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!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Red Pepper Pasta

I returned home from an EPIC family vacation two days ago. My entire family went to a Lake house and we had a blast! One of the best parts about it was bad to no cell phone coverage and internet service. Love being off the grid. I liked it so much that I pretended I wasn't home for just one more day.

Alas, here I am and I needed something to warm my heart so how about some great tasting pasta. This dish will always cheer me up. I know you'll enjoy it too.

Red Pepper Pasta
  • Pasta- any variety
  • 1 (12 oz) jar Roasted Red Peppers, well drained
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • Optional: cooked chicken, cut in strips
Cooking Directions
Cook pasta and set aside. Combine peppers, cream cheese, milk, basil, garlic salt and parmesan cheese in blender. Blend well and pour into pan. Add broccoli (and chicken), salt and pepper, and heat through.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Green Chilies & Cheese Burritos

I know bean burritos aren't very original.
Here's how I like to "dress up" a very basic meal.

Green Chilies & Cheese Burritos (serves 5-6)
  • 2 cans Refried beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 7 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • White corn
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • cumin
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c. milk
  • Sour cream
  • Tortillas
Cooking Directions:
In sauce pan, saute the onion in a small amount of butter about 1 minute. Add refried beans, milk, diced chilies and dash cumin. Cook until heated through, add cheese and stir until melted.

Layer beans, corn, tomato, sour cream and cilantro in tortilla. Wrap and enjoy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Margarita Pizza

Margarita Pizza (makes 2- 15in pizzas)
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 3/4- 3 1/4 flour
  • Sprinkle Pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary
  • Cornmeal
Cooking Directions:
Mix yeast and sugar in warm water, set aside until well agitated. Pour into mixer with olive oil. Mix all dry ingredients with one cup flour. Add to wet ingredients and slowly add flour until dough sticks. Set aside and let rise until doubled. Punch and roll out. Sprinkle cornmeal on sheet under pizza dough. Bake dough at 375 for about 5 min before adding toppings.

  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce, mix with basil, garlic powder, and oregano
  • 4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, fresh
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
Layer toppings on crust and bake an additional 15 min.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cookies n Cream popcorn

A sweet treat for Saturday
This has been one of my signature treats that everyone goes crazy over. I hesitate posting it because I'd like people to think I've created some crazy concoction. Not the case.

While I lived in NYC, I discovered Dale and Thomas popcorn. Every time my family visited, it was a must. Unfortunately as the economy went further down, so did Dale and Thomas. So I decided to throw together my favorite popcorn treat from there and it turns out it was easy, tasted just as good, and for the $6.50 I would have spent on one bag, I could get about 6 bags.

So here's my "secret"...

Cookies n Cream Popcorn
Ingredients: (these portions are guidelines, alter as desired)
  • 6-8 c Popcorn, when I'm in a hurry I use 2 microwave bags
  • 6 oz White chocolate, melted. can even use almond bark, although real chocolate obviously tastes better
  • 1 1/2 sleeves Oreo cookies, crushed
Cooking Directions:
Pop the popcorn and mix with crushed Oreo's. Drizzle white chocolate and stir. Add chocolate until you get the desired consistency. Enjoy and share just a little.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veggie Baked Ziti

My sister-in-law served this dish to us a while ago and I finally got a hold of the recipe, we've made it twice already this month. A great way to get the kiddos eating veggies, tastes great, and so easy. You can add any vegetables but I really like it like this:

Veggie Baked Ziti
  • 1 lb ziti, cooked
  • 2 medium zucchini, can substitute or add 1 yellow squash
  • 3 c. chopped spinach, or more
  • 1 small onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 3 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • Basil, 1 tsp dried, 1/2 c. fresh, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper taste
  • Olive oil
Cooking Directions:
Saute onion and garlic in 1 tsp olive oil. Add zucchini. Cook until tender. Add spinach and cook another minute. Add marinara sauce, cottage cheese, ziti, basil, salt and pepper, and half the mozzarella. Stir and pour into a 9 x 13 dish. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Bake at 425 for 10 min or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The only downside... having a weekly menu and a budget is that today it is raining. Even though it is still 81 degrees, I really want to make soup, maybe Mexican Bean with extra cilantro. I seriously look forward to Fall so that I can make soup again. It's kind of a rule for me, we just don't eat it during the summer months. In fact, my four-year-old said the other day, "we haven't been having soup for too long." I totally agree.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baked Burritos- Enchilada style

Baked Burritos (makes about 8)


  • 2c. cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1 can diced green chilies (4 oz)
  • 2 c. cheddar cheese
  • 1 3/4 c. salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 c. sour cream, plus extra for topping
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Burrito size tortillas
  • 1 can Enchilada sauce, I like green on this
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • Lettuce

Cooking Directions:

Mix chicken, beans, olives, chilies, salsa, sour cream cumin, salt, pepper and 1 c. cheese. Spoon into tortillas and fold like burritos. Place on lightly sprayed sheet, seam side down. Bake at 425 about 15 min. Remove from heat and cover each burrito with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with more cheese and scallions. Bake an additional 5 min. Serve with lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

*If you like some spice, use 1 can Ro-tel instead of salsa, use hot enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with pepper-jack cheese on top.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwich

A summer classic worthy of appearance as a quick and tasty meal. We always have corn on the cob (have I mentioned how amazing the white corn is here in NJ?), and watermelon with it.

Chicken Salad Sandwich


  • 3 c. shredded chicken breast,
  • 2 c. Red grapes, halved
  • 1-2 stalks celery, cut in thin slices
  • Cashew halves (optional)
  • 1/3 – 2/3 c. Mayo
  • Salt & pepper to taste, more salt if not using cashews
  • Croissants or rolls

Mix ingredients, stuff and eat!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Balsamic Chicken

I first had similar chicken in a salad at a friends house and it was heavenly. I have felt the same way ever since, a very light marinade. We had it with asparagus, berry mix, and caprese salad. So refreshing.

Balsamic Chicken
  • 2 Chicken breasts, pounded
  • 1/3-1/2 c. Balsamic vinegar, more or less
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking directions:
Place chicken in baking dish, cover with vinegar, olive oil, and salts and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 20 min, until just barely done.