Monday, March 16, 2009

Fabulous Tilapia Skillet

I made this recipe this evening for dinner and wanted to write it down before I forget what I did. It was one of those use what you have on hand dinners.


  • 6 Tilapia fillets
  • 6 to 7 garlic cloves chopped chunky
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion (I used frozen to be quick)
  • A couple of handfuls grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp of Olive oil
  • Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • Marsala cooking wine (or any white wine you have on hand ... I don't think Marsala is considered white wine ... I have no clue about wine, but I really like cooking with it and a white wine would work with this, too, I'm sure)
  • lemon juice
  • black pepper
  • parsley

Of course I didn't measure anything so these will all be estimates.

Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a LARGE skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Let that cook a minute or two. In the mean time, put some garlic powder (not garlic salt) on one side of the fish. Then spinkle the Tony's over it (if you don't like too spicy, go gently with this). Put the fish down in the tomato/onion/garlic mixture seasoned side down. Sprinkle the unseasoned side (which should be up) with the garlic powder and then Tony's. Cook the fish a couple of minutes (until you can see it whitening up on the sides) and then flip it over. Pour about 1/2 to 1 cup of Marsala (or a white wine would work, too) over all of it. At this point I thought I needed some more olive oil, so I added another couple of tablespoons right over the top of everything. Turn the temperature to medium and cover the skillet. Let it cook down a little (about 3 minutes or so) and then add a few squirts of lemon juice (I just had bottled, but I'm sure fresh lemons would be even better) and sprinkle some parsley and black pepper on top. Cover again and let it cook until the fish flakes apart.

I served this over instant brown rice that I cooked in the microwave with fat free beef broth and a few shakes of Tony's. I also served a Caribbean Blend frozen vegetable mix (broccoli, green beans, carrots & red peppers) that I cooked on the stove top with just some olive oil, garlic powder, chopped onion, salt and pepper. I just put it all in a big skillet, covered it and let it cook until the veggies were tender.

A very quick, easy and healthy meal.

Monday, January 5, 2009


This recipe is my version of a recipe from "The Magic Kingdom Cookbook" that my 6 year old bought at his book fair. The recipe in there is called "Pizza Planet Cheezy Calzones," and it has the little alien looking toys from Toy Story (I think) in the picture. Anyway, this is my version of that recipe.


  • Turkey Pepperoni (or Canadian Bacon or cooked meat of your choice)
  • Pizza dough from this recipe or 1 package of refrigerated pizza dough (I make my own ... you can make this up ahead a day or two and keep in the frig covered or in a ziploc bag in the frig until you are ready to use it)
  • 1/3 cup of pizza sauce (I use Kroger brand 4 Cheese Spaghetti Sauce and this is an estimate on amount used)
  • 1 C. of mozzarella cheese (this is also an estimate on amount used)
  • 1 T. of fat free milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
  2. Roll pizza dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle (or unroll your store bought dough into a rectangle.
  3. Cut the dough into 6 or 8 rectangles. Sometimes I roll them out thinner and bigger once they are cut.
  4. Use a spoon and spoon a small amount of spaghetti sauce in the middle of each rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle each rectangle with mozzarella cheese and then place some pepperonis on each rectangle (the recipe calls for cut up Canadian bacon or cooked ham ... and you can cut up the pepperoni if you really want to ... I usually skip this step ... it is just whatever you prefer).
  6. Fold each rectangle over in half over the filling (you can make a triangle or a long rectangle ... I think the long rectangle works better than the triangle, but do what you like).
  7. Use a fork to go around the edges and seal each one. Arrange them on your baking sheet as you get each one sealed.
  8. The recipe calls for you to prick the top of each calzone (but I forgot to do that tonight and it worked just fine without being pricked ... you can see what a "precise" chef I am! :o).
  9. Brush each calzone with fat free milk. Then sprinkle each one with Parmesan cheese and then sprinkle on some garlic powder to taste.
  10. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before trying to eat them, because the inside will be super hot!
  11. My boys love them served with ranch dressing, but you could serve with extra spaghetti sauce.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Best Homemade Pizza Crust Recipe EVER!

I found this recipe on, and it is fabulous! I don't know if we'll order pizza in again. It makes a dough that is crusty on the outside and bottom and soft on the inside. I followed the recipe exactly (I did the non-bread machine version). It was really easy.

When it was time to bake, I sprayed my Pampered Chef pizza stone with cooking spray. Then I just pulled the dough out into a circle while going around it and patted it out to the edge of the stone (making a little raised area around the edges for the crust). I think it would be too sticky to roll. Then we topped it with Four Cheese Pizza sauce, mozzarella, lite pork sausage, turkey pepperoni, and onions. Oh, I also sprinkled garlic powder around the crust, too. It bakes a LARGE, thick crust pizza that covers that whole large pizza stone.

I made two batches the first time I made this, because I didn't realize how MUCH it made. I just kept the other batch covered in the refrigerator a couple of days and then baked another pizza. It was just as great.

Click here for the recipe:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do Ahead Breakfast Burritos

I cannot believe I have not posted this recipe earlier. It is based on a recipe I got from my super sweet mother-in-law. It makes about 50 breakfast burritos that you wrap in foil, put in zip loc bags and then warm up in the microwave. I like to keep them on hand for cold mornings when I want to give my boys something hot for breakfast but fast and easy. They are also great to have when company is coming. Everyone can quickly warm up their breakfast as they wake-up ... the early birds and the late sleepers all get a yummy hot breakfast.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year to you and yours.


50 soft flour tortillas (if you can find the kind that say "homestyle" they are soft enough that you don't have to butter the tortillas, saving you a step)

One Dozen Large Eggs

One Bunch of Green Onion Tops, Chopped (I use my kitchen scissors to cut them up)

1 Pound of Light Sausage

6 Pieces of Thick Bacon

2 Pounds of Shredded Hash Browns


Reynold Wrap foil sheets (come 50 to a box ... can be found with the foil and plastic wrap)

Shredded Cheese (optional)

1. In a large skillet brown the sausage. When it is finished, pour it out on a paper towel lined plate and let it sit. After the sausuage has drained, pat the top of the sausage with another paper towel to help absorb some more of the fat.

2. While the sausage is browning, cook your bacon in the microwave until crispy. Break into small pieces. Pour the drained sausage and the crumbled bacon into a LARGE bowl.

3. Put a couple of tablespoons of butter or canola oil in a skillet and pour the frozen shredded hashbrowns in the pan along with your cut up green onion tops. Stir and cook them until the hashbrowns are tender and a little browned. Add the cooked hashbrown and green onion mixture to your bacon and sausage mixture and mix well.

4. Crack a dozen eggs and beat them. Cook them until soft (not too hard) in a skillet. Add the scrambled egges to the hashbrown and meat mixture and mix well.

5. If you bought soft enough tortillas, you can skip this step. You know they are soft enough if you can roll them and they don't crack. If they crack when you roll them, put a stack of tortillas in the microwave and heat for about 30 seconds to a minute ... to where they are soft. Then butter the tortilla on both sides. Fill it with a small amount of egg, pototo and meat mixture. Add a little cheese if you like. Then put the loaded tortilla in the middle of a foil sheet. Bring a small amount of the right and left side towards the middle (maybe an inch or so). Then while holding the right and left sides in with your index fingers and middle fingers, roll the stuffed tortilla away from you with your thumbs. Hold the tortilla in a rolled position. Take the right side of the foil sheet and fold it in over the top of the rolled burrito. Fold the left side in over the rolled burrito. Roll the whole burrito up. Next time I make some, I'll take pictures fo the whole process and post some steps.

Once you get all 50 burritos rolled in foil, put them in some large ziploc bags. Store in the freezer and use in about 6 months. To reheat, take the foil off of the burrito and place the burrito on a microwave safe plate. Microwave at 60% power for about 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Serve with salsa. I also have family members that love them queso on top, too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Old Fashioned Icebox Oatmeal Cookies

My mother gave me this receipe she got from her cleaning lady who is from a long line of Czech families. Her cleaning lady's mother used to make these and keep them in the "ice box," so she would have them ready to bake when her children got home from school. These cookies are WONDERFUL and SO easy!


1 cup of shortening (my mother used 2 sticks of Smart Balance 50/50 margarine)
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of oatmeal (my mother used quick cooking oatmeal)


If you use margarine, let it come to room temperature (or you can cut it into tiny cubes and that will soften it quicker). Cream the margarine or shortening with the sugars in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture and mix well. Mix the flour, salt and soda with a whisk and then blend the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Add the oatmeal all at once and mix well with a spoon.

Turn the soft dough out onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Shape into a log roll inside of the wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight then slice and bake. Bake on parchment paper lined cookie sheet or one sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. When baked, remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a cooling rack. This recipe makes 30 BIG cookies.

You can slice and bake as many as you want and just store the remainder in the refrigerator still wrapped in the wax paper or plastic. You can put the wrapped cookie dough in a big Ziploc bag so it won't dry out if you are not going to use all of it soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Easy Chicken Enchilada Pasta Skillet

I was looking for something fast and easy to cook for dinner tonight. We were blessed in that we didn't suffer too much damage here from Ike, but lots of the communities around us did ... and they are packing our grocery stores and gas stations ... so I'm staying away from the store and wanted to use what I had on hand. I came up with this recipe. The whole family loved it ... which is rare. I wanted to get this posted before I forget what I did. :o) Add a salad or a green vegetable to this and you have a complete meal.


1 thirteen ounce can of chicken breast, drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped frozen onion
1 can of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 can of green echilada sauce
2 or 3 shakes of garlic powder (or to taste)
2 cup of shredded cheese, divided (4 cheese mexican blend, monterey jack, pepper jack ... whatever you have on hand)
1/2 of a twelve ounce bag of cooked whole wheat blend egg noodles (or any other noodle you have on hand)


1. Cook noodles according to package directions (I put the noodles in boiling water and then started with the next step while the noodles were cooking to tender)

2. Drain chicken and mix with onions in a skillet that is heating on medium high. Once onions are soft, add the soup, enchilada sauce and garlic powder. Mix well and heat through. Add one cup of cheese and mix until melted. Turn the heat to low.

3. Drain the pasta and gently stir into the chicken mixture in the skillet.

4. Sprinkle the remaining one cup of cheese on top of the chicken and noodle mixture and serve.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sour Cream Cake

I don't have a photo of this one. But, next time I make it, I'll take a picture to post. This is one of our famiy's ALL time favorites. It is my mother-in-law's recipe. This cake is wonderful served warm out of the oven with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. There is not a thing low fat about this cake, but it is a delicious treat!


2 sticks of butter, softened (told you it wasn't low fat!)
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs
8 oz. of sour cream
2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
cinnamon and sugar and shortening (for greasing and flavoring your bundt pan)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with shortening. Then sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon over the greased pan. Set aside.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. If you haven't softened your butter, a tip is to cut it into tiny sqaures before you put it in your mixing bowl. Once, you've creamed your butter and sugar (beating it together until it is a creamy texture), then add your eggs, sour cream, almond extract and vanilla. Mix until well mixed and creamy. Add your flour and baking soda and mix just until well combined. Don't overbeat or it can make it tough.

Pour the cake batter into your greased bundt pan and bake for about and hour and a half or until a knive inserted comes out clean. This is easy to do and wows guests everytime!