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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Turkey Chili

1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. turkey sausage (remove from casing)
Dash: poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder
16 oz. can red beans, drained
2 c. tomato sauce (2 cans)
2 c. chopped tomatoes (1 large can)
1 c. stewed tomatoes (1 can)
1/2 c. onion flakes
1 clove garlic (or garlic powder equivalent)
1 pkg. chili seasoning
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 can corn, drained
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

In a tablespoon or two of oil, brown turkey with poultry seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder. Drain.

Add rest of ingredients. Either simmer on low in stockpot for a couple of hours on stovetop OR add to crockpot and cook 8-10 hours or overnight.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Taco Soup

Here's a soup recipe from my friend, Jen, who says, "This actually is a Weight Watchers recipe and is fantastic. I usually double it an freeze it. It heats back up VERY well. I hop you enjoy it as much as we do."

Taco Soup

15 servings (1 cup serving size)

1 onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning
2 cups whole kernel corn
1 can fat free chicken broth
1 can black beans - undrained
1 can great northern beans
1 can refried beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes with chilis

Saute onion until soft. Add remaining ingredients to onions. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* Tip - we usually try to smash the refried beans while the soup is simmering, just to make sure that there are not any large chunks of refried beans. The refried beans are in the recipe as a thickening agent.

A yummy soup that is low calorie and full of fiber. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pasta Personality

One of my favorite Italian restaurants is Carrabba’s Italian Grill. We have one about twenty minutes away and if we have a special occasion to celebrate, I'm the first one to suggest we go to Carrabba's. My husband enjoys the chicken dishes. My favorite would be the Spiedino Di Mare which is shrimp and sea scallops coated with Italian breadcrumbs, grilled and topped with lemon butter sauce. I get the mashed potatoes and Caesar salad and tap my foot the whole time I eat. Yum!

Today I took the Carrabba's Personality Quiz. Am I spicy? Warm? Unique? Here's my Pasta Personality:

Carrabba’s Tag Pic Pac is a classic with a tasty twist, perfect for someone who likes to put their own twist on things! You’re vivacious with zest for life. And since you like everything in life to be full-flavored, you wont be let down when you taste this tagliarini pasta with Picchi Pacchiu sauce.

I haven't yet tried that dish, so I must next time we visit. Ready to take your own test? Here's a link to the quiz:

Here is a recipe for my special homemade meatballs. I never did like to buy the pre-made meatballs, so I came up with my own recipe. I serve these over whole wheat spaghetti with fresh parmesan. Not quite Carrabba's, but pretty good, if I do say so myself!

4 bread slices 1/2 c. water
2 eggs, stirred
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. parsley (or dried parsley flakes)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Dash pepper

Soak bread slices in water 2-3 minutes. Add eggs. Mix. Mix into ground beef and rest of ingredients.

With damp hands, form meat mixture into meatballs. I like to spread the balls out on a broiler pan so when they bake, some of the grease bakes out, but you can use a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn. Continue to bake until browned, approximately 5-10 minutes. Drain.

Add meatballs to favorite sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over spaghetti. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here. They also have some limited time offers. Carrabba’s Signature Pasta Meals and New Limited Time Offers - Signature Pasta Meals, featuring seven distinctive dishes served with choice of soup or fresh salad starting at $10. There’s no better place than Carrabba’s to enjoy a complete Italian meal – any day of the week.

Image: Pixomar /

*UPDATE: 6-20-11: Just got word that I'll be receiving a gift card! Woohoo! Thanks, Carrabba's!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homemade Croutons

Few things are better than salad with homemade dressing and croutons fresh from the oven.

1 loaf bread (Day old bread is better & easier to slice or use dense bread like rye.)
1 stick maragine (Parkay's my favorite.)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (I found some with parsley mixed in that's good.)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese powder

Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Spead cubes evenly on baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Re-set oven to 275 degrees.

Melt margerine and stir in seasonings. Put toasted bread cubes in large bowl and drizzle margerine mixture. Gently toss to coat cubes as evenly as possible.

Spread cubes out on baking sheet again and return to 275 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until cubes are crisp and light brown. Cool.

Be prepared to make more.

Image: Paul /

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mocha Coffee

This recipe features several things I like the most - chocolate, coffee, and convenience.

In blender or food processor, blend until powdered:

1/2 C. instant coffee
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. dry milk Or creamer (creamer makes for a richer coffee)
2 Tbsp. cocoa (Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa is yummy.)

For coffee, stir one tablespoon mix into one cup hot water. Sip slowly for maximum pleasure.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Hot Pecan Spread

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
Black pepper to taste
1 pkg. corned beef, chopped
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ C. sour cream
½ C. pecans, chopped

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in 350-degree oven until heated through. Spread on crackers.

Very easy and quick appetizer. I usually dump all the ingredients into my food processor and give it a couple of good whirls and then dump it into my Corningware baking dish. Although it's good hot, cold leftovers make a good snack, too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ONION ONION™ Fried Potatoes

Potatoes – skin on, cubed
Olive Oil
ONION ONION™ (Tastefully Simple)
Garlic Powder – easiest way to add garlic

I deliberately did not put measurements as you can fix enough for two or eight people. On medium heat, add enough olive oil to cover bottom of skillet. Add about half as much butter until melted, then add cubed potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are starting to get tender – 10-15 minutes. Uncover. Add spices to taste. Stir. Turn the heat up to brown the potatoes, letting them get nice and crispy before turning. Salt and pepper before serving.

If you want a quicker way to fix these in the morning, bake potatoes with skin on ahead of time and keep in fridge. When ready to fix, cube potatoes and you'll only have to heat for 3-4 minutes. Also - if you don't have the ONION ONION™, you can always use the real thing. It's just faster and very tasty to use the mix.

If you want, you can add chopped onion, green peppers, and mushrooms as you cook. Toppings could include shredded sharp cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and green onions. I used to have an iron skillet. If you have one, be sure to use it for wonderful brown crusty potatoes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brownie Truffles

Another great recipe from my friend, Carrie. Does she know I like chocolate or what?


Forget the mixing and the melting, everyone – just add water to a package of fudge brownie mix, scoop into balls, roll in assorted coatings…. and chill!

This is great for kids to make and the perfect party dessert – your guests will love them.
My husband even goes into the kitchen and whips up a batch of these.

1 Box (21.3 ounce) of Betty Crocker chocolate brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons Karo light color corn syrup
Coatings – such as sweet coconut, toasted almond slivers, colored sprinkles, toffee bits, etc.

In a large bowl, stir together dry brownie mix, chocolate syrup from pouch, water, and corn syrup until well mixed.

Pour each desired coating into separate dishes or pie plates. Scoop up 1 tablespoon (or 1 heaping teaspoon from your flatware service) of brownie mixture, using slightly wet hands. Shape mixture into smooth ball and roll into desired coating to cover entire ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat to make 28 truffles, rinsing hands when mixture becomes too sticky to roll. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

I’ve also stirred the nuts in the mixture, and then rolled in coconut or powdered sugar, sugar sprinkles, etc. This one is easy to adapt to your preferences.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

NOTE: To store the truffles, layer between waxed paper in an airtight container. Store for 3 to 4 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer. Ha!

Wouldn't these be great for Valentine's Day?