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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sinfully Delicious but Saintly Soup ;)

This soup is one of my all time favorites!  My best friend's mom used to make it when we were little kids.  One day, she came home from work to find the crock pot was completely bare!  We had eaten the whole batch of soup before dinner.  Amazingly she wasn't mad, but pleased, since it contains so many veggies :)  Enjoy!

Sinfully Delicious but Saintly Soup

1/2 pound lean ground turkey
16 oz can of diced tomatoes (use no sodium added for even more of a healthy kick)
1 diced onion
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup peas
1 cup green beans
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 diced potatoes
4 chopped garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
24 oz of water
***This is a versatile recipe, feel free to omit or add any vegetable that suits your taste buds***

Brown turkey, garlic and onions until onions are translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium heat for about an hour.  If you want you can also put this in the crock pot and fix it and forget it on low heat all day long.  A nice loaf of French or Italian bread goes well with this.  Also a sprinkling of shredded cheese is an added bonus in camouflaging the veggies for picky kids (and or husbands!)

P.S. We still make this soup at the restaurant and normally the employees eat it all before we can even unlock the doors to the public!  I love you Karen, thank you for teaching me how to make this soup!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The One that Started it All

This sounds conceited but this recipe is titled "Chicken Kirsten".  I did not name it, my husband Thor did.  But it has stayed that name for over 10 years, as well as one of my favorite recipes to tweak and perfect.  I believe that the best variation on my infamous recipe is as follows...enjoy!

Chicken Kirsten

Boneless Skinless chicken Breasts (1 per person)
2 Avocados
2 cups Caesar Dressing (prepared is just fine)
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Pour 1 cup of Caesar Dressing over the Chicken and grill on the barbecue until done.  Mix together the avocado, remaining Caesar dressing and top over chicken.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Voila! Eat it and enjoy...particularly with these 2 side dishes...

Grilled Caesar Salad

1 head Romaine Lettuce, bottom cut and halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup Caesar Dressing
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Drizzle EVOO on the inside of the Romaine and place on the grill over med-low heat.  Grill until slightly wilted...about 6-7 minutes.  Remove and chop and toss with dressing and cheese.  Enjoy!

Summer Corn Salad

4 ears of Corn (white or yellow)
1/2 cup Challenge brand Tuscan butter
1/3 cup feta cheese

Put corn, husk and all on grill.  Grill for about half and hour over medium heat.  Remove and shuck being cautious that it's hot.  Shear corn into a bowl and mix with the other ingredients, making sure the butter melts as you stir.  Serve hot or cold.

I hope you all enjoy these dishes, they are some of my family's favorites!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting Started (Pantry Staples)

One thing that I always make sure that I have are versatile ingredients in my cupboards and freezer.  Here is a list that will get you through alot of my recipes since most of them i just whip up without a recipe, writing the recipe as an afterthought.


Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Turkey Burger
Black Bean Veggie Patties
Lean Pork Chops
Low-Sodium Bacon
Chicken Sausage (from Costco)
Green Beans

(Note: feel free to use beef, I just gave it up about a year ago due to my blood-pressure, and I use pork sparingly)


Jarred Spaghetti Sauce
Jarred Pesto Sauce (until I can get my own basil and do my own and then it's in the freezer...later recipe)
Jarred Alfredo Sauce
Canned Tomato
Canned Green Chiles
Brown Rice
Dried Pinto Beans
Dried Red Beans
Dried Black Beans
Caesar Dressing
Italian Dressing (many different kinds work great for marinades)
Lasagna Noodles
Rotini Pasta
Macaroni and Cheese
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Refried Beans
Taco Seasoning
Ramen Noodles
Chili Seasoning
Fajita Seasoning
Meatloaf Seasoning
General Tsao's Seasoning
Soy Sauce
Chili Paste


Challenge Tuscan Butter
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Shredded Italian Cheese
Cream Cheese
Salad Mix
Sliced Mushrooms
Flour Tortillas
And other assorted fresh veggies

I normally have these things on hand and in different combinations you can make hundreds of different things.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chicken Pesto Lasagne and Grilled Romaine Salad

So I came home tonight with no clue as to what to make for dinner.  After working in a restaurant all day, 40 hours a week, you may think that I would be sick of food by now.  Actually, quite the opposite.  I enjoy making dinner for my family so much that its the moment of my day that I most look forward to.  Tonight was one of those nights though that I didnt even get an inkling of what to make until I was staring into my cupboards at 5:15.  So, I see lasagne noodles, canned tomatoes, a jar of pesto, some alfredo sauce, and I know I have chicken breasts in the freezer.  Voila!  Thawing out 2 chicken breasts while I mix up the sauce and before you know it I have the lasagne in the ovenQ!  Score 1 for Mom!!!

Chicken Pesto Lasagna

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small jar of pesto sauce
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
10 lasagna noodles2 cups shredded Italian cheese

Defrost chicken.  Then cut into small pieces and saute on the stove with a little pepper.  While that is cooking, preheat oven to 400.  In a mixing bowl combine Alfredo, pesto and tomatoes.  Lay out a thin layer of sauce in a medium sized corning ware dish.  Top with 3-4 noodles (break to fit).  Then a small layer of cheese and more noodles on top.  The next layer should be the chicken, sauce and more cheese.  Top with the last noodles and cover with the rest of the sauce, set aside the rest of the cheese to apply the last 10 minutes of cooking time.  Note: I never precook lasagna noodles.  The sauce cooks them for you, don't even bother buying the ones advertised as no-cook, they all work the same.  Put in the oven and start on your salad.  Cook for 1 hour.

Grilled Romaine Salad

1 head of romaine, cut in half
2 tomatoes
1 Walla Walla Sweet Onion
1/2 cup Feta Cheese
Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Grill everything including the Romaine.  Put the onions on first, coating them with oil and vinegar, then the tomatoes, then the lettuce.  Grill until the onions are soft, the tomatoes are browned a bit and the lettuce is limp.  Cut all of them up and toss with the Feta and Oil and Vinegar.

Note: Feel free to improvise on any of these recipes.  The main thing that I want the reader to take away from this is inspiration.  Please don't feel like you cant recreate these recipes just because you may not have all the ingredients.  Cooking is fun and should be carefree.  Have fun!  :)