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Showing posts from February, 2014

Orzo Mac and Cheese with Fire Roasted Tomatoes & Spinach

Grownup twist on mac and cheese. This makes a large portion (8 servings), so you might want to cut recipe in half for a smaller family like mine.

Ingredients: 16 ounces orzo pasta
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (14 oz.) can fired roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray; set aside. Cook the orzo according to the package directions; drain. While the orzo cooks, prepare the cheese sauce. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook and stir for an additional 1-2 minutes. Stir in the milk, whisking constantly, until smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 4-5 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Remov…

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

It felt like spring arrived in the Ozarks the Saturday, so the hubby and I took advantage of the warmth and went for a motorcycle ride and hike to Withrow Springs, Arkansas. It was wonderful to be outside again. Unfortunately, winter is back again this week, but such is the weather in Southwest Missouri. You definitely never get bored. :)

My meals this week will be pretty simple, but I do have them planned. I'm following a pretty simple method for meal planning now that Corey is gone. I basically plan around the main dish. Here is basically what I do:

Sunday - Beef
Monday - Meatless
Tuesday - Pork
Wednesday - Chicken
Thursday - Fish
Friday - Date Night (This doesn't mean we go out, it just means I don't cook. :) We often do takeout or eat soup and sandwiches. )
Saturday - Leftovers or homemade pizza - we do lots of hiking and riding on the weekends, so I try to keep Saturday simple.

Here's what I have on the menu this week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follo…

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

It looks like we are finally coming out of the deep freeze in southwest MO. The long-term forecast has us in the 50s and 60s for much of the week. I will take that for a birthday present. :) I've got a couple of grilling days on the menu to celebrate the warm weather.

Here's what I have on the menu this week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. 

Sunday - Grillled Sirloin Steak (just marinade in Sundried Tomato dressing and throw on the grill), Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad

Monday -Southwestern Beans with Saffron Basmati Rice, Salad, Strawberries

Tuesday - Birthday dinner - I'm not cooking! ;)

Wednesday - Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Brussels Sprouts, Salad

Thursday - Grilled Mahi-Mahi, Grilled Asparagus, Salad, Strawberries

Friday - Date night

Saturday - Leftovers or Homemade Pizza

For more menu ideas, visit

Cherry Pie Bars

Great for a Valentine's Day treat!

1 cup of butter softened
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cans of cherry pie filling 


Preheat Oven to 350F

In a mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar - add eggs & extracts. Beat well to mix. Add flour & salt, mixing well.

Spread half of the batter in a greased 9x13 pan, spoon the pie filling over the batter. Randomly drop tablespoons remaining batter over the pie filling.

Bake for 35 min or until your toothpick comes out clean (mine was more like 40-45 minutes).

If you wish to add a glaze mix 1 c. powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, 2 tsp milk and drizzle over top of bars. 

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

Two weeks in a row! I'm on a roll. Actually, I had snow days Monday-Thursday this week, so I had plenty of time to make sure I planned a menu for the coming week.

Here's what I have on the menu this week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog.

Sunday - Slow Cooker Roast and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad

Monday - Lasagna Stuffed Portabellos (new), Broccoli, Salad, Strawberries

Tuesday - Stuffed Pork Chops, Green Beans, Salad

Wednesday - Apple Butter Glazed Chicken, Asparagus, Salad

Thursday - Fish Tacos, Corn, Fruit Salad

Friday - Date Night

Saturday - Leftovers

For more menu ideas, visit

Lasagna-Stuffed Portabellas

Ingredients 4-6 large portabello mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tbsp. olive oil
Coarsely ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
2/3 cup drained frozen chopped spinach
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup tomato sauce
Directions Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms and carefully scrape the gills from the caps with a spoon or paring knife; discard.  Place the mushrooms caps on the baking sheet.  In a small bowl, combine the garlic and olive oil.  Brush the garlic-oil mixture over the inside of the mushroom caps.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast the caps about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, maintaining the oven temperature.  If excess liquid has collected inside or underneath the caps, blot it away with a paper towel.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, P…

Skillet Potato Pancake

This would be even better if you added some crumbled bacon to the mix!


2 tablespoons Pure Wesson® Canola Oil1 pkg (20 oz each) refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes1/3 cup Ultragrain® All Purpose Flour2/3 cup Egg Beaters® Original1/3 cup grated yellow onion1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper - See more at:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pkg (20 oz each) refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes
1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup grated yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine potatoes and flour in large bowl; set aside. Combine egg…

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

Yes, believe it or not, I'm actually posting a menu this week. I haven't kept up with public posting of my meal plans very well since my son went off to college this fall. I'm still planning and feeding me and my hubby, but we often just grill some meat and have veggies and a salad, so I don't really have recipes to share. I couldn't sleep last night, so I had some extra time on my hands and decided to throw some new recipes into the mix for the week. I will post pictures after I make the meals. :)

Here's what I have on the menu this week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. 

Sunday - Lasagna Soup (new) - we could call it "SOUPer Bowl Sunday", Garlic Muffins, Salad

Monday - French Onion Pasta, Broccoli, Salad

Tuesday - Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Roast  (new) - use to make oven toasted sammies, Basil Sesame Green Beans, Salad

Wednesday - Lemon Thyme Chicken, Rice, Asparagus, Salad

Thursday - Oven …

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

New crust recipe to try. Sounds yummy!

Ingredients 1 cupwarm water (110 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoonsActive Dry Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoonsgranulated sugar
2 1/2 cupsWhite Whole Wheat Flour
2 tablespoonshoney
2 tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoonkosher salt
1/4 teaspoongarlic powder

Place warm water, yeast and sugar into bowl of stand mixer. Make sure dough hook is attached to mixer. Gently stir water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes.With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, honey, olive oil, salt and garlic salt. Once dough starts to form, increase speed to medium. Mix for 3 minutes, until dough is well combined.With floured hands, transfer dough to a floured countertop. Knead with hands 3 or 4 times then roll into a ball. At this point you can refrigerate for 3 days, freeze up to 1 month or roll and bake now.When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and roll dough into a 12 inch round. Spread with sauce and toppings of choice. Bake for 16-20 minutes u…

Three Cheese Tortellini and Mushroom Soup

Simple and tasty.

2 tsp butter
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups fat free chicken broth
2 cups water
5 oz shitaki mushrooms, sliced
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 small Parmigiano Reggiano rind (optional)
9 oz three cheese tortellini (Buitoni)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (optional for topping)

Directions: In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When melted, add the celery, onion, carrot and garlic. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add the chicken broth, water, mushrooms, rind and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. When broth boils, add salt (to taste) and black pepper; stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, simmeruntil mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions for al dente. Once cooked, remove the ri…

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Roast

A flavorful, easy roast to make in your slow cooker. You could also do this with a beef roast and just substitute beef broth for the chicken broth. Have to admit, though, it was not a favorite with my family. The balsamic was a bit strong.


2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (sirloin roast)
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Directions: Season the pork with salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and place it into the slow cooker. Mix together the broth and vinegar and pour it over the pork, then pour the honey over and set the timer for 4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low. Once the pork is cooked and tender (it should shred easily with a fork), remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and put back into the slow cooker and ladle 1/2 cup sauce over the pork and keep …

Baked (Hard Boiled) Eggs

An interesting way to make "hard boiled" eggs.

6 eggs (or as many as you want)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Place the eggs inside a mini muffin pan. Put the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully place the eggs into a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and peel the eggs.

Directions found on For the Love of Cooking

Mexican Rice

A nice Mexican rice recipe that's not too overpowering. Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
2 tbsp sweet yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped Directions: Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, rice, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir often for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and half of the cilantro; stir until well combined. Turn the heat up to high until it boils. Reduce to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat (WITHOUT REMOVING THE LID) and let the rice sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining cilantro and fluff with a fork. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Adapted recipe  by For the Lov…

Lasagna Soup

I love soup. I love lasagna. Combine the two together and you can't go wrong. :)

1 lb lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
2 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 lasagna noodles, broken into bite size pieces (6.5 oz)
1 1/4 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese (5 oz)
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (2 oz)
8 oz ricotta cheese

Brown ground beef in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add chopped yellow onion and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Add in chicken broth, HUNT'S Petite Diced Tomatoes, HUNT'S Crushed Tomatoes,…

Roast Beef Tenderloin

This isn't much of a recipe; more of a reminder on how to cook this cut of beef.

1 trimmed and tied beef tenderloin (about 4 lbs)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place meat on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, on the center rack for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

Roast the meat for 15 minutes per pound, until desired doneness (120-125 degrees for rare, 130-135 degrees for medium rare). Check the internal temp by inserting a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat.

Transfer meat to a platter and let rest for 10-20 minutes before cutting into slices.

Recipe Source - A Taste of Home Cooking

Oven Roasted Shrimp

A tasty way to cook shrimp.

2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place shrimp on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them in an even layer.

Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until just pink, firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.