Monday, November 9, 2009

Salmon Alfredo Pasta

This is a quick meal--goes together in about 15 minutes (5 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cooking). And I think you will be amazed that you can make such great tasting Alfredo sauce at home.

I didn't put in amounts for the pasta or the salmon (or lemon juice and garlic salt--salmon seasoning) because I figured that would very depending on personal tastes and needs. However, the sauce easily covers four servings of pasta.

  • Pasta
  • Salmon
  • lemon juice
  • garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Turn oven to broil. Bring a pot of water to boil.

Grease cookie sheet. Top with salmon. Sprinkle with lemon juice and garlic salt.

Mix cream cheese, milk, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and parsley in saucepan over medium heat.

Add pasta to boiling water and put salmon in the oven. Stir the Alfredo sauce while cooking for 10 minutes.

Remove salmon from oven. Drain noodles.

Dish up noodles, top with sauce then flaked salmon. Use extra parsley for garnish.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Potato Stew

This is a fairly simple soup with a lot of nutritional value and if you leave out the bacon it makes a nice vegetarian meal. (It's also less fattening.) It goes together quickly - the only prep work is peeling and cutting the potatoes if you use frozen vegetables and pre-cooked bacon. And it cooks up in about twenty to thirty minutes.

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 chopped spinach
  • 1/4 crumbled bacon
  • garlic salt

Peel and cube potatoes. Add to saucepan with milk, water, remaining vegetables and bacon if using. Salt to taste. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Begin over medium heat. When it begins to boil turn to medium low.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Apple-Sweet Potato Crisp

This recipe would make a good side dish at Thanksgiving or a wonderful dessert throughout the year. It is sweet enough to eat by itself or for an extra treat you could top it with whipped cream or ice cream.

If you have an apple slicer it goes together quickly. I don't even peel the apple. Or if you don't mind chopped apples you could use a food processor. Otherwise everything else comes together quickly. Plus it only has a half hour cook time. Put it in when you start dinner and even if your dinner only requires a 15 minute prep. time desert will still be ready in time.

  • 1 large can sweet potatoes
  • 1 large apple, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drain sweet potatoes and layer with apples into a baking dish (about 9x9). Sprinkle in the pecans.

Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over baking dish.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Eggplant in Tomato Sauce

I decided I'd try to introduce a little more variety into the vegetables I feed my family. At first I thought I'd add the eggplant to a pasta sauce and serve it over pasta, but when I went to make the dinner I realized I had much more eggplant than tomatoes. When I mixed it up I realized it didn't really need the pasta at all.

  • One large eggplant peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon basil

Heat the oil in a pan. Add eggplant. Sprinkle salt over eggplant. Brown on all sides. Sprinkle cheese over browned eggplant and let melt.

Add tomatoes, sauce and basil. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve warm.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quick Crumb Cake

This cake has a very crumbly texture and is sweet enough to eat unfrosted. However, if you want to take the time to frost a cake it also works well frosted. It mixes together very quickly and easily though it takes nearly an hour to bake.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Microwave butter until softened. Mix with sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time.

Mix together dry ingredients. Sift into sugar mixture. Add lemon peel.

Pour into a greased cake pan and bake for 50 minutes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Often the biggest meal of the day, dinner offers many creative options.


The most important meal of the day, breakfast jump starts your metabolism. Here are a few of my favorite recipe choices:


Lunch can vary dramatically depending on the time you have and the setting for the meal, but for the purposes of this blog lunch will be lighter meals that are more easily transportable.


The word is out. We should be eating more times a day. That means we need a list of tasty snacks to get us through the day.


We all need a little tasty indulgence from time to time. So here is my list of simple, quick, inexpensive and just plan tasty treats:

Quick and Easy Potato Soup

This is a good soup for any chilly day or night. And it's quick, easy to prepare and inexpensive. It only takes about fifteen minutes of preparation, depending on how quick you are at peeling potatoes. The cook time is twenty to thirty minutes depending on how you like your potatoes.

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1/2 bacon bits
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 1 tsp salt (I prefer garlic salt.)

Peel and chop the potatoes. Add all the ingredients to a pan and cook over medium heat. When the soup starts to boil turn to medium low. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes.

As a cream based soup this dish does not keep well, but my family has never had trouble finishing off the whole pot.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sugar Free Pancakes

I was out of sugar one day and thought I'd do a little experimenting. It turned out quite well. And that's not just my opinion. My family enjoyed the pancakes too.

One final word before you begin cooking. The batter will be thiner so these pancakes cook more quickly--use a lower heat or the outside will burn.
  • 1 1/4 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1/4 wheat)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup all natural applesauce
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil

Sift together dry ingredients.

Combine egg, milk, applesauce and oil. Add to dry ingredients. Do not over stir.

Drop 1/4 cups of batter onto hot griddle. Flip when bubbles are present.

Serve with fruit and whipped cream. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I've tried this recipe with yams and with sweet potatoes. It works well with either. So you can use the one you prefer or switch between the two for a little more variety. The recipe says to use 1/4 cup of sweet potato but I never measure. I just use one large sweet potato or yam. And I've found popping them in the microwave is the easiest way to prepare them for mashing.

This recipe will also work with rice flour rather than wheat if you'd like to be glutten free. It makes the pancakes a little more dense. You'll probably want to cook them a little longer on a lower heat.

Also, I've found that these pancakes taste good with just a little honey and butter. Hope you enjoy.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat a large skillet or griddle.

Beat eggs in large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.

Drop 1/4 cups of batter onto hot pan. Cook 3 minutes per side--until lightly browned.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicken BLT Salad

Salads make a healthy quick lunch. If you limit the amount of dressing you use and cut down on the bacon bits this salad is also low calorie. (Unfortunately I tend to prefer the higher calorie salads.)
Also the avocados make this salad rich in B vitamins. There have also been studies linking avocado rich diets to a lowering of cholesterol. The mixed greens and the tomatoes provide vitamin C and the spinach provides vitamin A. So enjoy the bacon knowing you are getting a vitamin packed lunch.
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • bacon ranch dressing

Toss all ingredients except dressing. Lightly drizzle dressing over top of salad or serve in a small dish to the side of salad.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are a number of ways to make chocolate chocolate chip cookies: chocolate squares, coco powder and even chocolate pudding. I prefer using chocolate squares or pudding because I've found it makes the cookies more moist. But I also enjoy the pudding recipe for another reason. It gives you the chance to experiment. Substitute vanilla pudding and suddenly you have vanilla chocolate chip cookies. Or you could substitute butterscotch pudding and chips for butterscotch butterscotch chip cookies.

So here is the recipe using pudding. Have a little fun with it.
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (4 serving) package instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together flour and baking soda.

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla and pudding mix. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chips.

Drop spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Note:  I have tried cream cheese pudding with cranberries and walnuts for a delicious fall cookie.  I have also tried this cookie recipe with lemon pudding and no chips.  (I couldn't think of what to add with lemon.)  Both were very delicious.  I'd love to hear what combinations you've tried.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sweet and Sour Salad

The candied pears and walnuts give this salad a sweet flavor. While the vinaigrette dressing gives it a sour taste. It's not the healthiest use of your fruits and vegetables, but it is an excellent way to increase your intake if you tend to shy away from the healthy.
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 raspberries
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/4 vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Melt butter in small skillet over medium. Add pears, walnuts and brown sugar. Heat until well coated.

Mash raspberries. Add mustard, vinegar and oil. Shake to combine. (Run through a strainer if you want to remove the seeds.) Salt and pepper vinaigrette to taste.

Combine remaining ingredients. Add candied pears and walnuts. Top with raspberry vinaigrette. Enjoy.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Do you enjoy a good pizza but find delivery too expensive? Then you should enjoy this recipe. It is quick and easy but still tastes gourmet. And at a fraction of the price.

  • Pizza dough (You can find it in the refrigerator section of your grocery store or if you'd like to make your own try this recipe. It makes two medium pizzas.)
  • Garlic Alfredo Sauce (one jar will make about three medium pizzas)
  • Frozen Spinach, chopped (Again one box will make about three medium pizzas depending on how generous you are with your toppings.)
  • Bacon bits
  • Frozen grilled chicken, chopped (pre-cooked)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese

Spread your pizza dough on pizza stone or baking sheet. Top with Alfredo sauce. Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out water. Add toppings as generously as your family desires. Cook for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or as indicated on your pizza dough package.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spicy Carrot Soup

This soup is a bit spicy, so I wouldn't serve it as a main dish. But it makes a good side dish or appetizer or even a mid afternoon snack. The pureed vegetables give the soup a nice creaminess.
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 16 oz carrots (chopped)
  • 1 large potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 cups V8 (and 3 cups water)

Heat oil in deep saucepan. Add vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until softened (about 15 minutes). Add liquid and spices then cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree the mixture. If necessary gently reheat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Moroccan Beef over Rice

This is a nice dish when you are tired of standard American fare. It also works well wrapped in a tortilla and served for lunch, but I prefer it over rice. Also, I use dehydrated chopped onions. (You can find them in the baking section of your grocery store.) If you are using fresh onions you will need to fry them in olive oil before cooking the beef.
This recipe only requires 10 to 15 minutes of active cooking. But it does need to cook unattended for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 dried chopped dried apricots
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, strained
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 dried cranberries
  • 1 cup V8 juice

In a large skillet combine beef and onions. Cook until browned.

Use garlic press. Then add garlic, coriander and bay leaf to beef. Cook an additional minute.

Add apricots, tomatoes, tomato paste, cranberries and juice. Cook uncovered on medium low for 25 to 30 minutes. (If you are not using instant rice add one cup rice and two cups water to a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Cover. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.)

Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mini Breakfast Muffins

These muffins make a great breakfast when you are running a little late or are otherwise crunched for time. Or you can use them as a tasty snack at anytime. One note before you make them, be sure and use paper muffin cups because these muffins will stick to the pan if you don't.
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp pitted dried chopped dates
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pan with paper cups.

In small saucepan bring to boil dates and water. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile sift together flour, baking powder and sugar.

Stir in baking soda and butter into saucepan. Stir till butter melts.

Beat eggs. Add eggs, vanilla and date mixture to flour mixture. Mix until combined. Pour into paper cups. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. (Please note that the baking time is for mini muffins - larger muffins will require more baking time.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Strawberry Smoothie

If you are looking for a quick snack for your kids that is better for them than cookies or chips would be try making this delicious treat. It has the consistency of a milkshake and the chocolate gives it a rich taste. You could also add a cup of strawberry yogurt. (You could try other flavors but I don't guarantee your results. :) )
  • 10 frozen strawberries
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp chocolate syrup

Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Taco Soup

This is an easy and quick soup to make. It is also fairly inexpensive and my family loves it. My daughter (she's a toddler) like to pick out the individual chili beans and pieces of corn. The spices are also easily modified to suite your family's tastes.
I like to serve the soup with chili cheese bread. I'll try to get that recipe in here too.
  • 2 cans chili beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 package frozen corn (16 oz)
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

In the morning combine chili beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, chili powder and paprika to crock pot with 3 to 4 cups of water. Set to low heat.

About an hour before meal time place the hamburger and onion in a skillet. Sprinkle with remaining garlic salt. Brown. Drain excess grease. Add to soup.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mochico Bread

If you are allergic to wheat flour or would just like a sweet bread I recommend this rice bread. It is actually sweet enough to use as cake. You could top it with a dusting of powdered sugar or a honey glaze.
It's very heavy and kind of spongy. The sponginess will increase as the bread cools. (Although at my house it tends to get eaten so fast it doesn't have time to cool.

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • enough regular milk to make a total of 3 cups (about 2 cups regular milk)
  • 1 box mochico rice flour (2 cups)

Combine wet ingredients and baking powder. Beat until well blended. Stir in rice flour. (Take care as rice flour is very fine.)

Grease and lightly flour an 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the top is brown (approximately one hour). Rising will deflate when the bread cools.