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, October 29, 2011


My three girls and I are on a family-visiting-getting-fresh-in-the-west hiatus. This means I don't do as much cooking but I will return to updating when I get home.

Have a fantastic Halloween!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Black Bean Soup

My sister shared this soup recipe with me. I added corn to ours simply because we love our sweet white corn. This is an awesome soup, especially with extra lime and cilantro...if you like those.

Black Bean Soup
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 c. white sweet corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, pureed with liquid
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Sour cream
Cooking Directions
In sauce pan, saute onion, celery and carrot in olive oil. Cook until tender. Add salt, cumin, coriander, and pepper and cook another minute. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, green chilies, and corn. Simmer about 10 min. Add both cans of black beans and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and squeeze juice of 1 lime.

Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips and additional cilantro to top with.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

My parents lived in Japan shortly after they were married. As a result, we had a lot of rice dishes in our house.
My Mom's best friend while living in Japan shared a number of recipes and this is one of them, growing up it was one of my favorites.

Sweet & Sour Chicken (serves 4-5)


  • 2 c. diced cooked chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. pineapple chunks
  • 1 1/4 c. water (I substitute with a little pineapple juice)
  • 2 c. carrots, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, cut in strips or chunks
  • 3 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 c. ketsup
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

Cooking Directions:

Saute onion in 1 Tbsp butter until tender. Add water, carrots, & bullion. Cover & simmer for 5 min. In separate bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, & ginger. In separate bowl, combine ketsup, vinegar, & soy sauce. Add both combinations to vegetable mixture. Cook until clear & thicken. Add chicken, green pepper, & pineapple. Cover & simmer for 5 min.

Serve with rice.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is awesome! Definitely a favorite staple in our house.
The best part is that it is so easy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • 2-3 Chicken breasts
  • 2 can diced tomatoes, can substitute with 1 can Ro-Tel if you like spice
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 2 c. corn, frozen white tastes awesome in this
  • 1-2 Tbsp cumin
  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus more at the end
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Handful cilantro
Cooking Directions:
Put butter and garlic in and allow butter to melt to slightly saute garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for four hours.

Top with:
  • Cubed cheese
  • Extra cilantro
  • Lime
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Sheetcake

I love the smells of fall. All reminders of the upcoming Holidays. We've started a tradition to kick off the Holiday season (meaning the blending of Halloween to Christmas). The first Monday in October, we read Too Many Pumpkins, by Linda White, for family night. We also bake pumpkin sheet cake and share it with others, just like Rebecca Estelle does in the book. It's a great way to teach our children about serving others and always a great excuse to eat a delicious treat.

Pumpkin Sheetcake
  • 1 15 oz canned Pumpkin
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. veggie oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Cooking Directions:
Mix pumpkin, sugar, and oil together. Add eggs and mix. Combine dry ingredients then add to mixture. Mix until well blended. Bake at 350 in greased cookie sheet for 25-30 min, once toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c. powder sugar
  • 3 tsp milk
Mix until smooth

Optional: 1 c. chopped walnuts sprinkled on top