Monday, June 8, 2009

Blue Cheese Burgers

We made this the other night and it was amazing!!!

Blue Cheese Burgers
1 lb ground meat
1 container Blue Cheese
Grill Seasoning

In a bowl mix the meat and blue cheese together. Make sure it is all well mixed in.
Once mixed make into patties. I like making small patties and put them on rolls instead of buns.
After patties and made sprinkle with some grill seasoning. 
Then grill until cooked. 

I put my burgers on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and added some grilled onion and a special Dijon Sauce.

Dijon Sauce
Dijon Mustard

Mix all together in a small bowl. Use your own judgement on how much of each you put in!

These burgers were so great!!! The cheese was already melted into the burgers and the topping just made them to die for! 
You can also make these with ground turkey or chicken to be a bit healthier!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Great Snack

This is my new favorite snack and it is so easy to make!!

Peanut Butter and Greek Yogurt
1 cup Non Fat Greek Yogurt
3 big spoonfuls of Peanut Butter

  • In a bowl mix the yogurt and peanut butter
  • Taste and then add the honey to your liking

I love this on celery, toast, bananas, strawberries and so many other fruits. 

This is so good and I hope everyone loves it!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My great friend Heather gave me this recipe and it is so fantastic!

Poppy Seed Chicken

3 cups of cubed chicken that has been boiled
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (sub cream of mushroom if you prefer)
1 8oz container of sour cream
1 1/2 sleeves of crushed Ritz crackers
1 1/2 sticks of melted butter
2 Tablespoons of poppy seeds

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Mix together in large bowl, chicken, soup, sour cream and poppy seeds. 
  • Spread 3/4 of cracker mixture along bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. 
  • Next, place chicken mixture. 
  • Top with remaining cracker mixture. 
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hour. 
  • Let cool for 5 mins before serving.
A great side to this is roasted potatoes or wild rice!

Hope you enjoy.

Oven Fried Chicken

One of my friends Ashley sent me a great chicken recipe from The Food Network.
It is called “Oven Fried Chicken” and it is so wonderful!

Click on the link and it will take you right to the recipe.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

I love love love fish and it is so good for you. This is such a great dinner that I think most people will love.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

2-3 Tilapia filets
1 Cup flour
1 Egg
1 Cup Parmesan
1 Cup Bread Crumbs

In 3 separate plates place the flour, egg (scrambled), and parmesan with the bread crumbs
Once that is set out take a filet and cover it with the flour, then dip it in the egg, and last cover it with the parmesan and bread crumbs
While breading the fish place a large pan on the stove and drizzle some EVOO on it and let the pan and EVOO get hot over a med-high heat
Once the Tilapia is well coated with everything place it in your pan over the stove
Cook each side for about 4-5 min

This is such a great meal to eat with the Broccoli Pasta. Or another great way to eat it is get some really great fresh bread and make it a sandwich and add the condiments of your choice.
So good and so healthy!

Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli Pasta

1.5 cups any short cut pasta
1 large head of Broccoli
2 tablespoons Pesto Sauce
10 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup Parmesan
1 Lemon

Cook pasta as directed. Once cooked drain and leave in the strainer
Cut broccoli very fine and then steam
In same pan as you cooked pasta add some EVOO and the garlic. Over med-high heat and let simmer for about 1-2 minuets
Then add in pasta, broccoli, pesto, and juice of one lemon. Make sure everything is nice, warm and mixed together
Once everything is well mixed add in the parmesan cheese

This is so great! It is a great side dish or you could eat it with some grilled chicken or fish.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Salmon Cakes

I love crab cakes but unfortunately my husband can't have shell fish. So, thanks to Miss Marsha, I now have a wonderful recipe for Salmon Cakes!!!

Salmon Cakes
1 lb. of Salom
1 medium onion
3 stalks celery
2 handfuls of small baby carrots
8 garlic cloves
2 egg whites
1/2 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs

  • Broil Salmon for about 10 min or until done
  • Place in a bowl and use a fork to break up salmon into small pieces
  • Take onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and puree in a food processor
  • Once pureed place on stove over med-high heat and cook on stove for about 30 min. You want the puree to become brown in color
  • Add the puree in with the salmon and mix everything together (add in about 1 handful of dill while mixing everything together)
  • Once mixed make into small patties
  • Then dip each patty first into the egg whites, then flour, and last bread crumbs
  • In a med-high pan drizzle some EVOO and then place the patties on and cook for about 3-4 min on each side
This really is such a wonderful dinner. It is a bit more time consuming so do things in stages. I try to get a lot of the prep stuff done while my child is napping. 

I usually serve this meal with red potatoes and acorn squash.

This is so good and so healthy.


Red Potatoes

I love Red Potatoes and they are such a great side to many dinners. 

Red Potatoes
8 Red Potatoes
Fresh Parmesan Cheese

  • Heat oven to 350
  • Thinly slice the potatoes and then place in a large bowl and drizzle with EVOO and makes sure all pieces are lightly coated
  • Place in a oven safe casserole dish in even layers
  • In-between each layer sprinkle some parmesan cheese
  • Bake for around 45 min or until potatoes are tender
  • Serve with your favorite dish

This is so good and we love eating this several times a month.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Acorn Squash

I have fallen in love with Acorn Squash. It is a great side dish to any dinner. It has such a wonderful flavor that anyone will love.

Acorn Squash
2 Acorn Squash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Cut squash crosswise..each squash cuts about 3 rings
  • Take out the seeds
  • Place in dish and stir in EVOO and makes sure each ring it coated
  • Place on a baking pan and sprinkle with salt
  • Set oven to 400
  • Bake each side about 10-15 min. The rings will be golden brown
  • Serve as your side with any dinner

This is so yummy!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eggplant Herb Pasta

As I have said before, we are trying to eat less meat around here and more veggies and healthy foods. So tonight I tried my hand at making a meal with eggplant and it turned out to be wonderful. This was my first time to ever eat eggplant and I really did like it and will be eating it again.

Eggplant Herb Pasta
1 large eggplant
½ Large Package of Egg Noodles
Pesto Sauce (half the recipe)
1 Bunch Asparagus
1 Bunch Green Onion
1 Cup Feta Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

• Cut eggplant into small pieces. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 min at 400. I added some salt, pepper, and EVOO to it before placing it in the oven
• Cook Noodles as directed
• Make pesto sauce and set aside
• Place asparagus in a large cooking pan with some cooking spray and cook on medium high for about 5 minuets. Set aside
• Cut onion, dill, and parsley into fine pieces and set aside
• Once noodles are cooked drain and place into a large bowl. Drizzle some EVOO and mix until noodles are coated
• Once coated, add eggplant, asparagus, dill, onion, parsley, pesto and feta. Mix all together well.
• Then you are ready to serve

This was such a refreshing meal that I could eat all the time. It was light yet filling. I am not a fan of eggplant. I also loved all the herbs in this meal. I am getting used to new and fresh flavors that I normally don’t cook with and I love it!

Chocolate Cupcakes and Vanilla Buttercream Icing

I found this recipe at I wish I had a picture of these cupcakes but they were gone in what seemed like seconds. These are the best cupcakes I have ever had and they were really easy to make.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 ¾ cup flour
¼ cup cocoa powder 

1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water

• Preheat oven 350
• Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix
• Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and mix with dry ingredients
• Add boiling water and mix just until blended (batter will be watery)
• Pour batter into well greased cupcake pans
• Place in oven and bake 20-25 min
• Once done, let cupcakes cool on a wire rack and then add icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1/3 cup butter at room temperature
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Beat butter until creamy
Add in powdered sugar gradually
Then add milk and vanilla

These are so delicious…I hope you love them as much as I did. Visit it is a great website and has so much fun stuff on there!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Maple Glazed Chicken

I found this glaze at We eat chicken several times a week and I needed something to spice up our menu. It was really good. I added some sautéed onions on top and it was wonderful.

Maple Glazed Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts
1-2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
½ -1 Onion Sautéed
¼ Cup Maple Syrup (I used a Light Syrup)
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
¼ Teaspoon Salt
2 Garlic Cloves Minced

• Grill Chick with Salt and Pepper
• Cook rice and set aside
• In a pan place onion with a bit of oil and sauté
• In a small pot add syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and garlic. Mix well and heat over medium low heat.
• On a plate place rice, chicken, glaze, and the onions

This really was such a great dinner and healthy. You could add some great veggies on the side of this meal and it would be fantastic.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cleaning Tip of the Week

Cleaning Tip of the Week
found at

Many of us get distracted while we are cleaning the house. So, set a timer for 30 minuets and believe me you will get so much more done in those 30 minuets then you ever thought you would. 

We would love to hear about any cleaning tips, so please email me or post a comment. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Veggie Fried Rice

I have discovered a new amazing meal. Please add this to your list of dinners to make soon because you will be amazed at how good it is. Around here we have been trying to eat less meat because I think as Americans we think we have to eat meat at every meal when the fact is that you don’t. So this recipe is amazing and makes you full. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did tonight.
I heard about this recipe from the Today Show on their Cooking Segment.

Veggie Fried Rice

3-4 Cups cooked rice (I use brown rice)
2 Eggs
¼ Chicken Stock
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Bunch of Green Onion
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 ½ Cup Frozen Green Beans
1 Bunch of Asparagus Tips
4 Cloves Garlic minced
¼ Cup Cilantro
Ground Ginger
Peanut Oil
Sesame Seed Oil
Soy Sauce

• Cook 3-4 cups of brown rice and set aside
• In skillet add a good dash of peanut oil and let heat for about 1 min. Add in Red Bell Pepper and Green Onion. Cook at medium high for about 3-4 min. Once cooked place contents in a bowl.
• In same skillet add a dash more peanut oil and add in Peas, Green Beans, and Asparagus Tips. Cook at high for about 5 minuets. Once cooked place contents in same bowl as onion and pepper.
• In same skillet, add a dash of peanut oil, garlic, dash of ginger and cooked rice. Stir and make sure there are no clumps. Make a whole in the middle and add in 2 eggs. Scramble the eggs into the rice mixture. Once rice and eggs are mixed add in Chicken Stock, Sesame Seed Oil, and Soy Sauce.
• After that is well mixed add in all the veggies and stir. Take off the stove and add in cilantro and then serve.

I know this seems like a lot to do but it really didn’t take that long especially if you prepare and cut all veggies before hand. To me it seemed like there was a lot of oil but I just add a dash and it really isn’t that much. This was so good. If you have other favorite veggies use them I sure it would taste good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This is a great helpful hint given to me by William Collins. 

When making your wonderful PB&J put peanut butter on both pieces of bread and then add the jelly. Doing this keeps the bread from getting soggy from the jelly soaking into the bread.
Try this next time you make your PB&J and see how much better it taste!

Also, try making the PB&J with natural or organic peanut butter. Natural and organic peanut butters don't have the high-fructose corn syrup that non organic ones do.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Local Harvest

Check out the website to find farmers markets, CSAs, and more in your area. 
It is important that we support our local farmers. Besides the benefit of support, you are able to buy natural and organic foods that are so much more healthy for your family. 
If you know of any other good websites for local farmers markets please email me or leave a comment.

Cara's Chinese Dinner

I have really been in the mood lately for Chinese food, so tonight I thought I would make my own Chinese restaurant style dish.

Cara’s Chinese
Rice Noodles
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Thinly sliced carrots (from the bag)
3 Chicken Breast
Peanut Sauce

• Cook noodles as directed on box
• Grill Chicken with a bit of salt and pepper and once done cut into small pieces
• Cut squash and zucchini into thin slices
• Add squash, zucchini, and carrots into a skillet cooking at medium high. Add some soy sauce. Cover with lid for about 3 minuets. Lift cover and stir. Let cook with lid off for about 5 more min.

Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic minced

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Constantly stirring. Once melted and thickened up it is ready to serve.

In a bowl place noodles, veggie mix, chicken, peanut sauce, and a hand full of peanuts.

This is a great meal when you feel you want some Chinese takeout!
I got the recipe for the Peanut Sauce from In their recipe they added lemon juice but I didn’t add that into mine and it tasted fin.

Bon Appetite

"Eat This Not That"

This is such an amazing book that everyone should run out and get. There is so much insight to food in this book.

“Eat This Not That” Supermarket guide is so insightful on what items you should buy and which ones you should stay away from. Going through this book I have, many times, thought I was getting the better product but actually I wasn’t.

“Eat This Not That” Eating Out guide is wonderful. It gives list of popular chain restaurants and what to order and what not to order. It is amazing that making small improvements in your meal ordering can save you so many calories.

Please go right now and get these books. They will give you great insight on food that you won’t believe.

My Pantry

As requested, here are some pictures of my pantry.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Organize That Kitchen

I am all about organization in my life. I have many calendars, notepads, boxes, selves and the list goes on. So, when it comes to my kitchen I do not fall short of organization. 

The two most helpful things that has kept my pantry looking good and organized are a GLASS JAR and BAKING PAN. These two items alone have made my pantry wonderful.

So how do I organize with these items. Well things like Goldfish, cereal bars, pasta, pretzels, popcorn bags, oatmeal, rasin boxes and such are placed in their own induvidual jar. The jars are glass so I can see what goes where and when you are running out of something. 

In the baking pans I have things such as breads, liquids, soup cans, spices, nuts, rice boxes, cereal, and chips. 

This is such a great way to keep things organized and clean looking in your pantry

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cleaning Tip of the Week

Cleaning Tip of the Week
from Real Simple 

When trying to clean those glass pans or even your oven rack try using Aluminum Foil. Just roll up some foil and wash. Add a bit of soap and you will be good to go. 

For even more cleaning tips go to

Block Cheese vs.Pre-Shredded Cheese

For about 1 year now I have opted to buy block cheese instead of Pre-Shredded Cheese. At times it is annoying that I have to shred my own cheese, but I feel that it is healthier me and my family. 

Pre-Shredded Cheese has about 4 added ingredients than block cheese. They are

The reason why I stopped buying Pre-Shredded Cheese was because of the Calcium Sulfate. It just really bothered me to have a chemical in my cheese and I knew that if I just spend several minuets shredding myself that I wouldn't consume any extra chemical. 

There are so many chemicals in the things that we eat these days that if there is anyway to prevent them you should. On Monday afternoon, after my trip to the store, it takes me about 5 minuet to shred my cheese. I then put it in a container and put it in the fridge and I know all week  I will have fresh cheese!

Try it you will taste the difference!

Snack of the Week

My pick for Snack of the Week

Wheat Thins Tomato and Basil

These are so amazing and addictive!!! I love them.

Super Easy Mac and Cheese

This is one of my favorite Mac and Cheese recipes. It takes virtually no time and energy.

Super Easy Mac and Cheese
1 Cup Elbow Pasta
1 Can Cream of Cheddar Soup
1/2 Soup Can Milk
1/2 Soup Can Water

--Cook pasta as dirceted drain and then place back into pot.
--Add in Cheddar Soup, Milk and Water
--Mix well together

That is ALL!!! This is a great dinner and kids love this too.

Tonight I served mine with BBQ Turkey Sausage on Hawaiian Rolls.

To make the BBQ Turkey Sausage I cut 2 packages of Oscar Meyer Turkey Smoked Sausage into small pieces and place into a pan. Add in Kraft Original BBQ Sauce (as much as you would like) and I add a bit of Franks Buffalo Sauce. Let simmer on the stove for about 1 hour. Then just place on rolls!!

So easy and it makes enough for leftovers!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Avocado Chicken Salad

This is one of out staple meals around here. Thanks to one of my great friends Mandy who I got this salad recipe from.

Avocado Chicken Salad
1 Head of Lettus
Feta Cheese
1-2 Avocados
1 Jar Hearts of Palm
1-2 Medium Tomatoes
2-3 Marinaded Chicken
Italian Dressing (recipe in archives)

--Clean and cut lettus in small pieces and set aside.
--Cut avocado, hearts of palm, and tomatoes into small pieces.
--Grill marinaded chicken (marinade to liking) and then cut into small pieces. 
--In a large bowl put lettus, avocado, tomato, feta cheese crumbles, and chicken. 
--Top with Italian Dressing and then mix together. 

Such a great salad that is not heavy. I love it because it is so filling but you don't feel bad after eathing it live some salads. 

You can use this as a side salad is you don't add in the chicken. It goes great with salmon!! Mandy made it for us with Salmon and it made the meal so wonderful!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fast Dinner

So today was one of those days where I just really didn't feel like being in the kitchen. So that leaves me with the question of what can I do for dinner. 

Well here was what we had: 
1 Rotisserie Chicken
Texas Toast
Brown Rice

This was such an easy meal where I really didn't spend more than 20 min. in the kitchen from start to beginning.

I usually get my Rotisserie Chicken from Kroger but many grocery stores carry them.

Hope this is a good idea for those days you just don't want to cook!

Warm Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This is my first time to make an artichoke and spinach dip. I love that it is made with low fat yogurt and mayo because that helps so much at cutting out unnecessary calories.

Warm Artichoke and Spinach Dip
1/2 Plain Low Fat Yogurt
1/4 Light Mayo
1/2 Parmesan Cheese
1 14oz. can Artichoke Hearts, drain and chop
1/2 Package Frozen Chopped Spinach
Black Pepper

Mix everything together in a medium mixing bowl. Make sure everything is mixed well. 
Once mixed place into a oven safe dish (I use a 8x8) and then place in the oven at 350 for 20 min.

This is a great dip that isn't as high in fat as some artichoke dips out there. I serve mine with Wheat Thins. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Taco Pocket

I love this meal. I got the idea from the Rachael Ray Show but I made it my own by not doing exactly what she did. It was only my second time to make it but it turned out so great tonight!

Taco Pockets 
1 lb. Ground Meat
1 Taco Seasoning Packet
Shredded Cheese
1 Small Onion
1 Medium Tomato
Hot Sauce
Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tortillas

--Put Ground Meat and contents from Taco Seasoning in a bowl. With you hands (I use gloves) make sure seasoning is well mixed into the meat.
--Divide into 4 sections and from those section make 4 patties. Grill to liking.
--Cut onion into thin pieces and then place in a pan with about 1/2 table spoon butter. While sauteing add several dashes of Balsamic Vinegar. 
--Warm tortillas in oven on low setting while food is cooking. 
--Once the meat is cooked take a patty and place it in the center of a tortilla.
--Then add cheese, tomato, onion, hot sauce. If their are more topping add them as you like.
--Then fold the tortilla. Fold in front and back sides and then the left and right sides. It should look somewhat like a square. 
--Once folded turn over and cut at a diagonal. 

This is so easy not too many components. I put on tons of hot suace and I love that it doesn't ever drip because it is in a pocket. It is a new fun way to make a Mexican flavored meal. 
You could also try it with many other topping and flavors if you are wanting something other than Mexican. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Save Money when Eating Out

Since everyone is saving their pennies these days, I have a few great tips for helping save some money when you go out to eat. 
--Try to go to restaurants where you don't have to tip. Some examples are Chipotle, Panera Bread, Corner Bakery, Moe's, Dickey's BBQ, and other places like that. If you eat out a lot you end up spending so much money on just the tip alone. If you do this several times a week or month you will see some extra bills in your wallet.
--When you go to a sit down restaurant try just getting water. Water is free so that is great.
--Last, try take out. One of my favorite restaurants here in Atlanta can get somewhat expensive. So on Sunday night I go get the food to go! This is a great way to have our favorite food but you usually don't end up spending as much money when you go and sit down. 

Hope this helps. If you have suggestion please share them with us!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Homemade Apple Pie

I have found a great EASY apple pie recipe. I found it on the website

Pie Crust
2 Cups Flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 Veggie Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Apple Pie Filling
6 Green Apples, skinned and diced
1 cup sugar
Dash of Salt
Several Sprinkles of Cinnamon
Dash of Vanilla

Mix in a bowl all together. 
Once it is well mixed divide into two pieces. 
Work dough into a ball and then roll out each piece.
Place on piece in bottom of a pie dish. 
Then add Apple Pie filling...(Place all six dices apples in bowl and add in the other ingredients and let stand covered for about 10-15 mins).
Place small pieces of butter in about 5 places around the pie.
Next add the second crust.
Cut in several places to let air out.
Bake in oven at 350 or 45-50 mins.

I like to serve with some BlueBell Ice Cream!!

This really takes no time at all and it is such a wonderful pie!

Chipotle Slaw

This Chipotle Slaw is so good. I use this on my Fish Taco.
It can be used on Burgers as well. 

Chipotle Slaw
1.5 Cup Packaged Cole Slaw
1 Lemon
1/4 cup Jalapeno Peppers
1/4 cup Spicy Ranch Dressing
Salt and Pepper

Mix about 1.5 cups packaged slaw, 1 lemon juiced, 1/4 cup jalapeno peppers, 1/4 cup spicy ranch dressing, dash of salt and pepper, and some cilantro in a bowl.
If you want a creamery slaw add in more spicy ranch.


Sliders (mini hamburgers) are one of my favorite foods. It is a great meal to serve when you have people over for dinner.

1-2 lbs. of meat (depending on how many you are feeding)
Rolls (either bought or use my whole wheat yeast rolls)
Soy Sauce

Prepare meat by dividing into small sections and pat them out into a mini patty. Then drizzle some soy sauce over patties followed by pepper.
Grill to liking. 
Before taking off grill add some cheese so it will start to melt.
Place on Rolls and add pickle.
Top to liking.

There you have it a supper easy meal that everyone would like!

I served with tater tots that I got from the frozen food section and then just cooked in oven.
As an appetizer for dinner, I made my great avocado dip. 
If you want my Chipotle Slaw would go great on top!

Have fun with this it is so good!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Keep Your Money in Your Pocket

Grocery Store Saving Tip

When shopping for goods on the grocery store aisle keep your eyes away from the middle. Grocery stores tend to put the more expensive items at eye level. So when looking for something of interest, look high and low before putting anything is your shopping cart.
Also, don't be afraid to by the store brand product. In 95% of cases the store brand is made with the same ingredients as the name brand, but you are going to spend less money.
Try these two tips for a month and see how much money you save. 
Good luck shoppers!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spinach Stuffed Pasta

This is a great super easy meal. It is a great dinner for those nights you don't want to eat meat, and it is filling.

Spinach Stuffed Pasta
Jumbo Pasta Shells (10-12)
Pasta Sauce
Ricotta Cheese
Frozen Spinach

Cook Pasta As Directed. I use about 10-12 of the jumbo pasta shells.
Saute frozen spinach over the stove until warm. 
Add in Ricotta cheese, as much as you would like.
Once pasta is cooked and drained place shells in an oven safe dish. 
Scoop in spinach cheese mixture. 
Poor pasta sauce over pasta shells and place in oven.
I cook it at 300 until pasta sauce starts to bubble. (10-12 min).

Then place several shells on each plate and I serve it with a side salad. 

This meal is also good for leftovers. Kids love this meal as well and I usually serve theirs with a veggie instead of a salad.

When you don't have too much time or want a non meat meal this is a winner!

Bon Appetite


Mexican food is one of my favorites. Growing up in Texas I had a lot to choose from. I didn't get my weekend edition of Fajitas so I made some the other night and they turned out wonderful and were so easy.

Cara's Fajitas
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
1 lb flat iron steak
1 packet fajita seasoning
Dash of soy sauce
Sour Cream

Thinly slice the green and red bell peppers along with the onion ( I used 2/3 of the onion). Then place all in a well greased skillet.
Thinly slice the meat and also place in skillet.
I then put a dash of soy sauce and the packet of fajita seasoning. 
Mix all together and cook until meat is cook through. I had my stove at a Med. High.

Then serve on a warm flour tortilla. I garnished with cheese and sour cream.

I served mexican rice and refried beans along side. 

It was a great mexican restaurant quality meal right at home, and it wasn't expensive. 

Bon Appetite

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Truvia is a new non-calorie that I love and it is the only sweetener that I can use. Most other artificial sweeteners out there have an ingredient call aspartame. Aspartame causes me to get horrible headaches, therefore I cannot use. 

Aspartame  isn't know as being that great or healthy for you. If you want more indepth information on Aspartame then click on it and it will take you to the link. 

Truvia is a great more natural way sweeten your drink. 
If you go to there website, linked above, there is more information so you can learn more about it.

No Cook Dinner

Not feeling like being in the kitchen cooking tonight? Well no need to worry, I have the perfect solution. 
Whole Foods has a great dinner waiting for you. Whole Foods now offers what they call "Whole Value Meals" for a family of 4 at $14.99. 
This includes a great Entry, Side, and Salad. They will switch what they offer to eat every couple of weeks. My family loves this. It is a good wholesome meal but I don't have to worry about cooking. There is plenty of leftover, since there are only 2 of us and a baby, that my husband then packs for lunch. 

If there is a Whole Food close to you go by and check this out. You will love it and you will be amazed how good it is!

I would love to hear from those who have tried this. Let a message to share with others!

Easy Diner for Baby

This is a winning dinner at our house for my baby. Since kids can sometimes be picky this is a great recipe for getting kids to eat a good portion of their food groups.

Meat and Veggie Mac and Cheese
1 cup of elbow noodles
Evaporated Milk
Velveta Cheese
Ground Turkey
1 cup peas
1 cup corn

Cook the pasta as directed and then drain. Add some evaporated milk and Velveta cheese. I don't have a specific measurement I just eye it to the consistency that I like. You can use butter but I try not to use too much.
Ground Turkey, drain and rinse with warm water. Add to pasta mix.
Then add in peas and corn. Use either fresh or frozen.
Mix it all together and serve. 
I like to serve with a side of fruit.
This makes enough to have all week long or freeze for later. 
My daughter loves this and is still eating it at almost 2 years old. 

You can always use red meat, but I like the ground turkey because it is a bit healthier. You could also use shreds from a rotisserie chicken to mix in. 

So easy and I guarantee that any child will eat this even the picky ones!

Bon Appetite

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two Baby Products and a Website

I know that so many of you out there have babies or knows someone with a baby....So I am going to share two amazing products with you. 
These products are great for helping mothers make their own fresh baby food fast and effectively. 

1. Beaba Babycook... I did not have this product but I knew some moms who did and was I jealous of them. I prepares fresh food for babies, makes enough to freeze, and is super easy to clean. Roll over the name and read about at the William-Sonoma website. This will cost you a pretty penny but in my opinion it is well worth it.
2. Dex- Electric Baby Food Processor... This is the product that I used. This is not as fancy as #1 but it does the job. This does not steam the food for you, so that part is up to you. This is just a great small device that helps you blend it all together so you can give you baby a good fresh homemade meal when they cannot eat solids yet. 
3. Wholesome Baby Food... This is a great site that has a wealth of knowledge. It has so many nutirtion facts and easy homemade baby recipes. If you are thinking about homemade baby food or are running out of ideas of what to feed you baby check out this site. It is also a great resource on food facts.

Hope this will help moms out there. Making baby food doesn't have to be a hassle. If you set aside an hour once a week you can make a weeks worth of food that your baby will love. 

Kitchen Cleaning Tip

Tip of the week for a better cleaner kitchen

When cleaning kitchen counters always clean from back to front. This way all the extra little particles don't get stuck in corners or up against the back splash. 
By doing this little trick it will make you kitchen feel and be so much cleaner. 

Easy Homemade Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my husbands favorite meals. The lasagna that I make is so easy anyone one can do this. It also taste great as a leftover and freezes well.

Easy Lasagna
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 jar Ragu Original Sauce
Ricotta Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Lasagna Noodles (about 6-8 broken in half)
Oregano Leaves
Garlic Powder

Cook noodles as directed on box.
Cook meet in a large pan until cooked through. Then drain and rinse with warm water. Return to pan.
Add in jar of pasta sauce and ricotta cheese (as much as you like). I mix in cheese until the red of the sauce turn to a pink tint.
Add some dashes of oregano and garlic. Stir all in until well mixed.
I use a 9x9 Pyrex dish. Spray with non stick spray. 
I use 4 noodles for each layer.

Layer (3x):
Meat Mixture

Place in  oven at 400 and cook until golden brown on top and bubbly.

Great sides dishes are caesar salad, green beans and rolls (i use the whole wheat yeast mixture to make rolls). 

This really doesn't take too much time and it is so great. Everyone in the family will love this. 
If you have a larger family or want more to save over then just double recipe. 

Bon Appetite 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Label Reader

Since having a child I have been more conscious of what I am buying from the store and what ingredients my food has in it.
There is a show on TV I love to watch and it is call The Doctors. In a segment on food they listed 3 things to watch out for when buying food. 

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup... Many people believe it to be natural or good for you when in fact it is worse for your body then regular table sugar. 
2. Hydrogenated Oil... This is also known as Trans Fat. This type of fat heightens bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. HO's are used now a days so much more because they prolong they shelf life of a product. 
3. Artificial Food Dyes... AFD's are really not good for they body. It is now being discovered that there is a link between AFD and ADHD. 

On the right side of the blog I have a link to 3 different websites that discuss each of these 3 things at length. Also, If you roll over the Bold Italic words it will take you to the websites as well. 

Keeping our kids and families healthy is such an important task. I know I am not perfect and don't read every label of food but I try my hardest. The best thing is, if you can, buy as much organic food as possible. Organic foods might cost a bit more but search or coupons and local grocery store for deals. If you can lower the intake of these 3 things as much as possible in your life you will be healthier for doing it.

If you have any questions or comments about this topic I would love to hear from you. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Keeping In Touch

Don't forget I would love to hear about some of your favorite recipes and ideas. 

Feel free to always email me at

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chipotle Slaw Fish Tacos

There is a Tex-Mex restruant here in GA that we love to go to and they have great fish my goal was to recreate them at home. So easy and so wonderful.

Chipotle Slaw Fish Tacos
4 filets of either Mahi Mahi or Talapia 
Flour or Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 Avocado
Package of Coleslaw
1 Lemon
Jalapeno Peppers
Spicy Ranch Dressing
Salt and Pepper
Grill or Bake Fish until fully cooked... season to liking.
Heat Tortillas in oven for about 3-4 min.
Mix About 1.5 cup slaw, 1 lemon juice, 1/4 jalapeno peppers, 1/4 cup spicy ranch, dash of salt and pepper, and cilantro in a bowl. If you want creamery slaw mix in more spicy ranch.

On heated tortillas add fish, several avocado slices, and slaw mix. 
Serve with chip and queso or avocado dip (listed below), spanish rice, and refried beans.

Great restaurant quality food at home at a fraction of the cost.

Bon Appetite!

Sugar Cookies and Icing

These are some great cookies that I made today for the first time. I did them for Valentine's day but they are clearly wonderful for anytime of the year.

Sugar Cookies
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoon milk
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash or two of vanilla and cinnamon

In Mixer mix butter, sugar, milk, egg.
Once well blended add flour, baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon.
If mixture looks too dry add a bit more of milk and vanilla.

Once mixture is fully mixed spoon onto cooking sheet. 
Bake at 350 for about 8-10 min or until golden brown around edges.
Makes about 20-24.

Once fully cooled add icing.

2.5-3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons of milk
Dash of Salt

Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl. 
The icing should have a smooth and not too thick texture.

Once mixed Ice away!!
I like to add sprinkles.
You can always add food coloring to add color to your cookies.

Bon Appetite!

Italian Salad Dressing

Since starting to read labels more and more I have found that even simple things like salad dressing has so much added stuff in it that we just don't need. So I have made my own Italian Salad dressing and it is so wonderful and fresh tasting.

Italian Salad Dressing
.5 cup oil
.5 red wine vinegar
.5 (+/-) water
1 envelope Italian Dressing
2.5-3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

Just mix everything together and chill. 
If you think there is a taste that is overwhelming then take away or add what you feel the need too.
This is just a blueprint but feel free to change to your liking. Don't be afraid to add to it either!

Bon Appetite

Pumpkin Bread

I have had is recipe for about 13 years now and I still love it.  I love fixing my Pumpkin Bread in the fall/winter. It is a great small gift to give to people around the holidays. This recipe goes out to Miss Marsha!

Pumpkin Bread
3.5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups pumpkin

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.
Beat salad oil, eggs, water, and pumpkin.
Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix well.
Pour into either 2 greased 9x5 loaf pans or 8 greased mini loaf pans
Bake at 350 
9x5 for 1 hour 15 min.
Mini loaf for 30 min.
Always check with a baking stick to see if it comes out clear before removing from oven.

The Pumpkin Bread also freezes well. 
Have this with a nice hot cup of tea and you will be in heaven!

Bon Appetite!

Cinnamon Roll Icing

This is the best icing and it takes about 3 min to make

1.5 cups powdered sugar
Milk (Whole if you have it)

In a bowl pour in powdered sugar. 
With a whisk stir in milk until you get to the consistency you like. Less milk the thicker the icing. 
Then pour over warm cinnamon rolls.

Serve with an ice cold glass of milk.

Bon Appetite

Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesn't love Cinnamon Rolls. Unlike the store bought brands of cinnamon rolls these have so much less fat and calories but they also have no hydrogenated oils or artificial ingredients. Therefore you don't have to feel guilty about eating them.

Cinnamon Rolls
Whole wheat yeast rolls

Take the whole wheat yeast rolls from previous entry and roll out in as much of a square shape as possible. (The yeast recipe will make 2 batches of cinnamon rolls)
Once rolled out take soft butter and with hands smooth over the dough
The sprinkle as much cinnamon and sugar on as you would like.
Then roll the dough and cut about 1-1.5 inches apart. 
Place in a well greased pan and cook at 350 until golden brown.

This is such a great Saturday morning treat!

Bon Appetite!

Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls

After trying about 6 recipes for yeast rolls I finally found one that was perfect. This came from website.

Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 cups hot water
2 beaten eggs
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter softened 
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup water
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white flour

Put sugar, butter and 1.5 cups hot water in mixer bowl and set aside to cool. When cools down add beaten eggs.
Sprinkle Yeast on top of 1/2 cup warm water and let sit for 10 min.
After 10 min. add in yeast and water mixture to mixer bowl and add in salt and 1/2 cup flour.
Mix until smooth.
Add rest of flour to mixture.
Then knead for about 10 min.
Place in bowl and cover, let stand until double in size
Once double in size, cut in half, knead, and then use as you would like.

This bakes at 350 until brown.

I have used this recipe for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and loaf of bread and it always turns out fantastic.

Bon Appetite!

Taco Soup

Taco soups is such an amazing classic recipe. It is so super easy and it freezes so well. 

Taco Soup
1 lb. ground turkey
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Sweet Corn
1 package Taco Seasoning
2 packages Ranch Dressing
1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes

Brown ground turkey.
Open all cans and empty in soup pot, juices and all.
Add season packets to turkey.
Add turkey to soup pot and heat.
Serve with Tortilla Chips
Garnish with Cheese, Sour Cream, and/or Avocado

A dear family friend gave me this recipe many years ago and it has become a fall/winter classic in our house. This soup taste so amazing the next day when all the flavors can really blend together and soak in.

Bon Appetite!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don't Break The Bank

Since everyone wants to save a penny here and there, I have a great website to help do just that when it comes to groceries!

It is The Coupon Game....

It is a great way to help you save money at the grocery store. Before joining, I would suggest watching the video so you know what it is about, to me at first it was a bit confusing. 
I joined just this past week and it has already saved me money at the store. 

Hope this will help keep your pockets filled with some extra cash!

Baking Must Haves

There are several things that each kitchen needs to keep on hand in order to bake. So, here is my list of necessities.

1. All Purpose Flour
2. Whole Wheat Flour
3. Sugar
4. Light and Dark Brown Sugar
5. Baking Soda
6. Baking Powder
7. Pure Vanilla Extract
8. Dry and Active Dry  Yeast
9. Powdered Sugar
10. Cooking Spray
11. Butter

Keep these on hand and you be able to bake almost anything in an instant.

What Every Kitchen Needs

Here are some great thing that I have and use in my kitchen on a regular basis that I think every kitchen should have.

1. Kitchen Aid Mixer... if you don't have one go and and get one now!!!
2. Food processor... I got mine from Target, it doesn't have to be fancy.
4. Clorox Anywhere cleaner... it is safe to use around kids, food and pets.
5. A great candle... I personally love candles from Anthropologie and Tyler Candle Company.
6. A great set of knives... I use these daily and good knives are a bit expensive but so worth it.
7. Good Utensils... you need good cooking utensils because it makes a difference, you don't have to spend too much, Target has good Kitchen Aid utensils that won't break the bank.
8. Pots and Pans... this is an area to splurge, William-Sonoma is the place to go

If you have anything else that is a kitchen must please let me know.

Cleaning Tip

Here is a great cleaning tip for your kitchen.

At least once a week I take a lemon cut it in half and clean my counters and stove with it. 
I think it really keeps things looking and smelling good.

Just squeeze some juice on the counters and wipe it down. When I clean my stovetop I rub the whole surface with the lemon and it gets ride of much of the stains.

Hope this will help you!

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

This is one of my favorite meals. My sister in law and her husband made this dish for last year when we had a family vacation at the beach! Thank you Sarah and Steven!

Caribbean Jerk Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Caribbean Jerk Marinade
1 Avocado
1 Tomato
1 Can of Sliced Pineapples
4 Swiss Cheese Slices
Hamburger Buns

Marinade the chicken breasts for several hours and then grill till cooked through
Place buns in ovens so that they can warm about 5-7 min. on lowest setting
Once grilled place chicken on bun and then top with cheese, slice of tomato, and avocado slices

This is a great easy good makes me always think of spring and summer time.
Serve with the Avocado Dip below, baked beans, or sweet potato fries!

Bon Appetite!

Avocado Dip

This is a great dip that we usually have about one a week with dinner. It isn't hard at all!!

Avocado Dip
3 freash avocado
2 juicy limes or lemons 
1-2 small-medium tomatoes
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (you decide how much)
Emeril's Original Essence (you decide how much)

Just cut up the avocado and place in a bowl and smash it til the chunks are small
Squeeze the fresh lime or lemon juice
Add the tomatoes
Add however much of the seasonings you like...I like things a bit on the salty side so I add more but if you just want some for taste then just add several dashes.

This is a great dip to serve at parties or just at home.
We love to also put it on our burgers or chicken sandwiches.

If you have some dip leftover here are three things to do to make sure your dip lasts till the next day...
1. save at least one of the avocado seeds and put in the bowl when done
2. squeeze some lime or lemon juice on top 
3. put suran wrap over the bowl and then cover with a lid and then place in the refrigerator!

Bon Appetite

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homemade Pizza Dough

This is a great easy homemade pizza dough recipe I found from

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 teaspoon sugar
1.5 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups all purpose flour

Warm water and put sugar in...then sprinkle yeast on top (let stand 10min.)
Stir in oil and salt
Then mix whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour
After mixing for about 2-3 min. put dough on surface and hand mix in .5 cup remaining flour
Put in bowl cover, let stand for at least an hour, it should double in size
Once doubled divide into 2 pieces and let stand another 45min-1hour
Roll into two pizza crusts and top with your liking
Preheat oven to 425 and cook for 16min

This crust is amazing. 
This will make 2 thin crust pizzas or if you like thick pizza crust then don't dived and just roll out.

Bon Appetite!

Pesto Pizza

I have been making this pizza for awhile now and it is one of my favorites

Pizza Ingredients
2-3 fresh tomatoes (you decide) I chop up into small pieces or you can do larger pieces
2 grilled and marinaded chicken cut into small pieces (whatever your favorite marinade is...on this pizza I use Caribbean Jerk Marinade)
1-1.5 cups mozzarella cheese (if you can by fresh that makes it even better)
Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
Pesto Sauce (from previous entry)

Put pesto sauce on pizza dough 
Then top with cheese, tomatoes, and chicken

Bon Appetite 

Pesto Sauce

I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit from the website

Pesto Sauce
3-4 garlic cloves
3.5-4 cups basil leaves (if buying from Kroger 3.25 containers worth)
1 cup (+/-) EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 cup (+/-) parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts
dash of salt and pepper

Put all in a food processor and blend it together. 

This is amazing. The color of it is so wonderful. When you buy pesto store bought it is a darker green...but when home made it is a wonderful bright green and the taste is soooo fresh and great!

I put this on a homemade pizza...recipe to follow.
This can also be used on pasta.

Bon Appetite!

Cara's Cookin'

Hello Everyone

My name is Cara and I am a 25 year old stay at home mom.

One of my favorite things to do is cook. But since I have a 2 year old that needs much attention my time in the kitchen is limited. I love to make food that is easy but wonderful and delicious!
Also I have started to realized that so many of the ingredients in food from the store is so bad for you and unnecessary my goal is to make my family healthier foods in a short amount of time. 

I am excited to share my growing recipe box with all of you. 

If you have any questions or would like to contribute please email me at

Bon Appetite