top edge of the peanut butter cup.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the brownies are set. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turkey Chili

This is super easy, and super good!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cups water, or beef broth (I used beef stock for even more flavor)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place turkey in the pot, and cook until evenly browned. Stir in onion, and cook until tender.

Pour water into the pot with turkey. Mix in tomatoes, beans, and garlic. Add chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.

Serves 6

I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I warmed it up for lunch and I think it was even better the 2nd day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cinnamon rolls

5 cups all purpose flour
1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 (.25 oz) packages quick-rise yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water (120-130 degrees)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, combine 4 cups flour, dry cake mix, yeast and warm water until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured suface; knead until smooth and elastic about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lighly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 14-in x 10-in rectangle. Brush with butter; sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon mixture. Roll up jelly roll style, starting with a long side. Cut each roll into 12 slices; place cut side down in two greased 13-in x 9-in baking pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 20-30 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15-20 minutes. Frost warm rolls with icing below.

6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
3 cups powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Frost warm rolls.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix sugar, eggs & pumpkin. Add dry ingredients & spices. Mix well.

Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes. Or pour into cupcake pan with liners, about 3/4 full. Bake 16-20 minutes or until done.

Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Chopped nuts (optional)

Cream until good consistency, spread on cake. For cupcakes, I put icing into a pastry bag w/ a large star tip and pipe the icing on each one. You can top with chopped nuts if desired.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Veracruz-Style Tilapia

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 (6 oz) tilapia fillets or other white fish
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes with juice
1 Anaheim chile, stemmed, seeded and cut into this strips (these are very mild)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup pitted & halved green olives
1/4 cup capers, drained

In a medium saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute the fillets until they are opaque and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fish to plate and cover with foil to keep warm or put into a warm oven.

In same saute pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, Anaheim chile, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer until the chiles soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover the pan, add the olives and capers, and cook until the flavors combine, about 4 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve fish with sauce over the top. I served with brown rice and wilted lettuce.


Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

3/4 lb dried lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
4 cups whole milk (I used 2 % and it tasted great)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 lbs portobello mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Cook lasagna noodles for 10 minutes in boiling water with a dash of salt. Drain and set aside.

For white sauce, bring milk to simmer in saucepan. Set aside. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan, add flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour hot milk into butter/flour mixture. Add 1 tbsp salt, the pepper and nutmeg, stirring until thick (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside.

Remove stems from mushrooms and slice caps 1/4 in thick. (I used baby bellas and chopped them up into smaller pieces.) Heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp butter in large saute pan. Saute mushrooms with a sprinkle of salt until tender (about 5 minutes). If they become too dry, add a bit more oil. Toss to cook evenly.

To assemble lasagna, spread some sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 greased baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce. Then 1/3 of the mushrooms and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan. Repeat layers 2 more times,and finally top with a layer of noodles, sauce, then parmesan cheese.

Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, until top is browned and sauce is bubbly. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then serve.

I got this recipe from Sierra Schlegel (soon to be Longobardo). It is super delicious, hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced shallot or onion
4 quarter-size slices peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 (14 1/2oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup 1% or fat-free milk
Salt and pepper to taste

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and ginger and cook until softened. Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan. Simmer for about 4 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the broth and milk and just bring to a boil.

Carefully transfer the soup to a food processor or blender. (I used a hand blender and blended it in the saucepan.) Blend until smooth. Return to the pan and serve immediately. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added a little hot sauce at the end because we like it a little spicy.

60 calories/2 grams fat in 3/4 cup.

Mexican Turkey Burgers

1 (20 oz) pkg extra lean ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp Mexican seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle)
1 tsp minced garlic
Whole grain buns

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, cilantro, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, seasoning and garlic. Mix well. Divide into 4 or 6 burgers.

Grill for 3 minutes on each side, or until the inside is no longer pink. (I cooked them in a skillet on the stove with a little bit of olive oil in the bottom.) Serve on buns, top with salsa, avacodo, etc. These are less than 200 calories per burger/3 grams of fat. And realllly good.
I actually made an avacodo aioli and served that with them. Recipe is below.

Avacado Aioli
1 med. ripe avacado
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper

Combine avacado, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. You could also serve this on sandwiches or as a dip. Only 35 calories/4 grams of fat in 2 Tbsp.

Tortellini Salad

Lg. (20 oz) container fresh cheese tortellini (Buitoni), cooked according to directions on pkg.
Lg. jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
1 cup Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian salad dressing
Broccoli flowerettes
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Green onions
Parmesan cheese

Cook tortellini, drain and let cool a little. Add remaining ingredients, refrigerate a couple of hours to let all the flavors mix. You can add or subtract any of the veggies, whatever you like. You may have to add more Italian dressing after it has sat a while.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Tacos in the Crock Pot

2-3 frozen chicken breasts (in the bag)
1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can Rotel (drain half the liquid off), or 1 small jar of salsa
1 packet of taco seasoning

~In the morning, place all ingredients in the crock pot (yes, even the frozen chicken) on low
~Cook on low 8-10 hrs (6-7 may do if you have a good crock pot)
~In the late afternoon, shred the chicken using 2 forks
~Add chicken back to crock pot and mix with other ingredients and let cook until ready to serve

Serves at least 4 adults. Serve on whole wheat tortillas topped with your favorite toppings (sour cream, shredded cheese, green onion, avacado, etc...). I usually serve with Rice-a-Roni Spanish rice.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken Crescents

Chicken breasts, boiled, about 1 1/2 cups cut up or shredded (could probably use rotissere chicken if desired)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
2 packages crescent rolls
Parlsey & green onion, optional

Mix cream cheese and soup with an electric mixer until smooth. Add parsley & onion if desired. Add chicken and mix by hand. Roll out 2 crescent rolls together to form a square. Add about 3 Tblsp of the chicken mixture. Fold up the corners and squeeze together. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

I ususally just serve with a salad. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daniel Fast Recipes

Our church is doing a Daniel Fast for the next 3 weeks so I thought I would post some of my favorite recipes from last year's fast, as requested by my friend Elisha :) For more info on the Daniel Fast go to:

Hearty Split Pea Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried split peas
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
7 1/2 cups water
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. In a large pot over med-high heat, saute the oil, onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 min. or until translucent.
2. Add the peas, salt and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
3. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, thyme and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 more minutes or until the peas and vegetables are tender.

Tortilla Soup

1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 can black beans
16 oz. frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2-3 tsp salt
6 corn tortillas

Heat oil in the botom of a pot, and saute the first 4 ingredients until soft. Add everything else, except tortillas. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Add tortillas. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Spaghetti Sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, cut-up
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 or 2 lg cans crushed tomatoes, depending on how much you want to make
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large pan, saute veggies in olive oil until soft. Add crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

You can add any veggies you like. And make as spicy as you like with the red pepper. Serve with whole wheat pasta.

White Bean Dip

2 (16 oz) cans white beans (I use cannelini), drained & rinsed
2 Tbsp roasted garlic
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper

In a food processor, combine the beans, roasted garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, mix till smooth. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve with vegies or triscuits.


1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 (10 oz) cans Rotel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
1 lg jalapeno (or however many you like to your taste), rough chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped onion (however much you like), chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Throw it all in a blender and that's it. You can get organic blue corn tortillas at Publix to serve with this for Daniel Fast.

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe, and man is it ever good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mini meatloaves & parmesan smashed potatoes

This is the meal that Jordyn prepared for our dinner the other night. She is going to start cooking one night a month. It turned out great, she's a natural. A shout-out to David for doing all the shopping, they make a great team.

Individual meat loaves

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the onion, salt & pepper. Cook over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, until transparent but not brown. Off the heat, add the worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a Tbsp of ketchup on the top of each loaf. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the loaves are cook through.

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

3 lbs. red new potatoes, unpeeled
1 Tbsp salt, plus 2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups half & half
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Place the potatoes and 1 Tbsp salt in a saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 25-30 minutes, or until competeley tender. Drain.

In a small saucepan, heat the half & half and butter. Put the potatoes into a mixing bowl, and mix the potatoes with an electric mixer for a few seconds on low speed, to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream & butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quater of the cream should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, parmesan cheese, remaining salt, and pepper; taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

This is definitely not a low calorie meal, but it was worth the splurge. Thanks again Jordyn for the recipe and for cooking, it was delicious. Be sure to watch for her recipes on here in the future.

Enjoy :)

Chocolate Cheesecake

This is Jordyn's favorite dessert that I make, and we made it for Dave's birthday dinner last night. It is pretty easy, super rich, and very delicious.

1 1/2 cups finely crushed Oreo cookies
3 Tbsp buter or margarine, melted
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine crushed Oreos and butter; press into a 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour into pan, and place on a baking sheet. Bake 1 hour and 5 min or until set. (I usually turn the oven off, open the oven door and let the cheesecake sit for about 30 min or so, then I remove it from the oven to a cooling rack.) Cool. Chill. Serve with whipped cream.

Enjoy :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chicken and Penne with Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta

Heat a large nonstick skillet on med hig heat. Add olive oil then add chicken, turn when browned, cook on other side until done, approx 7-10 minutes total. Remove to plate and keep warm.

1. In another large skillet over med heat, melt butter with olive oil; add onion and garlic and saute until transparent.

2. Add canned tomatoes and vodka and cook for 25 minutes or until almost no liquid remains, stirring frequently.

3. Increase heat and add red pepper flakes and cream; boil for 2 minutes or until thickened to sauce consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

Serve with the chicken breasts, salad, and french bread, Enjoy!

Serves 4

Sometimes when I have the time, I make homemade gnocchi and serve it instead of the penne. It is really good, but pretty labor intensive, but well worth it.

Gnocchi (I normally double this recipe to serve with the sauce as an entree)

1 (8 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 - 2 cups all purpose flour, or as needed.

Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in flour 1 cup at a time, adding additional flour if needed to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2 inch thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until use.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the surface, approx 1-2 minutes, then dain and mix with the above sauce.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beef Stew

My boys enjoying the beef stew, aren't they handsome?!

2 - 2 1/2 lbs stew meat
2 Tbsp veg oil
3 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup red wine, optional
1 med. onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
3 lg carrots. sliced
3 lg potatoes, cut up
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 Tbsp cornstarch

Brown meat in hot oil. Add broth, worcestershire sauce, wine, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, pepper and paprika. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic cloves. Add vegetables, cover and cook 30 minutes, or until tender. To thicken gravy, in another bowl, mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Mix in a little of the hot gravy, then add all back into the stew. Stir and cook until thickened and bubbly.

I usually serve in a bowl over rice. You can really use any vegetables you like, these are just the ones we like, be creative.
Enjoy :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shepherd's Pie


4 large potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 - 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp ketchup
1/8 cup worcestershire sauce
1 packet brown gravy mix
8-10 oz frozen peas & carrots
Shredded cheddar cheese


1. Boil potatoes for making regular mashed potatoes. Drain & mash, adding butter & milk until good consistency. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Add oil to large frying pan. Add chopped onion and cook until softened. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain fat. Put the meat back on the heat and add flour, cook for 1 minute. Add ketchup, worcestershire sauce, brown gravy mix and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 5 minutes or until thickened.

3. In a 2 quart casserole dish, spread the meat mixture on the bottom, then add a layer of the frozen peas & carrots. Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.

4. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's been a loooooong time!

It's not that I haven't had anything to say, I just wasn't feeling it. I have determined that the most requested thing I am asked for is recipes. So for now I'm going to start posting my favorite recipes, or dishes I stumble upon that I think you might like. If I can remember, I will snap a photo and post it as well.

I think tonight I'm making Shepherd's pie, as requested by David Longobardo (Jordyn's BF). Speaking of which, I have asked the two of them to start making dinner for the family once a month. They need to select the menu, prepare the meal and then clean up. It serves two purposes really, one, it will hopefully inspire a love for cooking for Jordyn, and two, it will give me a break once a month. If they cook something good, I'll share their recipe as well.

I hope you enjoy the food as much as I do :)