Chit Chat and Salmon

My goodness it has been a LONG time since I have posted! Work and life got a little bit crazy,  and for a little while I actually lost my urge to cook and create yummy things in the kitchen. Definitely sad and unexpected.

The last couple of weeks I have started to get back into the kitchen, and I am really starting to enjoy it again. I haven’t really created any new recipes recently, but I did experiment a little with salmon.  My husband is not a fan of salmon at all, so I rarely get it at the grocery.  However, I did have some that I purchased when it was on sale.  I have a love/hate relationship with salmon.  In the past I have steamed it, and it was good but not delicious. After looking on Pinterest, I decided to try baking it in the oven.  I found the same info in a few places, so I’m not sure who to credit.  I seasoned my salmon with salt, pepper, and Goya vegetable seasoning (weird but yummy).  Then I put the salmon in the cold oven and set it at 400 degrees.  I cooked it for 25 minutes, and it was AWESOME! I will definitely be eating it this way more often.

Hubby recently got me a Food Saver, so I’m pretty excited to try that out.  I think it will allow me to cook more individualized meals while saving by buying in bulk.  I’m also totally excited to try out more freezer cooking.  I am so busy at work this year, that freezer cooking is going to be a MUST for me!

This week my plan is to try out some overnight oat recipes, so I’ll be posting about that later this week. For some reason I just cannot get into the habit of eating breakfast regularly this year, so I’m hoping overnight oats are the answer!

Happy Cooking! :)

The Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

I have never been a cookie baker.  I don’t know why…  I think it has something to do with the fact that I probably shouldn’t be eating so many cookies. ;) But sometimes  I just need some chocolate.  Ever feel like that?  Chocolate chip cookies sounded good one night, so I decided to go to Pinterest to find a good recipe.

I have to admit that hubby and I were a bit skeptical about this recipe, but it turned out so good! It does not taste like “box cake”.  Now I make sure I always have a cake mix box in the “baking cupboard” for those nights we’re in the mood for a little treat.  We only make six cookies at a time, and then refrigerate the rest of the mix to use throughout the week.

The Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

1 box yellow cake mix

semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1/2 a bag.)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup – I microwaved the stick of butter for 15 seconds.)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.  Hubby did this step for me, and he just used a fork to mix everything together.

3. Spoon onto a cookie sheet. (I sprayed my cookie sheet with my home-made cooking spray to prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking sheet.)

4. Bake for about 10 minutes, and enjoy!  You might want to wait for the cookies to cool… ;)

 

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

What do you do with all of your Thanksgiving leftovers? Do you freeze them? Throw them away? Eat the same thing for a week straight? My hubby and I deal with this every year, because I make a feast and it is just the two of us. :) This year I am determined not to throw away any food, and hubby hates having the same thing more than two days in a row… SO, I am relying on my current casserole-faze. This is my first after-Thanksgiving casserole before it went in the oven this evening. I think it is going to be yummy! Click here to see the original recipe I found online.

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole
1 box Stovetop Stuffing (Hubby’s favorite)
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups cooked chopped turkey
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup of sour cream
mashed potatoes
shredded cheese
Seasonings of choice1. Combine broth and stuffing mix, and then spread in a casserole dish.
2. Combine turkey, soup, sour cream, and seasoning of choice in a bowl. Stir to mix everything thoroughly. I added garlic powder since I used boxed stuffing that is already seasoned.
3. Add the turkey mixture in a layer in your casserole dish.
4. Spread mashed potatoes over the top of the turkey mixture in the casserole dish and top with cheese.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.Serve with whatever else you have. Hubby will be having a side of green bean casserole tonight as well. And I’ll be having some cranberry sauce with mine. :)

Yummy Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole

Image Lately I have really been on a casserole kick. I think I like casseroles because they are quick to make, easy on the budget, leave little clean up, and there is always plenty leftovers for lunch. :)  Pinterest is where I find a majority of my new recipes.  I don’t think I will buy another cookbook for the rest of my life! Click here to find the original recipe from the site I found through Pinterest.

Hubby and I have managed to stay away from fast food for quite awhile now, and we are pretty proud of that.  Sometimes you just crave a cheeseburger and fries, so when I came across this recipe I was hoping it would fill that craving.  It most definitely did!!!

The recipe I am posting below is exactly the way I made the dish today.  However, the next time I make it, I plan to put a layer of meat, sauce, fries, meat, sauce, fries.  On the side hubby and I had all of the traditional cheeseburger condiments, and I would suggest the same for anyone else. :)

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

2 lbs ground beef/chuck/sirloin (whatever your preference)

1 can cheddar condensed soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 bag frozen waffle fries

onion powder

garlic powder

1. Season the meat with the garlic and onion powder and brown on the stove.  Drain the fat and place the meat in the casserole dish.

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2. Mix the soups together in a bowl, and then pour the mixture over the meat in the casserole dish.

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3. Layer the top of the dish with the waffle fries.

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4. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, and enjoy!  We made ours with a side of home-made rolls.  YUM!

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ENJOY! :)  You will have plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day!

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Breakfast Baked Avocado and Egg

If you are like me, avocado is a definite favorite!  Avocado was typically served in slices with dinner on special occasions in my house growing up. I was always looking forward to it! My husband, on the other hand, had never eaten an actual avocado until he met me; he did, however, love guacamole. Now, we eat avocado raw and prepared in all sorts of ways.

This yummy Pinterest recipe caught my eye right away from a fellow blogger.  What a fantastic way to prepare avocado!  This recipe doesn’t take long and is healthy to eat.  In the future I would probably serve it with toast for a nice Saturday morning breakfast.

Supplies/Ingredients

Aluminum foil

Small baking pan

Avocado

Eggs

Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Widen the hole from the seed a little to make more room for the egg.

2. Create a small bowl with the aluminum foil to place the avocado. The purpose of the bowl is to catch any run-off of egg.

3. Crack one egg into each half of the avocado.

4. Season the top of each egg with garlic powder, salt, and pepper (to taste).

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.  I cooked two at the same time, and it took about 14 minutes, but I do not like the center too runny.  I would check after 7 minutes, especially if you are only cooking one egg.

6. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese and a little more pepper.

Enjoy! :)

Italian Chicken Stir Fry

It has been a LONG time since my last post!  The summer has flown by!  I have tons of recipes that I need to add to my blog; I have been snapping pictures of meals I’ve made throughout the summer.  I even have a super yummy meal my mom cooked while we were on vacation that I will be adding shortly. :)

Kitchen appliances are just plain fun.  Tonight hubby and I decided to cook stir fry with a little Italian twist.  Once a month I try to make “freezer meals” that I can pull out of the freezer to cook whenever I need a good meal quick, and that is where we got our Italian chicken.  I had chicken strips marinating in Italian dressing in a bag in the freezer.  Take any small bottle of a dressing of your choice and pour it in a freezer bag with enough chicken for one meal.  Label the bag with the type of marinade and the date.  This tip I learned from a fellow blogger has really changed the way I cook.  I always have a few bags of a chicken marinade waiting to be used for dinner.  I have also found that the chicken is really flavorful after being frozen with the marinade.  Just be careful of your marinade choices, because some can be unhealthy and have a lot of sodium.  Also, using salad dressing can be a cheaper route than buying the special marinades for chicken.

The great thing about this meal is that it is completely interchangeable.  You can use whatever protein you like whether it is chicken, beef, pork, or tofu.  You can use any vegetables you have handy.  I used an electric wok, but you could really simply use a skillet on the stove. This recipe makes plenty of food for two people, and if hubby isn’t really hungry, enough for one more lunch.

Italian Chicken Stir Fry

5 chicken strips in Italian seasoning

Olive oil (enough to make the wok non-stick)

Goya Vegetable Seasoning (1 packet)

Goya Low Sodium Adobo (to taste)

1 yellow onion (sliced)

2 green bell peppers (sliced)

1 yellow squashed (sliced)

1 cup sliced baby portobella mushrooms

Instructions:

1. Heat up the electric wok to a temperature between 300 – 350 degrees after using the olive oil to make the surface non-stick.

2. Put the chicken with any extra Italian sauce from the bag into the wok.

3. When the chicken is almost done cooking (about 10 minutes) add in all of the vegetables being sure to mix everything thoroughly.

4. Sprinkle the vegetable seasoning and adobo to your taste.

5. Cover the wok to let everything cook (about 5-7 minutes) until the food reaches desired consistency.  Some people prefer their vegetables soft or crispy, so the time is really up to the cook.

Enjoy! :)

Asparagus Pizza

This recipe is yummy and healthy.  It definitely meets any cravings I have for pizza! I originally found this recipe on Pinterest but altered it to fit my tastes. The original recipe is for an Asparagus Gruyere Tart by Martha Stewart.

Really you could make this with any type of pizza dough. Usually I make my own pizza dough, but for this I used the canned stuff you find in the dairy aisle by the biscuits.  The nutritional and calorie information for this recipe really depends on the dough you use and the cheese used, so I’m not including it below.  Trust me, this is healthier than your everyday pizza!

Ingredients

1 pre-made pizza dough (I used the Great Value Walmart brand dough found in the dairy and/or refrigerated aisle by all of the biscuits and cookie dough. Of all the pre-made pizza doughs, I really do prefer the taste and cooking of the Great Value brand even above the “big name” brands.)

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 bunch asparagus

2 cups shredded cheese (I used mozarella and cheddar.)

Garlic Powder (to taste)

Italian Seasoning (to taste)

Goya Vegetable Seasoning (to taste)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spread out the dough on a non-stick rectangular pan.  (I spray the pan with a couple spritzes of spray butter and spread with a paper towel to make sure the dough does not stick.)

3. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder on the dough.

4. Spread cheese across the dough and sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top.

5. Alternate asparagus across the top of the dough.

6. Brush asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle Goya vegetable seasoning across the top of the pizza.

7. Bake at 400 degrees for 9-12 minutes (depending on your oven)

Enjoy! :)