Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spicy Nacho Bake


1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped, optional
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 ounces) hot chili beans, drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 package (13 ounces) spicy nacho or regular tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onions and green peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes (mixture will be thin).

In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, spoon in meat mixture. Top with chips and cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Original Recipe

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup

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  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 4 cups mushroom broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are very soft, about 3 minutes more. Add flour, paprika and dill and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add broth, milk and potatoes; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream and salt.

Original Recipe

Monday, February 14, 2011

28 week ultrasound

Ultrasound 2-14-11 28 weeks (8) Ultrasound 2-14-11 28 weeks (7)

She looks so snuggly in the first photo and as if she's signing "I love you" in the second <3

I had a great ultrasound and doctor apt today; it was a lot of fun to see Gretchen "Greta" after going eight weeks since the last time. She was moving around like crazy and kept putting her hands and feet! in front of her face. She currently weighs 2lbs, 15 oz, at the 72nd growth percentile. We saw these characteristics about her today:

  • she has a little bit of hair on the back of her head
  • long femur bones
  • flexible, with putting her feet up over her head
  • and has big, bright eyes

Ultrasound 2-14-11 28 weeks (2)

Such a little cutie!

I also took the 1-hr glucose test today (tasted like thinned out orange triaminic cough syrup to me - which I always loved as a kid and didn't think was bad at all). The doctors office will call tomorrow only if I there is concern, same with my iron level that was tested too.

Ultrasound 2-14-11 28 weeks (11)

I'm told that my next ultrasound will be in 6 weeks, when I'm 34 weeks along.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shrimp and Pasta with Spinach and Lemony Cream Sauce

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  • 13 oz. whole wheat pasta, of your choice
  • 1 lb raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (36-40 pieces)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
  1. Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Cook noodles using package directions. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat, spray with vegetable oil . Add shrimp, sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper and cook 5-6 minutes until opaque in center, stirring frequently.
  4. Add wine, sour cream, butter, lemon juice and salt to the shrimp, cook over med low heat for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add spinach, and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add pasta and toss to combine. Sprinkle green onions and almonds over all.

Original Recipe

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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For the Cookies:
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 ounce milk chocolate, chopped
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the semisweet and milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

Whisk the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a bowl until combined. In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four equal batches, whisking each batch completely before adding the next. Stir in the melted chocolate.

Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets and smooth the tops with a damp finger. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla seeds. Sandwich a heaping tablespoonful of filling between 2 cookies; repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Original Recipe

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

At Andy's request...and it was very good!

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Serves 2

  • 3/4 pounds beef sirloin fillet
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, eyeball it
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound extra wide egg noodles
  • Chopped parsley leaves, garnish

In a stock pot, boil water. Once boiling add salt and cook noodles to package directions. Drain.

Slice meat into 1/2-thick by 2 -inch long very thin strips (I had my butcher do this) and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter, then add the meat, mushrooms, and onion and cook over high heat until brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove to cutting board and allow to rest.

In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter and cook with flour 1 minute. Whisk in broth. Thicken 1 minute. Stir in mustard and sour cream, thicken 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season sauce with salt and pepper. Add meat, mushrooms and onions to the sauce, along with the noodles; stir to combine.

Original Recipe

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lemon-Artichoke Risotto

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  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 1/4 cups drained chopped canned artichoke hearts
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  1. In a saucepan, bring the broth and 4 cups water to a boil, cover and keep at a simmer.

  2. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

  3. Stir in 1 cup of the broth mixture, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Maintaining a low simmer, continue to add the broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the artichoke hearts, lemon peel, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese, parsley and walnuts.

Original Recipe

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spicy Pigs in Blankets

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  • Two sheets frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm, slightly thawed
  • 12 ounce package andouille sausage, cut into 32 pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • dipping sauce of choice, we used sweet & sour sauce and yellow mustard

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out pastry sheet a little and cut into 16 triangles.

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Working with 1 puff pastry triangle at a time (refrigerate the rest of the pastry until ready to use), arrange a piece of sausage across the base of the triangle and roll up snugly, sealing the pastry with a dab of beaten egg.

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Transfer to the prepared pans. Brush the triangles with more beaten egg and bake until puffed and golden, about 30 minutes.

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Original Recipe

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon

Check out my new blog header too, I was thrilled at how easy it was to create.

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  • 12 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 3 cups trimmed, halved Brussels sprouts (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Gouda
  • 1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using two separate sheet pans place bacon strips on one and Brussels sprouts on another. Season sprouts with a drizzling of EVOO, salt and pepper. Roast until crisp, 15-20 minutes. Crumble bacon; set aside.

In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Combine pasta and Brussels sprouts; cover mixture, and keep warm.

Combine milk, flour, and broth, stirring well with a whisk. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended. Cook for 6 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Pour sauce over pasta mixture, tossing to coat. Top with nuts, bacon, and pepper; serve immediately.

Original Recipe

Roasted Apples and Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the butternut squash and apples on a large sheet pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until beginning to caramelize. Serve immediately.

Recipe Inspiration