Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kielbasa and Lentil Soup

My mom was watching Paula Deen when she saw this recipe. She was inspired, and made this recipe based on the Smithfield sausage and lentil recipe.

This recipe is hearty, yet healthy. One of my co-workers even made this as part of her Thanksgiving dinner. Hmmm, I think B and I will make this for dinner tonight.


• 1 pound sliced Kielbasa
• 1 1/2 cups cubed Ham steak
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 large green bell pepper, diced
• 2 medium carrots, cubed
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (chopped)
• 6 - 8 cups chicken stock
• One 28-oz. can crushed peeled tomatoes
• 2 cups dried lentils
• 12 large fresh spinach leaves, cut into small pieces
• Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced kielbasa and cubbed ham and cook until browned and crispy. Remove sausage and ham and place on a platter.
2. Add onion, green pepper, carrot and spices to the saucepan Saute for a few minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, lentils and sliced sausage.
4. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours.
5. After 2 hours turn off heat and discard bay leaf.
6. Add salt, pepper and spinach let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Banana Blueberry Pie

One of the recipes that my family has been making for years and years is a dream whip recipe -- Banana Blueberry Pie. First made by my grandmother, then my aunt Sandy, the recipe is now being made by my sister Lindsey every Thanksgiving.


9-inch deep dish pie crust
2 bananas
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
8 oz. Cream Cheese
12 oz. can blueberries


1) preheat oven to
2) cook the pie crust as directed on package and let it cool.
3) Slice the bananas and layer into the bottom of the cooled pie crust
4) In a separate bowl, mix DREAM WHIP with milk and vanilla (prepare as directed on package).
5) Add sugar and cream cheese to the prepared DREAM WHIP. Whip until fluffy.
6) Pour mixture over sliced bananas.
7) Refrigerate for about 4 hours to firm.
8) form a little hole into the dream whip mixture. Pour the blueberries into the hole.
9) Refrigerate until ready to eat.
10) Serve and enjoy!

(This is a Kraftfoods recipe)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Brownie

Holy baked brownie Batman!!! THESE ARE GOOD! These are so good I made them twice in one week. I was told by multiple people that it is the best brownie they've ever had. My husband, who doesn't like chocolate wolfed these down. Make them, and thank me afterwards.

I found this recipe through the Brown Eyed Bakers website, and she in turn got it from the Baked cookbook. The original recipe called for espresso. I didn't have instant espresso at home so I left that ingredient out. It was still fabulous.


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1) Preheat the oven to 350
2) Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan and then line with parchment paper.
3) whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together in a bowl.
4) melt chocolate and butter in a dutch oven (set a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.
5) Add the sugars to the chocolate butter mixture and whisk until completely combined.
6) Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined
7) Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined
8) Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
9) Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
10) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
11) Bake for 30 minutes in the center of the oven
12) Rotating the pan halfway through,
13) check to see if the brownies are done by inserting a tooth pick into the center of the brownies. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it it is done.
14) Let the brownies cool completely.
15) Lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut into squares .

(Recipe adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker, who in turn adapted it from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomato Corn Pie

I love it when I find a tasty meal that is easy to make. This tomato-corn pie (from that my mom makes is both. I always cheat when making this recipe and use a store bought pie crust. I think the store bought crusts are smaller than a traditional pie pan so I've adjusted the recipe, decreasing the amount of milk in the egg mixture, to prevent the egg from bubbling over the pan. I've also increased the amount of cheese from 1/2 a cup to 1 cup (because I just like cheese).


3 large eggs
2/3 cup low-fat milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear; see Tip) or frozen
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1) Preheat oven to 400°F.
2) Whisk eggs and milk in a medium bowl.
3) Sprinkle half the cheese over the crust
4) Layer half the tomatoes evenly over the cheese
5) Sprinkle with corn, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and the remaining 1/4 cup cheese
6) Layer the remaining tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
7) Pour the egg mixture over the top.
8) Bake the pie until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
9) Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

(Recipe adapted from

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mom's Meaty Tomato Sauce

This is a sauce that is best made when you have a full afternoon to let things simmer because it tastes best if the juices from the meat have time to really simmer in the sauce. But holy batman, is this sauce tasty! Use it in lasagna, or on plain spaghetti... you won't be disappointed.

The recipe makes a really big batch. If you aren't cooking in bulk, you might want to half it.


• Italian Sausage – 2 hot and 2 mild (in casing)
• 2 lbs of Ground beef
• 1 onion
• Garlic
• 2 – 28oz cans of crushed Tomatoes
• 2 – 28 oz can of Tomato puree
• 2 - 28 oz can of Diced Tomatoes
• 2 – small cans of Tomato Paste


• Saute onions and garlic (the amount of garlic depends on your preference.
I’d probably use 8 – 12 cloves).
• Add ground beef and brown.
• Cook sausage in a pan or in the oven. Once cooked (not too hard) slice into bite sized
• Combine all tomatoes into a large pot with cover.
• Add meat, onions, and garlic. Cook on medium until bubbling.
• Simmer all day, the longer the better.
• Add to your favorite dish, or just sop up with bread.
• Enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vegetable Crustless Quiche

Another post baby favorite recipe. My mom found it in the September 2006 edition of Cooking Light. B and I make this in bulk and freeze in individual servings. We've made a bunch of substitutes with the vegetables used in the recipe, these changes are noted below. The best part of this recipe is that you can really switch up the ingredients to use vegetables that you like.


1 ½ cups egg substitute
3 large eggs
3 cups of Mexican mixed shredded cheese (the recipe called for 1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese and 1 ½ cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese)
½ cup 2% low-fat milk
½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
16 ounces fat free cottage cheese (1 carton)
cooking spray

Assorted vegetables (what I use)
• 4 cups sliced zucchini (about 4)
• 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
• 2 cups broccoli florets
• 2 cans sliced mushrooms
• 1 package frozen shredded spinach
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley
• 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced


Assorted vegetables (what the recipe called for)
• 4 cups sliced zucchini (about 4)
• 2 cups diced potato with onion
• 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
• 1 (8 ounce) package pre-sliced mushrooms
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley
• 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced


1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Beat egg substitute and eggs in a large bowl until fluffy.
3. Add half the cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt, and cottage cheese to the mixture
4. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray
5. Add zucchini and all the vegetables except for the parsley and the tomato. Sauté until tender
6. Coat 3 quart casserole dish with cooking spray
7. Pour vegetables into the casserole dish
8. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables
9. Top with the remaining cheese
10. Arrange tomato slices over the cheese
11. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes
12. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned
13. Let set

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mmm Mmm Moroccan Garlic Chicken

After having our baby, my mother came to stay with us for 9 days to help out. One of the meals she cooked for us while she was here was this Moroccan Chicken. We've enjoyed it so much that we've made it for our company. So easy, and so tasty!!! This one is sure to be on the regular rotation.


4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (I often use two – not four)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 medium zucchini (I often use 2) – chopped in small pieces
1 box of uncooked couscous (I really like the curry couscous)
½ cup raisins (I use more than ½ cup)


1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper

2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender.

3. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, about 8 minutes (Don’t overcook)

4. Add zucchini and sauté 3 minutes or until tender.

Remove from heat.

5. Prepare couscous according to package directions and stir in raisins before removing covering and removing from heat.

6. Once the couscous is done and the chicken/zucchini mixture is done, stir them together.

7. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ducky made an amazing batch of chocolate chip cookies for my babyshower this weekend. They were so good that they were one of the few desserts that was almost gone at the end of the evening (there were only 4 left!).

Below is the recipe she used. I can't wait to try making these myself!

6 tablespoons butter -- softened but still cool
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped the size of chocolate chips, or bittersweet chocolate chips -- about 1 1/2 cups

Instructions: (Makes 3 Dozen Cookies)
1) In a large bowl using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and brown and granulated sugars until smooth but not over mixed.

2) Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and stir until just combines.

3) Sift in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and stir gently just until combined.

4) Add the chocolate and stir just until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

5) Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6) Position the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.

7) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

8) Scoop up 1 inch balls of dough with a spoon or mini scoop and set them 2 inches apart on the prepared pans.

9) Bake the cookies, rotating the pans after 7 to 9 minutes, for 13 to 17 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. If you like a very soft cookie, bake them for 13 minutes. If you like a crisp cookie, Bake for 17 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool.

10) Hide some so that they aren't all gone before you get to taste them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

B and I had our baby shower on Saturday and one of the items we cooked at the BBQ portion of the festivities was Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs from a recipe we found at Annie Eats. The Kabobs were AMAZING and people raved about them! I can't wait to make these again sometime soon.

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic pressed
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before use.

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and discard the excess marinade. Place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blueberry muffins with streusel


Some friends just had a little girl, and I wanted to put together a little basket of goodies to bring to the family. I knew I was going to bring some of my mom's banana bread, but I also wanted to bring some blueberry muffins too. I stumbled upon the recipe below through Annie Eats (who found it on allrecipes). This is very tasty and very easy to make. I highly recommend giving it a try.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
~1/3 cup. milk
1 cup blueberries (or more)

streusel topping:
1/4 cup. sugar
8 tsp flour
2 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease or line 8 muffin wells with muffin liners.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Pour into lined muffin cups; fill to the top.

To make streusel topping, combine listed ingredients and mix well with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over tops of muffins.

Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Baby Back Ribs

I seem to be venturing away from the recipes that my family makes over and over, to some of my new favorite recipes that I want to make sure I don't lose. When I was visiting Ducky and Fed in Long Island, Duck made AMAZING ribs. She found the recipe on, and it can be found here.


2 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pounds baby back pork ribs

1 12-ounce bottle dark beer

1 18-ounce bottle good-quality barbecue sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Whisk chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Rub spice mixture all over ribs.

3. Place ribs in heavy large roasting pan.

4. Boil beer in medium saucepan until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes.

5. Pour beer around ribs.

6. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake ribs until fork-tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

7. Combine barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, and espresso powder in heavy medium saucepan. Simmer until flavors blend and sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (Ribs and barbecue sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead.

8. Cool slightly, then cover separately and refrigerate.)

9. Prepare barbecue (medium heat).

10. Brush ribs with some barbecue sauce.

11. Grill ribs just until heated through, about 3 minutes per side.

12. Transfer ribs to platter.

13. Bring remaining sauce to simmer.

14. Brush ribs with more barbecue sauce.

15. Serve ribs, passing remaining barbecue sauce separately.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chili (super hot, super meaty!)

We went to Marianne & Jacob's Superbowl potluck party last year and Chris brought his legendary meat chili. It's hot, but so good. He didn't have an exact recipe, but we have the ingredient list and just sort of throw things in the pot and cook. Hopefully you can use this list to throw together your own amazing chili.


1.75 pounds ground chuck
1 pound sweet italian sausage
1 pound hot italian sausage
1 package oscar Meyer boiled ham
5 rashers of bacon (crisped
1 real ripe tomato
1 12 oz. can of peeled tomatoes
1 12 oz. can of tomato sauce
3 sliced jalapenos
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans (dark)
1 can of kidney beans (pink)
Onion salt
Sea salt
Garlic Powder
Flour (for thickening)
Curry powder
Crushed Red Pepper
A tiny bit of Tabasco


1. Brown/prepare the sausage and ground beef. Cook it a little less than you would if you were going to eat it regularly. Add to pot.

2. Crisp the bacon (because it will cook with the sauce). Add to pot.

3. Chop up the veggies. Add to pot.

4. Slice the tomatoes, but do that in the pot, as they'll be peeled and messy.

5. Throw in the beans and cook for a long time on low. The longer it cooks, the more the spices settle in. Refrigeration helps that, too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vegetable Lasagnia

My friend Swati made vegetable lasagnia at a party 4 years ago and I enjoyed it so much that I stole the recipe from her. Now think I make this recipe more often than Swati does. It's soooo tasty!!! Also, this is a great dish to cook in bulk and freeze in individual serving sizes!


Lasagna noodles (I prefer the no bake kind because it's easier)
Butternut squash 1 large, or 2 small
Tomato sauce (what ever you prefer)
2 tablespoons pesto 2 tablespoons
2 bags shredded cheese (I prefer the Mexican mix, but mozzarella works too)
Parmesan cheese
1 medium container ricotta cheese (I prefer the low fat/part-skim ricotta)
Frozen chopped spinach


1. Cook butternut squash until soft. You can either peel, cube and boil the squash or halve and clean out the squash and then bake in a glass pan (skin up) with about an inch of water until soft (approximately 30-45 minutes.

2. In a bowl, smash butternut squash. Mix in pesto and the thawed and squeezed spinach.

3. In a large glass pan, put one layer of tomato sauce.

4. Add a layer of lasagna noodles.

5. Add a layer of ricotta cheese.

6. Add a layer of butternut squash mixture.

7. Add a layer of shredded cheese.

8. Add a layer of tomato sauce.

9 Repeat steps 3-8 until you have 3-4 layers.

10. Top with tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and a little parmesan cheese.

11. Cover dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

12. Remove foil. Bake 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

13. Let stand 5 minutes.

14. Serve with additional tomato sauce if desired.

15. Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Tasty, Super Easy Bean Dip

Tauren made this on Christmas eve this year and I fell in love. It is so tasty, so easy, and not too bad for you (depending on how much cheese you add). I LOVE THIS BEAN DIP!!

1 can of black beans
1 can of refried beans (make sure to look at fat content because some have low or none and some have high because of lard)
1 jar of salsa
1 8 oz package of shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar)

Mix all of the ingredients together and heat stirring regularly (in microwave or on stove top) until the cheese is melted.

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or veggies

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf

Below is a turkey meatloaf recipe that my mom has enjoyed with long time family friends on several occasions. She says its very yummy. I hope to try this one out in the near future.

1 1/4 ground turkey breast
1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 or 2 eggs slightly beaten
1 garlic clove - pressed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Combine all ingredients.
3) Shape into a loaf and place in shallow baking dish.
4) Bake 1 1/4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.
5) Serve with brown gravy (McCormick is yummy and mixed with water - so it is low fat) and potatoes.