Monday, September 14, 2015


 Cooler weather is coming and it inspires me to make soups and stews and this weekend, it was a chili. :)

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 can diced tomatoes (14 oz.)
  • 2 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pink beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbonzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded cheese and sour cream, for topping

If using meat, cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to dish. Drain excess grease.

Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, add garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using). Add carrots and squash.  Remove from heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.

If cooking the chili with meat, add the cooked meat back to the skillet. If not, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.  Bring to a boil then turn heat back to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. In slow cooker, cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Serve with choice of toppings (cheese, sour cream, onions).

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

It has been really cold around these parts of the Northeast.  Today it is negative 1!  That means lots of bundling up and what is better than a hot bowl of soup to take the cold out?  Last week I made a Brazilian fish stew called moqueca.  Recently I was craving creamy broccoli cheese soup, like the kind you eat out of a bread bowl at panera. :)  Except I like my broccoli in big pieces for a chunky feel, not puree.  If you prefer a smoother soup, you can puree it in a blender. :)

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ medium chopped onion
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ lb fresh broccoli (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside. In a large pot whisk together the melted butter and flour over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the half and half and milk. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, carrots, and onions. Let them simmer on medium low for about 25 minutes until the broccoli and carrots are tender.
  4. Add salt and pepper and cheese. Let the cheese melt and then serve. 

Adapted from

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Treasure Chest Bars

Adapted from Pillsbury Christmas 2008 Cookbook

Prep: 30 min.
Ready in: 2 hours
Serves: approx. 25-30 bars


- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3 ounces milk chocolate 
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (the original recipe calls for 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained & halved)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts


- 1/4 cup butter 
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1. Heat oven to 350.  Grease 15x10 inch pan with butter or non-stick spray.  In large bowl, beat all bar ingredients except chocolate, fruit and nuts with electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth.  With spoon, stir in chocolate, fruit and nuts.  Spread evenly in pan.

2.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown. 
Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat 1/4 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until light golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Stir in powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons milk until frosting is smooth and spreadable.

3.  Quickly spread frosting over warm pastry.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  Cut into bars.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lasagna Roll-Ups

A variation of lasagna.  Instead of a casserole, make individual roll-ups.  They are amazing and so yummy!!!


12-16 lasagna noodles
1/2 container ricotta cheese
1/2 container cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded mixture cheeses of your liking - 1 cup to mix in with ricotta, 1 cup to top (I use a mix of cheeses that include Parmesan, Monterrey jack and various Cheddars)
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can (28 oz.) of diced tomatoes 
1 large can (28 oz.) of crushed tomatoes 
italian seasonings to taste (basil, oregano, parsley)
salt/pepper to taste

1 pound sausage and/or ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
1 can or fresh chopped mushrooms

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 350.  
In large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and eggs (also spinach if using).  Mix well.  

In saucepan, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil, saute onions and garlic.  Add tomatoes and seasonings to taste.  I usually add about a half cup of the pasta water.  Add meat if using.

In a greased baking dish (or two smaller casserole dishes), spread 1 cup sauce.  

Spread lasagna noodles flat.  Top with a layer of cheese mixture then a layer of veggie options and roll.  Place in baking dish.  Repeat.    
Once the dish is filled, add remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil.  Bake 45 minutes.  Uncover, bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and browned on top.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  10-12 servings.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Honey Salmon

yummy sweet salmon! 

and very easy to make.

In a bowl, combine:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon thyme
1-3 pounds of salmon

Place your salmon on a strip of foil and pour the honey mixture over it

Pull the foil over from the edges to cover the salmon and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Uncover salmon and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, we made zucchini/squash and white rice. 

My husband says this is one of his favorite recipes! :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Avocado Bruschetta

This is a dish my husband put together for breakfast the other day and it came out so yummy I had to share!

1 baguette, sliced into thin pieces
1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
1 tomato, diced
1 onion, diced
basil and cilantro (we didn't have fresh but we had dried)
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. vinegar
salt and pepper

Drizzle olive oil over the baguette slices and toast until golden brown. 
In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Top each baguette with a spoonful.  Enjoy!
mmmmmmm, yummy goodness!
Thanks, Lou!!!