Monday, February 28, 2011

This Week's Menu

Monday: Baked Risotto Torte
Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings

Thursday: Rachel!!!

Friday: Penne Alla Betsy

Saturday: Beef Stew

Friday, February 25, 2011


I don't know why I don't make fajitas more often.

They are unbelievably easy to cook, need very few ingredients, and make my tummy so very, very happy.

If you think you can not make fajitas because you've seen them at restaurants with their fancy shmancy smoking presentation, then you are wrong! You can totally do it!

The ingredients:
olive oil; 1 lb. of chicken (or steak or pork); green and red pepper, sliced; onion, sliced; lime; chili powder; tortillas; salsa; sour cream.

Start by heating up the oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced vegetables and saute them.
While the vegetables are cooking, take the meat of your choice (chicken for us!) and slice it into strips.

Take the vegetables out of the skillet and put them in a dish to wait patiently.
Throw your strips on the still very hot skillet. Sprinkle some chili powder on the meat.
Cook on both sides until browned to your liking (and cooked through if it's chicken or pork). Please note that I did not do a great job of actually cutting my chicken into thin enough strips. Don't be like me. Cut them thinner so they're strips and not slabs. Thank you.
Throw the veggies back in with the meat and give them a good toss together. Then, cut that lime in half and squeeze the juice into the mix.

This is how I assemble my fajitas:
Some people might smear the sour cream and salsa on first as if the tortilla were a canvas, but not me. I just glop it on.

Still tastes good to me!
I ended up having way more meat than vegetables, so next time I will use a whole green pepper and a whole red pepper and maybe another onion.

So simple and so yummy. Please make these pronto. You won't be sorry!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Cherry Cobbler

One of the desserts that my mom made yearly around holidays or when family visited was her Cherry Cobbler. I remember not liking the cherry part when I was little, but slowly appreciating the whole cherries in the dessert.

I made this for Valentine's Day since it is red and we usually either eat something red on Valentine's day or make our dinner into heart shapes. We could not make our fajitas heart shaped.

This recipe is actually called Fruit Magic and can be found on the back of Jiffy white cake mix boxes. I find the name Fruit Magic to be...unappetizing, so I choose to call it Cherry Cobbler. It's very simple to make and is oh-so-yummy! It is also super easy to double if you're making it for a large crowd.

The ingredients:
1 box white cake mix; 1/2 C. butter, softened; 1 can cherry pie filling; 4 oz. chopped pecans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

You only need 1 box of Jiffy white cake mix, but I couldn't find any at the store, so I used half a box of normal sized cake mix. Mix the pecans with the cake mix.
Take the softened butter and with either a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until blended and pebble like.
Pour the can of cherry filling into a 9x9 baking dish and then pour the cake crumble mix evenly over the top of the cherry filling.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden brown (including the middle of the topping!)
For best results, serve warm. Mmm...warm cherry cobbler.
This is total comfort food for me. I love it! Of course, you can always serve this with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but I opted not to this time.

Please try this dessert ASAP! It is most enjoyable!!!


This Week's Menu

Monday: Rotini with Salmon and Roasted Garlic

Tuesday: Shepard's Pie

Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Soup

Thursday: Rachel!!

Friday: Chicken with Lemon & Capers
Green Beans

Saturday: Cowboy Beans & Cornbread

Friday, February 18, 2011


My sister-in-law, Kyle, bought me a fabulous Christmas present that I need to tell you about. It's called a Misto Sprayer:
It is the best thing ever!!!!

What you do is you pour any oil of your choice (I've used olive and vegetable in mine!) into the Misto. The lid serves a pump and it becomes your very own cooking spray! I use it all the time. I will never need to buy PAM again!

And the beauty of it is, it's just oil. No extra additives or chemicals. I use it to oil my oven fries instead of drizzling oil. Evan uses it to cook eggs. It is fabulous! It is seriously one of my favorite kitchen tools.

You can find them on for as little as $7.00 or they sell them at places like World Market and Bed Bath & Beyond for around $10.00.

I highly recommend it and feel you should purchase one for you, your parents, your grandkids and the mailman!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This Week's Menu

Monday: Chicken Fajitas
Cherry Cobbler


Wednesday: Southern BBQ Sloppy Joes

Thursday: Rachel!!

Friday: Cowboy Calzones

Saturday: Lasagna
Cheesy Garlic Bread

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Upside Down Ravioli

I wrote this on our weekly menu list and Evan stared at it and then looked at me funny. "Um, if it's upside down ravioli...isn't it the same? Ravioli looks the same on both sides."

I have no idea why it's called this, but it was super yummy. And not ravioli like whatsoever.

The ingredients:
8 oz. jumbo shells; 1 lb. ground beef; 2 Tbsp. olive oil; 6 oz. baby spinach, chopped; 1 C. finely chopped onion; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. pepper; 1/8 tsp. nutmeg; 1 egg; 1/4 C. parmesan cheese; 26 oz. marinara sauce of your choosing; 1/2 C. reserved pasta water. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the jumbo shells while you brown the beef and onions together in a large skillet.
While all of that is a bubblin' and a brewin', take that lovely spinach...
and chop the living day lights out of it.
Add it to the beef once it's browned and drained of grease.
Now, add the olive oil...
the garlic that I totally forgot to put in the ingredients picture...

the reserved pasta water...
Stir like you have never stirred before!! Remove the skillet from the heat.
Now, add the salt...
the pepper...
and the nutmeg. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
Once the meat mixture is cooled, as the parmesan...
and the egg. Stir again.
In a 9x13 dish, pour 1 Cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread it around.
Take your jumbo shells and fill them with the meat mixture.
Line them up in the dish. (Does this remind anyone else of the story from Alice in Wonderland when the walrus eats the clams? Anyone? Anyone???)
Pour the rest of the marinara sauce over the top of the shells.
I tried to put them directly into the oven to cook, I really did!! But, I just couldn't. They looked so naked. So, I grabbed a bag of mozzarella cheese and dumped some on top.
Phew. I feel so much better about this dish now.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Mmm...melted cheese. You make my pasta dishes so deliciously beautiful.
We ate our Upside Down Ravioli with salad and Italian bread.
I loved this dish. I found the meat mixture super yummy and different than other stuffed pasta dishes that ask for a lot of cheeses to be in the mixture. It made for good leftovers, too.

Evan does not like jumbo shells. He can not give me a reason why. I think he's just a complete weirdo, but that's just my humble opinion. Despite the pasta I used, he did like the dish and agreed with me about the meat mixture being yummy.

This would be a great dish to make for company or if you have a larger family because it definitely makes a lot.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken

Chinese New Year fell on a Thursday this year, which means we celebrated it with Kim and Rachel and their families. Evan and I were deciding what we wanted to eat this year and decided on Teriyaki Chicken, Chicken Wontons and Fried Rice.

The exact same menu we had last year.

Well, it was super good last year!!!!

I found this recipe in one of my Weight Watcher cook books. It's a slow cooker recipe, which sounds odd when talking about Chinese food, but this recipe ended up fabulous. Definitely one we'll be using again! (obviously...)

The ingredients:

2 heads of broccoli; 3 large carrots; 1 can water chestnuts; 2 Tbsp. tapioca pudding; 2 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed; 1 C. chicken broth; 1/4 C. packed brown sugar; 1/4 C. teriyaki sauce; 2 Tbsp. dry mustard; 2 tsp. grated orange zest; 1 tsp. ground ginger.

Chop the broccoli...
the carrots...
and the water chestnuts...
and throw them into your slow cooker.
Sprinkle the tapioca pudding over the vegetables.Place the chopped chicken on top of the vegetables.
Mix the broth, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, mustard, orange zest and ginger in a bowl.
Pour the mixture over the chicken and veggies.
Cook on high 4-6 hours until the chicken is cooked. Enjoy the fabulous aroma that fills your home.

Serve over rice and add some extra teriyaki sauce on top.
This was a complete hit with everyone. Even those who claimed they didn't like teriyaki sauce changed their minds after eating this meal. Evan and I both agreed that we liked it better last year when we modified it and used the wok to cook it, but the slow cooker way was good as well.


This Week's Menu

Monday: Salisbury Steak
Tangy Mustard Cauliflower
Baked Beans


Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Thursday: Kim? Rachel? I don't remember whose turn it is.

Friday: Beef Stroganoff
Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Saturday: Chicken Fajitas

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Christmas gift.

First, I need to show you how much fruit we had in our house on Tuesday. It is Friday and the bananas are gone and the bowl is half empty.
My family loves fruit.

In November, I mentioned on Elisablog that I was going to ask my family for recipes written in their handwriting. Thankfully, my family is awesome and totally went above and beyond for my gift.

I received recipes from aunts, uncles, great-aunts, my mom, my grandmas and even my great-grandma who passed away almost 4 years ago.

This recipe is from my Mama (my mom's mom's mom...did you get that?).
My grandma sent me a few in her handwriting and I was so excited. It meant a lot to me.

I recognized a few of the recipes as ones I've enjoyed eating at family gatherings for years.
I have put them in my cook books and have slowly started trying some of them out. I still have a couple people who are sending me their recipes in the mail. I can not wait to see what they'll send.
It's like having them there with me while I cook. Seeing their handwriting brings them right into my kitchen with me. Thank you everyone who sent me recipes. It was one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever.
Never underestimate the power of your own handwriting. Especially when you have your own kiddos, they are going to want to someday have things written by you around. Someday, my kids will get to inherit these recipes. Of course, I'm not letting them out of my grip until I am no longer on this earth, so they'll be waiting a while. Then they'll have to fight over them. Unless Elisabeth calls dibs on them like she is prone to do with things she likes of mine. You might recall that there are a few Christmas ornaments she wants. Oh, and my sapphire ring that she claimed when she was 4 years old. "Can I have that when you die, Mom?"

Oh, honey.


Your Aunt Kyle's already called dibs.