Saturday, December 31, 2011

Balsamic Glazed Steak with Gorgonzola Alfredo Ravioli

I had a dish a while ago at Olive Garden that had all these components of balsamic glaze, steak, and pasta. It is wonderful and one of my favorite dishes there. I decided to make my own version of it at home. The one at Olive Garden came with fettuccine, I decided to use some fresh made ravioli I found at my local grocery store. 


Saute Pan
Small Sauce Pan
Large Sauce Pan
Mixing Bowl
Cutting Board


1 lb of Beef Tips
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs Sugar
4 Cloves Garlic, diced and divided in half
1/2 C Milk
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
4 oz Crumbled Gorgonzola
8 oz Fresh Ravioli 
1 Tbs Corn Starch
2 Tbs Water


Heat on medium high heat the saute pan with 1Tbs Olive Oil. Cook the beef tips until cooked through. Then pull the meat out of the pan and add the balsamic vinegar, half of the garlic, salt, black pepper, and the sugar. Cook until it boils for 2 minutes and then add back in the beef tips. Heat for another 2 minutes then pull off heat to thicken. 

Heat up large sauce pan filled with water until it is boiling, then add fresh ravioli in the water. Boil according to the directions with the ravioli. Drain and return to large sauce pan. 

While ravioli is boiling, in the small sauce pan add the 1/2 C milk, oregano, 3/4 of the gorgonzola, remaining olive oil,  and remaining garlic. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes then for the last 2 minutes add the corn starch and water mixture to thicken the sauce. When the pasta is done then add the sauce to pasta and toss. Then top with the steak with balsamic glaze. Add the remaining gorgonzola on top. 


Taco Salads

I love taco salads. They combine fresh veggies and wonderful seasoning together with a crunchy tortilla shell surrounding it all. I received a gift for Christmas from my sister in law that molds the tortilla's into a bowl and I made them for her birthday.  I used some tortillas and veggie I had gotten from Bountiful Baskets that had been frozen for later use. 


Cutting Board
Saute Pan
4 Mixing Bowls or Tupperware
4 Tortilla Baking Bowls or Metal Bowl that is oven proof


1 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 Package of Taco Seasoning
8 Tortillas (if small) 4 (if large)
1 Head of Romaine Lettuce
1 can Refried Beans
4 Green Onions, diced
1 can Green Chilies
1 Package of Shredded Cheddar
1 Container Salsa

1 Container Sour Cream
1 Bottle Hot Sauce


Pre-heat oven to 350°f. Place the tortillas into the baking bowls and place in oven to bake for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. You will want to check the tortilla for air bubbles and pop them if there are any. 

Brown the ground beef with the taco seasoning and place in tupperware bowl. Shred the romaine lettuce into bite size pieces and place into tupperware bowl. Heat the refried beans in tupperware bowl in microwave for 2 minutes or until heated through. 

Add whatever toppings you would like and enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Corn Chowder

I love corn chowder, it has great flavor and its wonderful on a cold winters day. I have always wanted to make corn chowder and this week I got the chance to make my version of the chowder, this is a dairy free recipe. I am using potatoes to get the creamy consistency with out the dairy in it. I participate in a co-op, Bountiful Baskets, and it provided me all the veggies and herbs for the chowder which is wonderful.


Cutting Board
Large Pan
Blender or Food Processor
Cookie sheet 
Paper Towels


4 C Fresh Corn
4 Carrots (diced)
1 Large Onion (diced)
6 Stalks Celery (diced)
4 or 5 Medium Potatoes (peeled and diced)
4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 lbs Bacon (diced)
48oz Low Sodium Chicken Stock
2 tsp Rosemary (minced)
2 tsp Thyme
2 Tbs Black Pepper
Salt to taste (don't use much because of bacon)


Heat the large pan on medium high heat and put in bacon. Cook until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and place on cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Discard all but 1 tbs of the bacon drippings. Leave the remaining tbs of bacon drippings and add all the veggies except the corn and potatoes. Saute the veggies until soft. 

Then add the chicken stock and the herbs. Then add 3 out of the 4 cups of the corn, save the the last cup to add at the end. Add the diced potatoes to the stock. 

Simmer until potatoes are fork tender then blend in a blender half of the veggies and stock. Blend until smooth.

Then add it back to the remaining half and mix until combined. Then add back in the bacon and remaining corn and stir until combined. 

Then simmer for another 5 minutes then serve. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Thanksgiving Post

So I hope everyone's holiday was wonderful and spent with lots of loved ones. Ours was small with just my family, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. It was nice and relaxing, I know, I know saying cooking Thanksgiving dinner "relaxing" but it was. It was relaxing because I prepped everything before I started cooking so it would just be easy to put together. I cut up the veggies and made the dessert the night before.

So now onto the recipes, I will be posting about the Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes,  Peppermint Cheesecake(a special diabetic recipe) and Mason Jar Apple Pie. 

Tools for all recipes:

Cutting Board
Roasting Pan
2 Large Pans
1 Medium Sauce Pan
4 Mason Jars
2 Casserole Dishes
Basting Brush
2 Medium Mixing Bowl
2 Large Mixing Bowl
Cookie Sheet
9in Springform Pan
Hand mixer or Stand mixer 
Aluminum Foil
Meat Thermometer 

Ingredients for Turkey:

Turkey (whatever size you want)
1 C Broth
1 C Soften Butter, 1/2 C for herb mixture and 1/2 C for basting
1 Tbs Rosemary, diced
1 Tbs Thyme, diced
1 Tbs Sage, diced
1 Tbs Salt
1 Tbs Black Pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 325°F. Clean out turkey and set aside the neck and gizzards, which we will use in our gravy recipe. Separate the skin from the meat. Mix the soft butter with the herbs and spices. put butter mixture in between the skin and meat. Smooth over the meat. Place turkey in roasting pan with broth(any kind) and cover with aluminum foil, basting the turkey with the other 1/2 C butter every hour until done. The last 30 minutes take off the foil to brown. If you want stuffing in the turkey I have a recipe to follow. If you are stuffing the turkey you will add an extra 30 minutes to an hour of cooking. I cooked 13lb turkey and it took 4 1/2 hours. You will want to take it out when it reaches 160°F because it will continue carry over cooking while it rests.

Ingredients for Stuffing:

12 oz Dry Bread Cubes
1/4 C Butter
1 C Low Sodium Broth(any kind)
1 C Onion, diced
1 C Celery, diced
2 tsp Sage
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Rosemary
2 tsp Thyme


Saute celery and onions with the butter.  Combine the sauteed veggies and butter with the bread cubes. Add the herbs and broth and mix until combined. Then place the stuffing into the turkey and bake until the bird is done. If baking in a dish place in oven for the last hour of while the bird is cooking. 

Ingredients for Gravy:

Neck from turkey
Gizzards from turkey
8 C Water
2 Stalks Celery
1 Carrot
1/4 Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic
1 Sprig Rosemary
4 Sprigs Thyme
3 to 4 Leaves of Sage
1 Tbs Salt
1 Tbs Black Pepper
4 Tbs Flour


Place all ingredients except flour into medium sauce pan and boil. 

When the turkey is done strain into an a bowl, then place back into sauce pan except for about 1/4 cup of the broth. Whisk into the 1/4 cup the 4 tbs of flour then slowly add the flour mixture back into broth, continuously whisking on medium heat. Heat to a boil then let boil for 1 minute then turn of heat until ready to serve.  

Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole:

1 lb Fresh Green Beans
1 Can of Cream of Chicken
1/4 C Milk
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Container of French Fried Onions


Slice the green beans into bite size pieces and boil them until soft, for about 10 minutes.

Combine the soup, milk, pepper, and beans into a casserole dish. Mix in 1/2 of the french fried onions into the mixture. Place in oven while the turkey rests.

Turn up the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 20 minutes. For the last five minutes add the remaining french fried onions on top, until brown.  

Ingredients for Candied Sweet Potatoes:

1 lb Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C Butter
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Salt
1 C Marshmallow


Peel, cube the sweet potatoes and boil for 10 minutes or until soft. 

Melt butter and add the sugar and spices. 

Then add the potatoes and mix until completely covered. 

Pour into casserole dish and top with small marshmallows. Bake with the green bean casserole until done. 


Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes:

1 lb Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Sprig Rosemary
3 Sprigs Thyme
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Tbs Salt
1/2 C Butter
1 C Milk
1 Tbs Black Pepper


Peel and cube potatoes. Place in large pan of cold water with the all the herbs except the salt and pepper. 

Place pan on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes and remove the sprigs of herbs then remove the leaves of rosemary and thyme and place into pan with the potatoes. Add the milk, butter, salt, and pepper into the potatoes and mash until desired consistency.

Ingredients for Peppermint Cheesecake:

1 C Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Tbs Reduced Fat Butter
2 8oz Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 14oz Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
2 Eggs
12 Peppermint Patties(if using large patties), divided 8 and 4
1 Tbs Flour


Pre heat the oven to 325°F. In medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, mix until all crumbs are coated with the butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 in spring form pan.  Then bake the crust for 10 minutes, then cool. 

In stand mixer, combine all cream cheeses and mix until smooth. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and eggs, mix until combined. Chop up 8 peppermint patties and toss in 1 tbs flour. Then mix into cheese mixture. Then add the 1 tsp of peppermint extract. Pour over crust and smooth. Then bake for 32-40 minutes or until the center is almost set. 

Cool and run a knife around the edges then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. I like to chill overnight. Right before serving use the remaining 4 and cut in half and surround the cakes edges with them. I used the mini ones for my recipe though. 

Ingredients for Mason Jar Apple Pie:

Apple Pie Filling( you can use pre-made or make your own)
1 Pie Crust


Pre heat the oven to 375°F. Line the 4 mason jars with the pie crust about half way up. 

Then fill with the apple pie filling. Then place a round or special design top crust on top of filling. 

Then bake on a cookie sheet for 35 minutes or until tops are brown. 

I hope you enjoy the recipes and use them through out the year!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Next Week Turkey Day

So with Thanksgiving I am going to be posting my recipes that I am doing for Thanksgiving in one really big post after Thanksgiving. These recipes are ones that can be used for a special occasion like Thanksgiving or any other day of the  year. I look forward to all the recipes that I am putting together and all the wonderful photos I will take as I am putting it together. Hope you all will enjoy! See you next week!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cake

Okay so a few days turned into 11 days! I am horrible at time management with school, work, and family time I run out of time before having to go to bed for the next day to start. Well here is the long awaited recipe of the molten chocolate cake. This recipe is very easy but if baked too long it changes the whole thing. So if it doesn't come out the first just cut the cooking time for the next time. 


Muffin Tin
Mixing Bowl
Metal or Glass bowl
Sauce pan
Muffin cups


1 C Unsalted Butter
8oz Semisweet Chocolate, chopped into chunks
5 Eggs
1/2 C Sugar
Pinch of Salt
4 tsp Flour


Pre-heat oven to 450°. First melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler(I use a glass or melt bowl over a sauce pan with boiling water). Beat the eggs, sugar, and salt until smooth. Slowly add the chocolate into the egg mixture, continuously mixing. Then add the 4 tsp of flour to the mixture. 

I use the large muffin tin for mine but you can use the normal sized ones too. Line the muffin tin with the paper then fill the cups half way.

 Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges puff but the center isn't set yet. 

You can serve with fruit or pastry cream. I served it with strawberries. 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy....

So I haven't made a post in a long time. I have been really busy with school, work, and family. I will have a recipe to post in a couple days. A Chocolate Molten Cake!!!!! mmmm..... Until then, check out some of my other recipes and if you try any let me know with a comment.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

I got some sweet potatoes in my basket again this week. I was excited to try a new recipe involving them! I got a couple cans of black beans with jalapeños from my mother in law. I decided that these would make a great vegetarian chili. It turned out wonderful and spicy!


Large Sauce Pan
Cutting Board


5 Small Sweet Potatoes, cubed
2 15oz Can Black Beans, whatever kind
4 Ripe Tomatoes, diced
3 Cloves Garlic,  diced
1 Small Onion, diced
1 Tbs Canola Oil
1 Tbs Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Cayanne Pepper
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Rosemary
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1 C Water
2 Beef Bullion Cubes


Peel,diced, and cube all the vegetables. Heat oil in sauce pan on medium high heat. Add the vegetables except the tomatoes, black beans, and all of the seasonings.

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes then add the tomatoes, bullion cups and water. 

Bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and sauce has thicken some. Then enjoy! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes with Espresso Butter Cream Frosting

I was recently watching cupcake wars on the food network. One of the bakers made this cupcake with espresso frosting on it. My husband instantly looked at me and asked "Can you make that?" I got to thinking about it and decided that I would at least try to make a cupcake with my version of the frosting. 

Tools for Cupcakes and Frosting: 

3 Mixing Bowls
Stand Mixer/Hand Mixer
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Muffin Tins
Muffin Papers
Piping Bag with ends(optional)

Ingredients for Espresso Butter Cream Frosting:

1/2 C Vegetable Shortening
1/2 C Butter
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 C Confectioners Sugar/Powder Sugar
2 Tbs Milk
2 Tbs Instant Coffee


Cream together shortening, butter and sugar until smooth. Add the instant coffee, milk, and extract. Whisk together until everything is combined. Put frosting in piping bag and set aside. 

Ingredients for Vanilla Cupcakes:

2 C Cake Flour
1 1/2 C Sugar
3 Tbs Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Egg Whites, whisked until soft peaks form
1/2 Shortening 
1 C Milk
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Separate the egg whites from the 4 yokes. Put egg whites in mixing bowl and whisk until white and foamy that create soft peaks. Set aside. Combine in new mixing bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and vanilla. Whisk. Add the other 2 eggs one at a time. Whisk until smooth. Then combine the egg whites by folding them into the batter until combined. 

Fill the muffin tins with cupcake liners. Fill with batter 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick  inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes before putting the frosting on the cupcakes. You can garnish with a chocolate covered espresso bean if you would like. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Hash

I got some sweet potatoes in my basket from Bountiful Baskets. I never liked them as a kid but I knew my taste buds have changed for some things that I didn't like when I was a kid to now. Now I still do not like the whole yams in a can with marshmallows on top, but I did come up with a recipe that I do really love. 


Cutting Board
Cast Iron Skillet or Oven Proof Pan


5 Small Sweet Potatoes, shredded
1 Large Onion, diced
3 Bell Peppers (I used 3 Different colors), diced
1lb Maple Sausage, crumbled and browned
8oz Cheddar, shredded

6 Eggs, scrambled
6 Cloves Garlic, diced
1Tbs Salt
1Tbs Black Pepper
1tsp Cayenne Pepper
1Tbs Crushed Rosemary


Pre-Heat oven to 350°F. Dice and shred all the vegetables. Heat skillet and brown the sausage. Then add onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until peppers and onions are soft. 

Then add the potatoes and seasonings. Cook until potatoes are soft. Then add the scrambled egg mixture and mix into everything. Cook for 10 minutes then add the cheese and mix. Then place the skillet in the oven for 15 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked through and cheese is melted. 

Enjoy, I sure did!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pear and Plum Crumble

So I had a bunch of left over plums and pears that were needing to be used before they went bad. I decided to make a crumble out of them. It was really yummy warm and really great cold. I will be posting the recipe for the crust, pie filing, and the crumble topping.

Tools for all recipes:

Cutting Board
Saute Pan
Pie Dish
2 Mixing Bowls
Measuring Cups
Pastry Cutter or 2 Butter Knives
Plastic Wrap

Ingredients for Crust:

1 1/4 C Flour
1/4 C Sugar, for sweet crusts, you can take it out for a savory pie
1/8 tsp Salt
4oz Chilled Butter, diced
4 Tbs Ice Water, may need more depending on how dry the flour is


In large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, salt and diced butter. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives and work in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal or the butter is the size of peas. Add the water a tablespoon at a time. Mix and add water until crust is in a dough shape. Knead a couple times then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refridgerator for 30 minutes.

Roll out and place in pie dish. Set in fridge until ready for pie filling.

Ingredients for Pie Filling:

8 Pears, peeled and sliced
8 Plums, sliced
1/8 C Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp All Spice
1/4 tsp Salt


Place all ingredients in saute pan and cook for about 10 minutes. Place in pie shell. Pre-heat oven to 350º F.

Ingredients for Crumble Topping:

1/4 C Oats
1/8 C Sugar
3 Tbs Butter, diced
1 tsp Cinnamon
4 Tbs Diced Pecans


Combine all ingredients and place on top of the pie. Bake pie for 30 to 40 minutes or until shell is brown and pie filling is bubbling. 


I got a bunch of chili's and tomatillo's from Bountiful Basket. I decided to make my own green sauce instead of one from the can. It turned out wonderful and filling.


2 Cookie Sheets
Blender or Food Processor
Cutting Board
Glass Baking Dish
Mixing Bowl


1lb Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
4 Anahiem Chili's
7 to 8 Tomatillos, depending on size
2 Jalapeños
3 Roma Tomatoes
6 Cloves Garlic
1 Large Onion
2 Tbs Canola Oil
1 Bunch Cilantro
1 Tbs Chipotle Powder
1 Tbs Cayanne Pepper
1/2 Tbs Black Pepper
1/2 Tbs Salt
8 Large Tortillas
16 oz Shredded Cheese, any kind that melts well
Red Taco Sauce(Optional)


Pre-heat oven to 375°F, Place on cookie sheet the chili's, jalapeños, tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Pour the oil over the top and coat all vegtables. Season the vegtables with 1/4 Tbs salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until peppers get a dark coloring on the skins. On second cookie sheet place the chicken breasts and cook for 40 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear.

Once vegtables are done let them cool for about 10 minutes. Once cooled then cut open the peppers and deseed them. Peel garlic and onions and place them in the food processor with the peppers and tomatoes. Peel and wash the tomatillos and place in food processor. Blend and use canola oil from roasting the vegtables in the sauce. Add the rest of the seasonings and the cilantro then blend until smooth.

Once chicken is done and cooled down, shred. Take the tortillas and place some of the chicken on it, then the cheese, then the red sauce.

Then roll them up. Place some of the sauce in the bottom of glass pan. Place the enchiladas in the glass dish until full.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and top with the red sauce.

Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.

Banana Pancakes

I had gotten a bunch of bananas from Bountiful Baskets and we just couldn't eat them all before they went bad. I made banana muffins which I just posted the recipe to. I also made banana pancakes. My husband was really skeptical about banana pancakes but now they are his favorite and I have already been requested to make them again.


Mixing Bowl
Potato Masher
Measuring Cups


1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Wheat Flour
1 Tbs Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 C Milk
2 Tbs Canola Oil
2 to 3 Ripe Bananas


Combine all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until smooth and no lumps.

Heat the griddle to medium heat and oil it. Measure a 1/4 C of the mixture and pour onto griddle. Cook on one side until it bubbles on the sides then flip and cook for 2 minutes or until cooked through.

Then Enjoy! I put nutella on mine, its really yummy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Banana Muffins

My husband and son both love banana muffins but do not like nuts in the mix. All the muffin mixes that I have found in stores have some kind of nuts in them, so I decided with a bunch of left over banana's I would make homemade banana muffins. They turned out better than I thought they would! 


Mixing bowl
Potato Masher
Measuring Cups
Muffin Tins


1 C Flour
1/2 C Wheat Flour
1 C Quick Cooking Oats
2 tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 C Bananas, mashed
3/4 C Milk
1/3 C Canola Oil
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


Pre-heat oven to 400­°F. Combine all dry ingredients and mix. 

Then combine the wet ingredients with dry. Whisk until smooth and all flour is combined. 

Either butter the muffin tins or use the papers. Fill to the top and bake for 20 minutes or until baked completely through.

Then let cool for about 20 minutes and enjoy!