Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cowboy Goulash

If you like meat, you will love this dish. It’s seriously meaty.

1 pkg (1 lb) macaroni noodles
6 slices bacon (chopped)
1 Lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 medium onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
salt & pepper (to taste)
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Lb deli pastrami, roughly chopped
1/3 c. pepperoni, chopped
2 Tbsp canned, chopped jalapeno
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1 small can diced olives
½ c. beef broth
1 (14 oz) can fired roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
green onions (chopped)


Heat a large deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

In the same skillet add ground beef. When beef is browned stir in onions and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in bacon, pastrami, pepperoni, jalapeno, mushrooms and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.

Add beef broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles well, add to meat sauce, and toss it all together (or you can serve with the sauce over the top). Top with sharp cheddar cheese and green onions.

Did I change anything? The original recipe suggested serving this with spaghetti noodles, but I changed it to macaroni noodles because I knew it would go over better with the family…when they see spaghetti noodles they expect pasta and meatballs with red sauce which this is not. I also left out the salt, pepper, olives, mushrooms and green onions. I put jalepenos in mine and in my hubby’s and left them out of the kids’ dishes.

What did the family think? Everyone loved it! I think there is so much in this dish that there has got to be SOMETHING in there that everyone likes. 🙂

from Favorite Family Recipes


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Pork

Creamy Italian Sausage Chili

This was so super good…hubby kept ooohing and aaahing over it all through dinner.


1 lb ground Italian sausage
2 Tbsp. olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 can chicken broth
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans diced tomatoes, lightly blended
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 can of each: black beans, pinto beans, chili beans
4 oz. cream cheese
Tortilla chips, crumbled (optional)

In a large pot, cook Italian sausage until no longer pink.

Add the garlic and the olive oil, then add the broth, spices, tomatoes, vinegar, ketchup and beans. Stir well and bring to a boil.

Let the chili simmer for about half an hour. Lastly add the cream cheese and stir in until completely dissolved.

We had this with breadsticks, some salad and some grapes.

Did I change anything? The original recipe used two separate pans to make this. I only used one and it was just fine. It was hubby’s idea to crumple up some tortilla chips on top of the soup.

What did the family think? Hubby and I thought it was uber delish. Our oldest ate his…it wasn’t his favorite but not everything can taste like mac and cheese. 🙂 Our youngest choked down some Italian sausage and called it a night.

from Family Favorite Recipes

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Italian, Spicy, Stew/Soup


I had never, ever, ever made guacamole until last night, but I had everything I needed to make it so I thought I would give it a try. It turned out great and there were zero leftovers. (By the way, my brother makes the best guacamole I have ever eaten, but I don’t have his recipe. Actually, I don’t think there is a recipe…he just wings it.)

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

We had this with Chips and Salsa Chicken.

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated.

Using a potato masher or fork add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Did I change anything? I only had one avocado, so I just reduced the amounts of the other ingredients. I wish my avocado would have been a little bit softer, too. I didn’t have time to let it sit four an hour. I just made it and then we ate it.

What did the family think? The boys wouldn’t touch it, but hubby and I gobbled it up.

from Food Network

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Mexican, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Chips and Salsa Chicken

This was great with the guacamole I made and some Mexican rice and refried black beans on the side.

3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. honey
4 chicken breasts, halved
1 c. finely crushed tortilla chips
1 bottle of your favorite chunky salsa
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese
Guacamole or avocados
Sour cream
Fresh cilantro

Combine lime juice, honey, and oil. Dip chicken in lime juice mixture then coat with crushed chips.

Place in ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until juices run clear.

Spoon a tablespoon or two of salsa over each chicken piece and sprinkle with Cheese, bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese melts.

Serve with guacamole and sour cream and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Did I change anything? No, but next time I will use the Pepper Jack cheese.

What did the family think? The boys liked the parts of the chicken without the salsa on it. Hubby and I liked the chicken…the hubs even had seconds.

from Favorite Family Recipes

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Filed under Chicken, Everybody Ate It

Orange Grilled Salmon

This is a great dish…a little bit citrusy and a little bit sweet.

1 lb. salmon
2 oranges
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Place salmon skin side down on a large piece of aluminum foil.

Squeeze one orange over the top then sprinkle generously with the brown sugar and salt.

Cut the second orange into slices and layer over the top.

Completely cover with the aluminum foil and seal then grill on medium heat until fully cooked.

What did the family think? Hubby and I both liked it, but he thought it needed some tartar sauce for dipping, but he always thinks that about any fish dish.

from Favorite Family Recipes

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Filed under Easy, Fish, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Pepita and Cranberry Rice Krispy Treats

I haven’t made these in forever, but they are SOOOO good! They’re like Rice Krispy treats for grown-ups.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup raw green pumpkinseeds
1/4 cup butter
1 (8-ounce) package miniature marshmallows (about 5 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups oven-toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
1 cup dried cranberries

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pumpkinseeds; cook 4 minutes or until seeds begin to pop and lightly brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool.

Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows; cook 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and salt. Stir in reserved seeds, cereal, and cranberries. Scrape mixture into prepared dish using a rubber spatula.

Lightly coat hands with cooking spray; press cereal mixture evenly into prepared dish. Cool completely.

Did I change anything? I threw a little wheat germ in there for good measure… about 2T.

What did the family think? Thumbs up from everyone!

from Cooking Light

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Filed under After School Snacks, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian

Nutella Waffle Bits

A smaller version of a recipe that’s in Food Network’s magazine this week….bite-sized yumminess.

Strawberries, thinly sliced (optional)
Cocoa powder (optional)

Toast waffles and let cool.

Spread Nutella on one waffle and place a strawberry slice on top. Top with a second waffle to make a sandwich. Dust with cocoa powder. Enjoy!

What did the family think? We tried these both with and without strawberries and they are both great!

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian


I took Jessica Seinfeld’s recipe and tweaked it a bit. These turned out great and everyone ate them! 🙂

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 14-oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes, with their juice
2 T cup sweet potato, carrot, or butternut squash puree (use baby food)
2 T wheat germ
1 packet taco seasoning
1 pkg. taco shells or flour tortillas
Garnish: cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa…whatever you like on your tacos

Cook meat in large nonstick skillet. Drain fat.

Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, vegetable puree, wheat germ and seasoning mix.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat is no longer pink and the mixture begins to thicken, 8-10 minutes.

Fill the taco shells/tortillas with the meat mixture and add your favorite toppings.

Did I change anything? I added the wheat germ and reduced the amount of puree. We also always use flour tortillas, so I added that as an option.

What did the family think? It was a hit!

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Mexican

Itty Bitty Pies

Several, several years ago I made these with my nieces at Christmas. I hadn’t made them since and I have no idea why because they are ridiculously easy and crazy good.

Cooking Spray
Your choice of pie filling (apple and cherry are what we’ve tried)
Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts…the kind you roll out

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking oil.

Let pie crust sit out for about five minutes before unrolling. You will use both crusts that are in the package.

Unroll pie crusts and use a wide-mouth glass to cut circles out. I use the Pampered Chef circle cutter, so you use that if you have one of those.

You should have about 12 circles when you are done depending on how big your circles are and how close together you cut them out.

Lay out one circle and put a dollop of pie filling in the center and cover with another circle. Use a fork to press edges together. Continue until you have used all your circles. If you have one circle left over you can put a little filling in it and just fold it in half.

Place pies on the cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes or until they start to get golden brown.

What did the family think? These are so spectacularly awesome.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Mini Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches

I got this idea from this month’s Food Network magazine. They used the big waffles, but I thought that seemed like a little too much dessert and way too messy. Plus, if you use the little waffles you can have more than one and try a different ice cream flavor in each one.

Mini waffles
Ice cream

Toast the waffles and let cool.

Scoop ice cream onto one waffle and top with another waffle. Voila! Dessert!

What did the family think? Yum!

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian