Thursday, March 31, 2011


Okay, I talked about this before (in our email chain), but I am more and more convinced that if you want get your kid to eat more veggies, sneak em in a smoothie.  Actually, if you want to get me to eat more veggies, sneak them in a smoothie.

I basically use this recipe:
  • frozen strawberries
  • frozen or fresh blueberries (I don't use the mixed berries because morgan does not like the seed).  I definitely like to add the blueberries because they are so good for you
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of yogurt, I use vanilla, but I'm thinking about making my own yogurt here pretty soon (my Indian friend does it and thinks it's much better.  I agree.)
  • banana...bananas really sweeten it up and mask other flavors
  • any other fruit--pear is a good one, it's pretty sweet
  • 1 cup(or more) milk or apple juice.  I'd prefer to just use milk, but the juice really sweetens it up and my kids are more likely to drink it.  I usually add both.
  • spinach.  I fill my blender up as full as I can with spinach
  • grated carrot (or left over baby food you want to get rid of.  beware if it has peas in it.  they kind of have a strong flavor.)
  • honey or agave if it needs sweetening
  • flax seed, i usually add 2-3 tablespoons
  • sometimes I add protein powder if I remember.
I usually just make the above recipe, but my friend makes green smoothies, which are more veggie-ish and she adds kale, cucumber, sprouts, bock choy, avocado(makes it creamy), zucchini.  So I bought some kale (which is supposed to be the healthiest of the greens--is that true jamie?), cucumber, zucchini and added it today, and I like it (I grated the cucumber and zucchini).  I can really taste the cucumber, can't taste the zucchini or kale, although the texture is more mealy

There you go, lots of healthy veggies in a smoothie.  If morgan is home i add less veggies, she has a pickier pallet when it comes to these.  Beware of the color.  It's greenish/brown (depending on the blueberries).  I usually put it in a cup with a lid and straw.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Asian Salmon with Rice Pilaf

This recipe calls for salmon, but I've made it with talapia or you can use whatever fish you have.  I really like this, it's something different to do with fish than the usual lemony dilly style I usually do when we have fish.  (next time I will remember to take a picture)


1 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 c water
1 c uncooked rice
1/4 c finely chopped parsely (or a tbs or so of dried)
salt and pepper

Salmon Ingredients

4 4 oz skinless salmon filets (or your preference of fish)
1 tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs grated fresh ginger root (my favorite part)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp maple syrup
2 green onions, chopped

Rice:  Heat oil in sauce pan and saute onions and pepper.  Add water and rice; bring to boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 50 min., or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork; stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Fish:  Marinade salmon in ingredients above for 15-20 min.  Heat grill pan on medium .  Add salmon, discard marinade; cook 3-4 min per side until salmon is opaque and cooked through.  Serve over rice.

Omelets in a Bag

This is the kids latest. We learned this from Brad and Kathryn several years ago but had kind of forgotten about them. A few days ago I couldn't think of anything for them to eat for lunch. I asked if they wanted to make omelets in a bag and they were sooooo excited. So we did it and they ate them up!

We have a hard time getting them to eat a good breakfast in the morning. Especially protein. So this morning we had them make omelets in a bag and again they ate them up! I love it cause there is little mess, only your boiling pot of water and the cutting board that you cut the veggies up on (and the egg on the floor if someone happens to miss the bag:)).

  • Boil water in a pot. If we are just doing 2 or 3 I used my 4 qt, when we do more I use bigger.
  • I use a quart size freezer bag cause I don't want it to break in the water, but a regular might still work, put in your egg. (aaron and I do 2)
  • Put in about a tablespoon of milk and some salt and the kids squish it together.
  • Add veggies and cheese. The girls only like broccoli , I like onions, mushrooms and anything else I might have. Chop the veggies up pretty small so they can cook.
  • remove air from bag and seal it up.
  • Drop the bag in boiling water and let cook. I use a wooden spoon to squish it around and make sure the runny inside gets pushed to the outside. I also make sure the zipper part stays above water so I can handle it.
  • when its done - maybe 3 to 5 minutes, I don't know I have never timed it, drop it out on a plate, throw your bag away, and enjoy!

Moo Shu Noodles

I fixed this for dinner Saturday night and doubled it so we could have it for Sunday dinner also. We love it, the kids eat it great (except for the mushrooms, which I gladly take care of) and its yummy leftover.

At first it had kind of a different taste to me because I have never cooked with hoisin sauce before. But now, I love it, and I love the taste the fresh ginger gives it. I have used dried ginger when I didn't have the fresh - it was a little different, but still delicious.

Picture and recipe can be found here at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Moo Shu Noodles
Printable Version

12-ounces fettuccine
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 eggs, beaten
3 medium-sized boneless pork chops, thinly sliced (it is easier to slice thinly if pork chops are slightly frozen)
Ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ginger (about a 2-inch piece), peeled and grated
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 pound mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 small head Napa or Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When the water comes up to a bubble, add some salt and drop in the fettuccine. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and reserve.

Combine the hoisin and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat one tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add eggs and scramble. When done, scrape them onto a plate and reserve.

In the same skillet heat two tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes (don’t overcook or pork will be tough!). Remove the meat from the pan onto the same plate as the eggs and keep warm.

Add the scallions, ginger and garlic to the pan, and cook until aromatic and the scallions are tender, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry until golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the cabbage to the pan and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes. When the cabbage is tender, add the reserved pork and scrambled eggs back to the pan along with the hoisin-soy mixture and the chicken broth. Stir-fry to fully heat through, about 1 minute, and then toss with the reserved cooked pasta. Cook to heat through and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from Rachael Ray

Saturday, March 26, 2011

creamy chicken enchiladas

I promise these are super duper good.  A family favorite. (from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food.  Which I love.  I get at least one new dinner idea from each magazine).

We serve them topped with pico,  and avocado, with black beans on the side. 


  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (***I use 3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled or baked in the oven.  I usually salt and pepper and season with cumin or other southwest flavor.)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 jars (16 ounces each) medium green salsa (***I don't use green salsa, it's too hot and not very sweet.  I like Old El Paso mild green chili enchilada sauce (2 cans).)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely shredded (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place with garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine salsa and cream.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred meat, discarding skin and bones. Peel and chop garlic. In a large bowl, combine chicken, garlic, and 1/2 cup salsa mixture.
  3. Stack tortillas flat, and wrap in damp paper towels; microwave on high for 1 minute to soften. Working with one tortilla at a time, dip in salsa mixture, lay flat, and fill with 1/3 cup chicken mixture. Roll up and arrange, seam side down, 8 enchiladas lengthwise and 4 crosswise in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining salsa mixture, then cheese.
  4. Bake until cheese is browned and salsa is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes; let rest 10 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with cilantro, if desired.


anyone have a favorite store brand salsa?  I usually make my own salsa (either pico de gallo or this --minus the garlic), but sometimes I need to buy some for a recipe.

Let me know if you have a favorite.

black bean soup

I haven't made this yet, (it's from shellee), but it sounds really good, and my kids love black beans

Black Bean Soup
1-2 tbls oil
2 cans black beans
2 garlic cloves
8-12 ounces of salsa(depending on how much salsa you like.  I always just eye it. Use whatever spice level you prefer)
Garnish with cilantro and monterey jack cheese(I use pepper jack because I like ti spicy).

Super easy. Mince you garlic .  Heat the oil and saute the garlic. Add the black beans and salsa.  Bring it to a boil.  Then take out about half of the soup and puree the beans( I like lots of whole beans so I leave a little more in.  Puree more if you like it more creamy). Add the beans back to the soup.  Let it simmer for a while and garnish with cilantro and cheese.  I think the cilantro is what makes the soup good.  Really easy and fast.  Drip chips in it as well or a dang quesadilla.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

pineapple salsa chicken

get it here.

honestly, when i tasted this plain, i was like --- 'meh ... not great, but pretty good'. but then we made burritos with it (just tortilla and sour cream) and YUM! plus, it's just so easy (probably what makes it so good). and sammy loved it too. we also dipped some chips in it and that was way good too. it was a good dish for andy to take to work.

do we all love that website or what? i notice we all get recipes from it. it's my favorite (thanks mary). very trustworthy :).

poppy seed dressing (for spinach salad)

i know. this is a pretty boring post, but i just love this dressing.  it is pretty sweet - which i love - but if you don't like such sweet dressings, i would leave out some sugar. it is for spinach salad. i made some today with strawberries, almonds, monterey jack cheese, bacon, and red onion (and of course spinach). we couldn't stop eating it.

1 cup of Sugar
2 tsp. of Dry Mustard
2 tsp. of Salt
2/3 cup of Red Wine Vinegar
1 ½ cup of Oil
3 tsp. of Poppy Seeds

it makes a lot. i will definitely 1/2 it next time. i just want to drink it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Barbeque Chicken Sandwich

1. Marinade chicken in bbq sauce.
2. Grill or bake your chicken.
3. Shred chicken, and add more bbq sauce to your desired taste. Maybe some salt and pepper.
4. Put chicken on hamburger bun. Top with cheese. Broil.
5. Cole slaw would be good dolloped on top before eating.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Double Chocolate Torte

I can die now. I have found my chocolate haven. This very easily could be my birthday cake for the rest of my life. It is deliciously rich and chocolaty. Actually it is totally not a Sorensen dessert but I can't not post it because it is my destiny.

Anyway, here it is. . .

Double Chocolate Torte

P.S. I made the alternate mousse topping because I was serving it to others. It was yummy enough I don't know that I will attempt the more difficult, raw egg one. Also, the Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate I used was to die for, it took so much self control not to eat it while I waited for the first part to cool. Maybe that is why it was so yummy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spinach Egg Puff

***My friend had a brunch get together this morning, and i tell you what, there was some good food! she even had ebelskivers (and a recipe book from williams sonoma for all kinds of different ebelsthings). anyway, this "quiche" was soooo good. she actually didn't put the chilies in it; she had bacon and i think onions. sometimes i just don't like quiche even though it looks so good. i'm not sure if they all have flour and baking powder in them??? i've never made it before, but this one was great.  she also had the best spinach salad i've ever had ... but i'm waiting for that recipe. i'm sure some of you already have a great spinach salad recipe.

Makes 10-12 servings.  Serve Hot.  Can make ahead & refrigerate batter before baking.

10 eggs, beaten until light, lemon colored
½ c. unsifted flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 pint creamed small curd cottage cheese
1 lb. shredded jack cheese (or other)
½ c. melted butter
8 oz. diced green chilies
5 oz. chopped spinach, thawed
Optional: mushrooms, fried bacon, etc.

Pour into well-buttered 9x13 pan & bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 min. or until center is firm.

Monday, March 14, 2011

amazing whole wheat pizza crust

here.  my kids love pizza so we have this all the time.  we usually top with sauce, cheese and tomatoes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

pumpkin waffles

more breakfast... these are delicious.  So, so good (Mary's buttermilk syrup recipe reminded me of them)  My roommate Becca used to make them:

Becca's Super Famous & Delicious Pumpkin Waffles
(Actually, it is my Aunt Jenny's recipe, but let's not get technical.)
The Waffle Part:
Combine these dry ingredients... 2 cups flour
2 T Baking Powder
1 T Cinnamon
1 T sugar
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. coriander
1/4 t. salt
Next, separate 4 eggs and beat the whites.
To the yolks add...
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup margarine or butter (melted)
1 T. vanilla
Now, mix the wet and dry ingredients and then fold in the egg whites.
Then, cook the stuff. On a greased waffle iron.

Most Delicious Buttermilk Syrup Part:
(a must have)
Bring the following to a boil...
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cube margarine or butter (but butter is better)
1 cup sugar
1 t. Karo syrup
Once that boils, turn it town to LOW heat and add...
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
WARNING: When you add the baking soda the syrup will grow about 10 times its normal size! I am not kidding. Remember baking soda volcanoes as kids? Yeah, that is what will happen to your syrup if you don't make it in a REALLY big pot. It will make a big mess all over and you will hate yourself for not heeding my warning.
Oh, and I hardly ever use the coriander in the waffles because I usually don't have it. It is optional.

lentil soup

We had this for dinner last week, and it was good (I don't think Lentil soup is ever great), but the great thing about it was ALL my kids ate it and asked for more.'s not my favorite soup but I am sure I will make it again because 1) my kids ate it, 2) it's healthy, and 3) it's a good way to use up food storage stuff.

I didn't have any sausage, so I left it out.  My kids probably wouldn't have like the sausage anyway.

This is the BEST. (from Amy Kroff)
1 C dry lentils
1 C shopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T cooking oil
4 C beef broth
1 7.5 ouce can tomatoes, cut up
1 T worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. dried thyme or oregano
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. cumin
1 bay leaf
1/2 C chopped carrots
1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 lb. fully cooked smoked sausage links, sliced – or chopped ham
Rinse lentils, set aside. In a large saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender but not brown. Stir in lentils, beef broth, undrained tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, thyme/oregano, pepper, cumin, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add carrot and celery. Return to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 mins or until lentils and veggies are tender. Stir in meat – heat through. Discard bay leaf.

Buttermilk Syrup

While we're on the pancake kick, here's some other syrup recipes. It's a fun way to make breakfast fancy. I like to add fresh fruit to the mix too.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 cube of butter
1 cup of sugar
½ cup of buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Karo light corn syrup

Melt butter. Add other ingredients. Bring to a boil and hard boil for 2 minutes.  Take off heat and add ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  The mixture will really bubble up so make in a large sauce pan.

Coconut Syrup

1 cube of butter
1 cup of sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon coconut extract

Bring butter, sugar and buttermilk to a boil.  Boil for 2 Minutes.  Stir in soda and extract.  Foams a lot when soda is added. 

Roasted Veggie Pasta

This is a Jamie special. It's wayyy better if she comes to your house and makes it for you. (am I missing anything Jamie?)

Italian vegetables (I use sweet onion, zucchini, squash, mushrooms)
1/2 box of pasta (about half a pound). I like the size that is easily picked up by chubby little fingers.
2 cups of Italian cheese
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

1. First roast your veggies. Cut them up and toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Roast at 425 for about 30 minutes.
**Some veggies roast slower than others (onions) so check them and take out the faster ones early
**I always wish for more vegetables when I make this - they shrink up pretty good, so don't be afraid if it looks like you have too many veggies.

2. When there is about 15 minutes left of roasting, start your pasta water and cook the pasta.

3. Toss the pasta, veggies, and 2 cups of cheese together. Spread it out on the baking sheet (that is lined with tin foil for easy clean up), maybe sprinkle on some parmesan cheese, and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes (until the cheese is melty and bakey).

I love when the kids play nicely while I make dinner. Here Evan is crying, trying to get away, and Avery is having fun trying to tackle him to the floor.

Friday, March 11, 2011

whole wheat pancakes

i'm just posting this because of kelli's syrup post.  this is mom's WW pancake recipe ... and i want all of mom's recipes i can get.

3 C flour (i think i do 2 C whole wheat, 1 C white)
3 T sugar
3 t baking powder (doesn't that = 1 T ?)
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 eggs
3 C buttermilk (i think i end up adding more b/c i like runnier batter)
6 T oil (note: i substitute some flax seed for oil ... but just like a T or so)

i love to make a batch and freeze the leftovers (this makes a lot for our little family). i warm them up in the microwave and give to sammy for breakfast ... this is really the only reason i make them b/c andy and i aren't pancake lovers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Maple Syrup

We had pancakes and home made syrup for dinner tonight.

1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
1 tsp. maple flavoring

1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter

Bring sugar, brown sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add maple flavoring, vanilla, and butter, stirring to combine and to melt butter.

Bunt cake with chocolate frosting

This sounds like just another chocolate cake, but it is super moist and yummy.


1 yellow cake mix
1 small pkg instant fudge pudding
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c oil
3/4 c water
4 eggs
1 c sour cream

Mix by hand (by hand people, put your mixer away).  Pour into a well greased and floured bunt pan.  Bake 350* for 45-60 min.  Remove from pan and pour frosting over top while it is still warm.

1 c butter
3 tsp cocoa
6 tsp milk
powdered sugar

in a saucepan, melt butter, add cocoa and milk.  Sift the powdered sugar in to avoid lumps (the recipe I have doesn't say how much to add and I've never measured, but I think about a half pound). In my experience, just when you think you've added enough sugar you probably need to add more.  It should be thick enough so that it doesn't soak into the cake when you pour it over the top.  If you let it cool a little it thickens up.

My sister-in-law Ashley used this recipe to make the dump truck cake with the dirt(cake) like Kim did for Wyatt's birthday and it worked really good.

Oatmeal Cake

Doesn't anyone eat desserts in this family?  I'm going to share my two favorite cakes.

1/4 C boiling water
1 C dry oatmeal

Pour boiling water over oatmeal set aside and let stand 20 min.

1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1 C white sugar

2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 C flour
combing oatmeal last (sometimes I add this befor it has set 20 min. and it still turns out fine)

spread batter in 9x14 greased baking dish.

7 TBS butter
1/4 C evaporated milk
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 C coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped wall nuts

mix ingredients then dollup on top of uncooked oatmeal batter.  Bake 350* for 45 min.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fresh Bread

**I got this recipe from Mary once upon a time. I like it because it is really simple and the bread turns out great.

2 T yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
5 cups hot water from tap
7 cups unsifted whole wheat flour (I just buy it from the store - no wheat grinder here)
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 T salt (I don't put that much in...I do about 2 half tablespoons...I don't know why)
5-6 cups more whole wheat flour (I actually put in white flour here)

1. sprinkle yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
2. combine the 5 cups hot tap water and 7 cups of flour in your mixer (with the paddle) on low speed while you combine the oil, honey, and salt (in that order) in a separate bowl.
3. add the oil, honey, salt mixture into your mixer and continue to mix until everything is well blended.
4. by this time the yeast should have had plenty of time to brew. It should be bubbly and on the top of the water. Add it to the ingredients in your mixer and blend thoroughly.
5. this is where I swap to the bread kneader attachment. Add 5-6 cups of wheat (or white) flour. Let the dough knead on low speed for 10 minutes.
6. during this time, grease 4 bread pans and flour the counter top. Remove dough from the mixer and divide into 4 pieces. It will be kinda sticky, but will easily form into loaves with a little flour. Place dough in pans and let it rise for about 45 minutes. Don't let it rise to much.
7. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. (**I start the oven and put the bread in while the oven heats up, and let it bake for 45 minutes)

Like Nettie said, don't let anything stand in the way of eating it fresh from the oven.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

My mom made these while we there over New Years and they were delish.

1 sm. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 red onion, quartered
1 T. fresh thyme (i'm sure we used dried)
2 T. fresh rosemary
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

In large bowl combine veggies. In small bowl combine everything else. Toss with vegetables until coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan. Roast at 475 for 35 to 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes or until evenly browned and cooked through.

baja tacos

my notes: i got this recipe from a recipe exchange that a friend in my ward did.  i love this meat! and way easy. the recipe says to cook over night --- which i do b/c i usually serve my big meal at lunch since andy's at work at night. but if it's for dinner, i would just put it in during the day. obviously. i pour a little salsa over the beef before cooking in the crock b/c it seems weird to just cook it in there plain.

1 roast (beef)

cook roast in crock pot over night on low. remove and discard fat.  shred the beef and add the following ingredients:

16 oz salsa (baja fresh or rojo's tastes best)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Squeeze of lime
Let simmer for 20 minutes before serving.  Serve on tortillas (top with sour cream, cilantro, lime, etc)

Baked Southwest Egg Rolls

my notes: i made this with kelli a while back .. .and they are good, easy, and way healthy.  i made them again last night and didn't add chicken (mostly just b/c i didn't have any) ... and i liked them better without the chicken. plus you get protein from the cheese and beans anyway, so it's a good complete meal. i don't roll them up like eggrolls, i just roll them normal (like maybe a taquito?). i don't add as much jalapeno, just b/c this girl/author likes her stuff WAY spicier than i like mine.   --- just letting you know, so you don't think i'm crazy when you add it all and it's too hot for you.  also, i made the real dipping sauce yesterday too (kelli and i just mixed salsa and sour cream together) ... with the adobo, it is waayyy better. plus, i guess you can freeze the rest of the adobo (or so the girl/author says). it made ~20 rolls for me.

from My Kitchen Cafe (

*Makes about 2-3 dozen

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow or red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 (about 1 1/2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 green or red pepper, diced small
1 jalapeno pepper, membranes removed, seeded and finely minced or 4 pickled jalapeno rounds from the jar
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and liquid squeezed out (wringing through a kitchen towel works great)
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cups shredded cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or Cheddar
2-3 dozen small, fajita-size flour tortillas

Chipotle Dipping Sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup salsa
1 teaspoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (if you are opening a new can to only use 1 teaspoon, freeze the remainder in a freezer-safe ziploc bag and pull out and thaw as needed)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the dipping sauce ingredients. Mix well and set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the cubed chicken breasts and peppers and cook over medium or medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the rinsed and drained black beans, spinach, corn, cilantro and seasonings. Mix well and cook until the mixture is heated through. Add the cheese and stir well, cooking, until the mixture is hot and cheese is mostly melted.

Warm the tortillas. I place 5-6 between two damp paper towels and microwave for about 45 seconds. Place some of the filling on each tortilla and roll up tightly, egg-roll style, folding in the edges. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheets (secure with a toothpick if needed).
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until the rolls are lightly browned and heated through. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Pasta

***my notes: this recipe always seems like i'm trying to do a million things at once ... but it is SOOOO good. plan ahead for the time it takes to roast the garlic and let it cool. i especially love the nuts in it. i think the girl who writes the recipes on this blog always adds too much pasta to her pasta dishes (i like more of the other stuff), so i don't add as much pasta.  roasted cauliflower is TO DIE FOR. sometimes i do it as just a veggie side.

from My Kitchen Cafe (

*Serves 4-6

2 heads garlic, papery skins removed, top quarter of heads cut off (on the pointy side of the garlic) and discarded
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 pound short pasta (such as fusilli, rotini or campanelle)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 - 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut one 12-inch sheet of foil and spread it flat on the counter. Place the garlic heads, cut-side up, in the center of the foil. Drizzle ½ teaspoon olive oil over each head and fold up the sides of the foil to seal well. Place the foil packet directly on the oven rack (not on the preheating baking sheet) and roast until the garlic is very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil packet from the oven, open the foil and set it aside to cool.

While the garlic is roasting, trim the outer leaves of the cauliflower and cut the stem flush with the bottom. Cut the head from pole to pole into 8 equal wedges and then cut the cauliflower into large bite-sized pieces. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, salt, pepper, and sugar

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Carefully transfer the cauliflower to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the cauliflower is well browned and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the cauliflower roasts, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook until al dente. Squeeze the cooled, roasted garlic cloves from their skins into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic to a smooth paste, then stir in red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water, and return the pasta to the pot. Add the chopped cauliflower to the pasta; stir in the garlic sauce, ¼ cup cooking water, parsley, and ½ cup cheese. Adjust the consistency of the pasta with additional cooking water and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkling with remaining ½ cup cheese and toasted nuts.

Apple Sandwich

Here is what we had for dinner last night:

cinnamon bread
turkey (or any lunch meat you want)
provolone (I believe you are supposed to use Gouda, but Gouda luck finding it in my grocery store)
thin apple slice
cranberry sauce

Do it just like you would make a grilled cheese sandwich...
butter outside of the bread. Stack cheese, meat, apple, cranberry sauce, cheese, bread...and grill.
Cut into four triangles for dainty eating. We don't even add any sauce to these because the cinnamon bread is so moist and stuff.

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

 here is a recipe for "guiltless" alfredo that is really good. 100 calories for 1/4 cup.

creamy tomato basil soup

here's another unhealthy one:  It is SOOOO good though, one of the best soups I've had in a long time:

the first time i made it morgan told me it was the best thing she had ever eaten.

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

5 stars

Makes about 2 quarts

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely diced onions
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large slow cooker, combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and basil (if using fresh oregano and basil; if using dried oregano and basil add those two ingredients in the last hour of cook time). Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
About an hour before serving prepare a roux: Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour; stir constantly with a whisk for 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup from the slow cooker. Add another 3 cups soup and stir until smooth.
Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for another hour until ready to serve.

florentine chicken

Here's another favorite of ours,

i use 2 cups of chicken broth (instead of wine) and 1/2 cup of cream.  We always serve it over spinach (It's so good) I usually serve this with quinoa too, the sauce is really good on it.

roasted veggie soup

heres another recipe that sounds good, I've never made it.

roasted veggies with pasta and alfredo sauce

I like to roast veggies and add them to alfredo sauce ( I know that's not healthy, but it's yum).  I usually roast what I have on hand, last night it was carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes and sugar snap peas.  It was good.  I also use zucchini a lot.

fish tacos

we also like fish tacos (using the frozen tilapia from costco).  I use this recipe

hawaiian haystack

we recently had hawaiian haystacks and they were good.  Normally I don't like Hawaiian haystacks because I don't like cream of chicken, but I used this recipe for the sauce and they were so good.  I also used 1/2 quinoa and 1/2 rice. We topped with tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions, pineapple, chow mein noodles, olives, but you could add any veggie.  I think sugar snap peas would be really good.

Dinner Time

come and get it!