Latest Recipes

Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells

DSC_0760This pasta dish has been a long-time favorite.  Family and friends all seem to love this take on Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells.  It is a great make-ahead recipe!

  • 1 box giant pasta shells
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb turkey sweet sausage links
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c fine dry italian-style or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 box frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 1/2 jars of your favorite red pasta sauce
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese /or 1/2 c additional shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta shells in boiling water according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again and set aside. In large skillet over medium heat, cook meats (squeeze sausage out of casing), onion and garlic until meat is browned. Remove from heat, drain fat from skillet.  Pour meat in large bowl.  Stir in the mozzarella cheese, beaten eggs, bread cumbs, spinach and pepper.  Pour enough pasta sauce into the bottom of 9 x 13″ baking dish to cover thickly. Using a pampered chef’s cookie scoop, open shell and scoop meat mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange the stuffed shells over the sauce in the dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the shells.  Sprinkle with either the grated parmesan cheese or additional shredded mozzarella cheese.  Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.  Bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes until bubbly, then remove foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes.  Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Note: This dish can be modified to 1 lb of ground beef or 1 lb of ground turkey.  To turn this dish into a make-ahead meal, completely cool the cooked meat mixture and shells before filling them.  Fill shells as directed, cover dish and refrigerate up to overnight.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes covered.  Uncover and continue baking for 15-20  minutes more until heated through and cheese starts to brown.

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Candied Sweet Potatoes

Everyone knows Thanksgiving is not complete without a sweet potatoe casserole.  This Candied Sweet Potato Recipe is a delicious family favorite!

  • 6 -7 large sweet potatoes (about 4 lbs.)
  • 1 orange, unpeeled
  • 3/4 c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c orange juice
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

Peel potatoes, cut into 2″ chunks and parboil until fork-tender, but still firm. Drain potatoes and arrange in single layer in lightly greased 9 X 13″ baking dish.  Combine butter and remaining ingredients in saucepan and heat until boiling.  Pour over potatoes.  Slice unpeeled orange and place the slices on top of the potatoes.  Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes, basting often with juices.

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Spinach Dip

Our family believes a holiday is not complete without serving a Spinach Dip.  Lots of Spinach Dip recipes abound….this one gets my vote!

  • 1 loaf of hawiian sweet bread/ or crackers
  • 1 pt sour cream
  • 1 C mayonnaise
  • 1 large leek, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach- thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 package Knorr Vegetable soup recipe mix (substitution….1 t dry italian dressing mix and 1 t dried dill)

Combine all ingredients except bread/crackers and chill for at least 2 hours
Hollow out hawiian sweet bread loaf, saving bread chunks, and fill with spinach dip. Serve with bread chunks around the bread loaf.   Optional:  serve in bowl with crackers and your favorite veggie dippers.

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Todd’s BBQ Babyback Ribs

World Famous Ribs

World Famous Ribs

This is the the greatest BBQ Babyback Rib Receipe……your guests will be so impressed with the meat that is almost falling off the bones.  The process takes some time, but is simple and well worth the wait!

Use 1-3 racks of babyback ribs, washed and dried. Generously sprinkle Emeril’s Rib Rub (or your favorite rub) on the meaty side of the ribs and rub.  Wrap each rack tighly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap from each rack of ribs.  Use a large baking sheet with sides and line with foil.  Place up to 3 racks of ribs on baking sheet and cover tighly with foil.  Bake in oven for 3 hours.  Remove from oven, uncover, drain off liquid and let rest uncovered for about 30 minutes.  Preheat grill on medium-low.  Brush meaty side of ribs with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce).  The ribs are fully cooked, so you just want to carmelize the BBQ sauce on the ribs.  Grill with top open about 5-8 minutes on each side.  Remove from grill and let rest about 5 minutes before you cut the ribs apart.  Serve and watch your guests rave about the flavor and tenderness of these babybacks!

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Pumpkin Bread

PumpkinBread

PumpkinBread

This is a great recipe for pumpkin bread that has been around for a long time.

Start with 4 beaten eggs and mix with:

  • 3 C. Granulated sugar
  • 1 C. Oil
  • 3 C. Sifted flour
  • 2 C. Pumpkin (1 lb. can)
  • 2/3 C. Water
  • 1 C. Walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg

Bake at 325 F for 45 – 75 minutes depending on the type of baking pans used. This is sort of just trial and error.
Grease and dust the pans with flour.
Makes 2 loaves.
Let it cool completely and then cover with wax or parchment paper and aluminum foil.

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Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

If you are the one out on the grill, then these little appetizers might be right up your alley. Grilled Jalapeno Poppers are simple and taste great without the need to deep fry your poppers.

Ingredients:

  • Jalapenos
  • Cream Cheese
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (other steak seasoning could be used)

Cut your jalapenos in half and remove the veins and seeds. Spread cream cheese down the middle and sprinkle on some seasonings. Grill for three minutes and serve. The BBQer is entitled to taste one for quality purposes… of course

Added extra:
Try drizzling a little honey on top at the end.

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Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Looking for the ultimate carrot cake recipe that is not loaded with fat grams and still stays moist……..try this.  The applesauce replaces using more oil.  Who would have thought…….a cake “almost” in the veggie category!

Combine in medium bowl:

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt

In large bowl, whisk together:

  • 1 c drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 2 t vanilla

Stir in:

  • 3 c grated carrots

Add flour mixture to carrot mixture, stir until well blended.

Stir in: (If desired)

  • 1/2 c chopped nuts
  • 1/2 c raisins

Bake @ 350 degrees in 9×13 pan (sprayed with Pam) for 50 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

When completely cool, frost with:

  • 2 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • 3 oz of cream cheese, softened (not light)
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, add vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Sprinkle frosted cake with toasted chopped nuts. If you like lots of frosting, make 1 1/2 times the frosting receipe. Store in refrigerator…….ENJOY!

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Frozen Fruit Smoothie

Fruit Smoothie Yummy

Fruit Smoothie Yummy

This is great for after a workout, soccer practice, or just after dinner. A smoothie that is refreshing and not too milky.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c Ice
  • 1 c Frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 c Milk
  • 1 c Orange juice
  • 1 c Vanilla ice cream

Combine all ingredients into the blender and blend then stir and repeat until you have the desired consistency. We like little chunks of ice .

This basically fills two pint glasses nicely but could be stretched into three smaller glasses for the healthy choice.

Alternatives:

Change up the frozen fruit mix for strawberries and/or add a banana

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Mexican Chicken Casserole

This is a twist on the traditional enchilada casserole.  By using a “green” sauce instead of a “red” sauce, you get a great creamy sauce that is low in fat and has lots of flavor.  Serve with a green salad, fruit…….and a good margarita!

  • 1 C. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 cans (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, divided
  • 1 3/4 lbs skinned, boned chicken breasts (4-6 breasts)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 C. chopped onion
  • 1 C. shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 C. evaporated skim milk
  • 1/2 C light cream cheese
  • 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce (Hatch brand)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
  • About 10 tortilla chips, crushed

1. Combine broth and 1 can of green chiles in a large skillet, bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid and cool chicken. Shred meat with two forks, set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Heat oil in large skillet. Add 1 can of chiles and onion; saute 3 minutes or until soft. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, jack cheese, cream cheese and enchilada sauce. Stir in chicken and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Place 4 tortillas in bottom of 9×13 casserole pan coated with cooking spray. In order to cover bottom of pan, half 2 of the tortillas and piece to best cover the bottom of pan. (Continue to piece next two layers.) Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

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Spicy Rice, Bean and Cheese Skillet

Spicy Rice, Bean and Cheese Skillet

Spicy Rice, Bean and Cheese Skillet

Here is a great South Western Rice dish that goes well with all kinds of main dishes. You can substitute the minute rice for regular if you prefer but the rice cooking time will need to change.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5C Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 can (10oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1.25C water
  • 2C minute brown rice, uncooked
  • .25C cilantro, chopped
  • 1C low-fat shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
In large skillet stir in green peppers and garlic in hot oil on medium high heat (1 minute). Add tomatoes,beans and water; mix well. Bring to a boil and then stir in rice. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, and top with cheese. Let stand, cover for 5 more minutes and its done.

Recipe tips:
add cooked chicken and serve as a main dish

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