How it works

How it works...On the tool bar you will find categories of menus I have put together. If you would like to try one out, email me or comment on the most recent post and I will send you the recipes, along with a shopping list (see sample menu). Please remember to include your email. Or just enjoy the recipes I have posted!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Black Bean Tostadas

If you are one of those people who looks at a recipe and says there are way too many ingredients and you pass it up. Stop here. This is relatively quick, very tasty and a refreshing Mexican meal. If you choose to make the cilantro-lime rice, it takes a little more preparation. Just cut up all the garlic and cilantro together to save on chopping time.

Black Bean Tostadas
  • Tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 c. onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 c. Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp lime juice, or juice of 1/2 lime
  • White corn
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, cut
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro Lime Rice (optional)
Cooking Directions
Spray both sides of tortillas with nonstick spray and bake at 350 until crisp, turn over once.

Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, and cumin in olive oil in sauce pan. Add black beans, tomato sauce, cilantro and lime juice. Stir and cook until heated through.

Layer ingredients on tortilla and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Phad Thai

We love Thai food in our house, Phad Thai is a favorite. I've tried a couple recipes and blended them into this one. I'm happy to say that my brother, who served a mission in Thailand, said it tasted exactly like something he would have eaten over there, but with way less spice.
Phad Thai
  • Thick Rice Stick Noodles, or I often just use fettuccine noodles
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked meat, shrimp tastes awesome, Tofu tastes great for vegetarian dish
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. scallions, chopped
  • 1-2 c. bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 4 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • 4-5 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (add more for extra spice)
  • 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Chopped roasted peanuts
Cooking Directions:
Soak rice stick noodles in warm water until soft, or cook fettuccine noodles. Set aside. In small bowl, combine tomato and Teriyaki sauces, peanut butter, brown sugar, and lime juice.

Heat wok with small amount of oil. Add garlic and chili sauce. Cook about 2 min. Add egg and stir to scramble. Add sprouts and scallions and cook another minute. Add noodles, sauce mixture, and shrimp. Stir and cook until heated through. Serve immediately, sprinkled with cilantro and crushed peanuts on top.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Caprese Grilled Sandwich

I don't even need to say much about this sandwich. Just take a look. I'm salivating. I love anything with basil and balsamic vinegar.

Caprese Grilled Sandwich
  • Bread
  • Roma Tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh Basil leaves, washed
  • Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Butter
Cooking Directions
Butter outsides of the bread. Layer cheese and tomatoes on bread, dash pepper on top. Grill both sides of sandwich. Remove from heat, add basil leaves. Dip into Balsamic vinegar as you eat.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mexican Layered Salad

Another simple meal that always seems to hit the spot.

Mexican Layered Salad


  • 3/4 to 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. Scallions, sliced
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Lime juice
  • Taco Seasoning, about 4 Tbsp
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cooking Directions:

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add beef and cook, until no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning and 1/3 c. water. Bring to boil then simmer. Squeeze a bit of lime juice beef is cooking.

Build your own salad with all the toppings. Use salsa and sour cream as dressing.

Breakfast Sandwich

I know this isn't extremely original or healthy. But it tastes so good and it's nice to mix things up a bit and always makes the kids happy. We dip it in syrup for an added health bonus.

Breakfast SandwichItalic
  • Bun of choice: English muffins, croissant, bagel
  • Meat of choice: bacon, sausage, ham
  • Cheese of choice: cheddar, colby jack, etc.
  • Fried Egg
  • Syrup- optional
Cooking Directions:
Cook meat. Fry the egg and melt the cheese on top. Layer in Bun. Dip in syrup!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pesto Quesadillas

This is a quick and tasty meal. I refer to it one of our weekend meals. We replace with pizza night and the kids are just are satisfied.

Pesto Quesadillas


  • Tortillas (I like them with whole wheat, better texture)
  • 3-5 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Cooking Directions:

In large fry pan, cover one tortilla with cheese. Lay an additional tortilla on top and heat to melt cheese. Remove from pan and spread about 1 tablespoon pesto sauce over the top tortilla. Place sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Place on cookie sheet and broil in oven for 2-5 min, depending on oven, until cheese is melted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Bacon Bake

Every time I ate at the Cheesecake Factory I would order this dish- which I can't even remember what it is called. One day, I thought, I can make something like this. And I did. What's not to like about chicken slathered with cheese and bacon? I like to on top of mashed potatoes and we always have it with garlic and honey glazed asparagus. It also works great on the grill.

Chicken Bacon Bake (serves 6)


  • 3 Chicken breasts, cut in half length wise to make 6
  • 1 to 2 c. BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 c. any Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 c. Red or Sherry cooking wine (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 Scallions, diced
  • Mozzarella cheese, sliced into pieces at least 1 cm thick
  • Bacon, cooked

Cooking Directions:

Mix all the sauces, garlic salt, and pepper together, add a little water and stir. Pour over chicken breasts in 9x13 pan. Marinade chicken at least an hour (if you have time). Cook chicken in sauce for @ 20 min at 350 or until almost done. Cover chicken with cheese and top with bacon. Bake for another 10 min until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with scallions.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

German Pancakes

In my house we called them hootenannies, my husband's family calls them Big Dutch babies. Either way, we all love them. We have them for special occasions and occasionally for every day occasions. The more they rise, the better.

I remember as a child, looking through the oven window watching them rise and waiting until they were puffy enough then screaming, "they're done!"

Corners are the best...I received a tip to do them in a muffin tin, it changes the texture a little but they're still good! I call them Little Dutch babies.

German Pancakes
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp butter

Cooking Directions:
Put butter in a 9 x 13 class pan and place in the oven while preheating to 375. Throw the eggs, milk, four, and salt in a blender, and mix for a couple minutes. Once butter is melted, pour batter in dish and bake 20 to 25 min, until puffed up and light brown. Good with syrup, fresh fruit, and/or whipped cream.

Tips: butter and more time helps it get more puffy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Santa Fe [Chicken]

This is a very versatile meal. It's great on rice, in tortillas, as a vegetarian dish or just by itself with tortilla chips -I serve it without the chicken as a chip dip for company sometimes.
It is very simple, tasteful and makes great left overs. If you have cilantro, I would definitely sprinkle it on top. Can't go wrong with cilantro!

Santa Fe Chicken (serves 5-6)


  • 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 bag frozen white corn
  • 1 can Ro-tel (replace with a little extra salsa if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 small can green chilies, mild
  • 1/2 c salsa
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (can use frozen)
  • 1-2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 8 oz package cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    *For vegetarian meal, don't add chicken, can add an additional 1/2 can of beans

Cooking Directions:

Combine all ingredients except the cream cheese in a crock-pot. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hrs (depending on crock pot). Shred chicken and mix in cream cheese, cook another 10 min, until cheese is melted. Stir and serve.

Serve over rice, in tortillas or w/ tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Featured Menu

In case you checked out the sample menu tab, here is the featured menu. Who doesn't like quick n' easy? And this week happens to be very summer friendly as well.

Week 2- Quick n’ Easy

Helpful Hints

*Leftover Tomatoes used for Mexican salad can be used in tomato/cucumber salad so chop all the tomatoes for the week and stow for next meal.

*Left over lettuce can be chopped up and served on the side with the burritos.

Day 1

Tomato Cream Pasta (serves 4)


  • Penne pasta or other tube pasta
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1t dried basil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. whipping cream
  • 1/3c parmesan cheese
  • Optional: Red pepper flakes- if you want a kick
  • Broccoli
  • Optional: Chicken or shrimp

Cooking Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.

Cook tomatoes over medium – high heat in skillet until thickened about 5min. Add basil and cream. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Add frozen broccoli and meat. Cook until thickened. Toss with pasta and cheese. Serve immediately.

Suggested Sides: Salad and French or Italian Bread

Day 2

Mexican Layered Salad


  • 3/4 to 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed, slightly heated
  • 1 c. Scallions, sliced
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Lime juice
  • Taco Seasoning, about 3 Tbsp
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cooking Directions:

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add beef and cook, until no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning and 1/3 c. water. Bring to boil then simmer. Squeeze a bit of lime juice beef is cooking.

Build your own salad with all the toppings. Use salsa and sour cream as dressing.

Day 3

Bistro Ham Sandwiches


  • Sandwich Bread
  • Butter
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb Deli Ham slices
  • 1/3 lb Deli sliced Swiss cheese
  • Mustard, any type
  • Pepper

Cooking Directions:

Spread butter on outside of bread. Spread mustard on inside of bread. Layer ham, cheese, and apple in sandwich, sprinkle with pepper. Cook in skillet on medium-high on both sides until cheese is melted.

Suggested Sides: Tomato and Cucumber salad:

2 tomatoes, cut into 1/2 in. pieces

1 cucumber, cut into 1/2 in. pieces

1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp. Honey

Feta- sprinkled

Salt & Pepper to taste

Fruit of choice

Day 4

Green Chilies and Cheese Burritos (enough for about 5 burritos)


  • 1 can Refried Beans
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c. onion, finely diced
  • Burrito size tortillas
  • Milk
  • Salsa
  • Butter

Cooking Directions:

Sauté onions in a small about of butter in a saucepan. Add beans, chilies, cheese, and small amount of milk in saucepan. Heat through. Top with salsa and fold into burrito.

Suggested Side: Salsa, White Corn, Lettuce

Shopping List SS means it’s a Suggested Side

Already in the Cupboard


Lime Juice

Taco Seasoning

Mayo or Butter


Olive Oil




Produce, Deli, & Bakery

3 large Tomatoes- 1 is SS

Romaine lettuce, enough for 2 salads


1 bunch Cilantro

1 Cucumber-SS

Fruit of choice - SS

1 onion

2 Granny Smith Apples

1/2 lb Deli sliced Ham

1/4 lb Deli sliced Swiss Cheese

French or Italian Bread- SS

Meat, Dairy, & Freezer sections

1 lb ground Beef

Frozen shrimp (can replace with chicken breast)

1 bag frozen Broccoli florets

1 bag frozen Corn- SS

1 c. Whipping Cream

Feta- SS

Sour cream

8 oz Cheddar cheese


Penne pasta

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can pinto beans

1 can refried beans

1 can diced green chilies


Shredded Parmesan cheese

Sandwich Bread

Tortillas, burrito size

Tortilla Chips

Cilantro Lime Rice

This rice is a great addition for any Mexican meal but also good with any Asian dish.

Cilantro-Lime Rice


  • 2-3 c. rice
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 chicken bullion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Oil for cooking
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

Heat a little oil in skillet. Add garlic, cilantro, and rice. Sauté 3-5 min. Put in rice cooker or sauce pan with lime juice, bullion, pepper, and amount of water called for on rice directions. Cook as directed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My sister-in-law brought this dish to a family dinner two summers ago and ever since it's been a favorite. Especially with all the fresh vegetables at my disposal here in Vineland. Yum!



  • 1 zucchini squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into strips
  • 1-2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • Pepper-jack cheese, use monetary jack if you don’t like spice, sliced
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Basil Leaves

Cooking Directions:

On a baking sheet, toss both squash’s and onion with olive oil. Spread on sheet and salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 for 15 min or until squash is tender. Add tomatoes and cheese and bake until cheese is melted. Add basil leaves and enjoy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

A year-round staple for us. Easy- delicious meal. And once you've found Trader Joe's BBQ sauce, you can't get enough of this sandwich.

BBQ Chicken Sandwich (serves 4-5)


  • 3 Chicken breasts
  • Your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 c. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c. Red onion, diced
  • Rolls (we like Portuguese best)

Cooking Directions:

Place chicken breasts in crock pot and fill half way with water (I usually dump a little BBQ sauce in for flavor). Cook on low for 2-4 hours, depending on your crock pot. Drain water, and shred chicken. Pour ample amounts of BBQ sauce over. Pour honey, mustard and sprinkle garlic powder over. Cook for another 20 min.

Serve on rolls with cilantro and onions to add on top if desired

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

Most kids will love these and not even pay attention to the fact that there is spinach in them.

Three-cheese stuffed Pasta Shells (serves 6)


  • 12-15 Jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 12-oz container cottage cheese (drained)
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. Mozzerella Cheese + 1/2 c.
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Spinach, chopped (I chop up one very large handful)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

Cook shells until tender but firm, add cold water to pot to make sure they stop cooking. Sauté garlic and onion in a little olive oil until just barely tender. Combine egg, the 3 cheeses, spices, onion and garlic, and spinach together.

Fill each shell with a spoonful of cheese mixture. Place in baking dish. Pour tomato sauce and tomatoes over shells when done. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Cover dish. Cook at 350 for 20 min, then uncovered for 10 min.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes

Ok, these are delicious and refreshing, especially with fresh basil. My husband is skeptical every time he sees them on the menu and every time he remembers how much he enjoys them.

Stuffed Tomatoes (serves 4-5, usually with extra stuffing on the side)


  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. whole wheat couscous
  • 4-5 Beefsteak Tomatoes (big ones)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1 c. (or more) fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 can great northern or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • Feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic

Cooking Directions:

Bring water and 1/4 tsp salt to boil in sauce pan. Add couscous, cover, remove from heat. Let stand 5 min then fluff with fork.

Cut thin slice off top of each tomato, set aside. With spoon, carefully scoop out insides, leaving shells.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add zucchini, onion, garlic, bell pepper, basil, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp. Add beans and tomato sauce, cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in couscous, feta, basil, and salt and pepper. Spoon into tomato shells and add a little cheese on top. Serve with top of tomato to side.


Fajitas (makes 6-8)


  • 1 packet Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 lb Steak or chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, cut into thin strips
  • Fajita size tortillas
  • Canola oil
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro
  • Limes or lime juice
  • Optional: Sour Cream and tomatoes

Cooking Directions:

Using a little oil, cook meat in fry pan. Set aside. In larger fry pan, Sauté onions and peppers in a small amount of oil. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add meat, seasoning, and 1/3 c. water. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cook and stir about 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and squeeze lime, and sprinkle cilantro on top before serving.

Hawaiian Haystacks

Great way to get fresh veggies on kids' plates.

Hawaiian Haystacks (serves 5-6)



  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c. Sour cream
  • 2 c. shredded chicken breasts, can use canned or boil your own
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Sprinkle basil and oregano
  • Milk

Suggested Toppings: Carrots, celery, pineapple, almonds, mandarin oranges, green peppers, coconut, cheddar cheese, chow mien noodles, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc

Cooking Directions:

Mix all sauce ingredients, except the milk, in pot over medium heat until heated through, add a little milk to thin.

Serve over rice. Top with chopped vegetables and toppings.

Omma Rice/ Fried Rice

This is a family favorite. There was rejoicing when Dad cooked it for us.

This is a great way to use leftover rice, it is the recipe to make fried rice, obviously without the egg over it.



  • Eggs
  • Left over rice (that has been refrigerated)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 c. Chopped veggies (chopped Green pepper, carrots, celery)
  • Soy sauce
  • Butter

Cooking Directions:

In wok, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat, sauté onions (and any other veggies) in butter. Break up cold rice and add to wok (may need to add more butter so the rice doesn’t burn). Dash in desired amount of soy sauce (I use about 1 Tbs).. Stir-fry rice until heated through. Set on low, don’t let it burn.

In small frying pan, fry an egg. Sprinkle with pepper.

Serve with fried egg over the rice, I really like it with ketchup and I'm not a huge ketchup fan.