I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spinach and Cheese Panini

Very quick to make and good too.  The best part is it's low in calories.  A little shaved turkey or chicken would be really good and even more filling.  It's only about  150 calories without the meat.




SPINACH AND CHEESE PANINI
 (makes 1)

Ingredients:
*1 cup baby spinach (stems removed)
*4-6 cherry (or grape) tomatoes, sliced
*2 small mushrooms, sliced (optional)
*1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*1 sandwich thin (I like the honey wheat)
*sprinkle of dried oregano
*sprinkle of dried basil

Directions:
~Slice sandwich thin.
~Arrange spinach over bottom of sandwich thin.
~Place tomatoes over spinach.
~Sprinkle oregano & basil over the tomatoes.
~Place sliced mushrooms over the tomatoes.
~Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top.
~Put top bun over cheese.
~Spray a small skillet (or a Panini maker) with a cooking spray.
~Cook over medium-low heat.
~If using a small skillet, place a heavy skillet or aluminum lined brick on top of the sandwich.
~Cook until both sides are a golden brown (if using a skillet, you will have to flip the sandwich).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Veggie Pasta

One pot easy meal.  Great for a side dish or for a meatless meal.  Grill some chicken to put over it is also very good.



VEGGIE PASTA
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 (12 ounce) box of linguine
*2 large tomatoes, diced
*1 large sweet onion, cut into slices
*6 garlic cloves, sliced
*1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
*1/2 green pepper, sliced & seeds removed
*1/2 red pepper, sliced & seeds removed
*1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it).
*3 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 tablespoons butter
*1/2 -1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
~Throw linguine, tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms, green pepper, red pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil & chicken stock into a large pot.
~Drizzle olive oil over top.
~Cover and bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
~Stir salt, pepper & Parmesan cheese into mixture, making sure that any liquid remaining is mixed in well too.



Variation:
`Cook in slow cooker method:
 ~Bring chicken stock to a boil.
 ~Pour chicken stock into slow cooker, add linguine, tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms,  green pepper, red pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano & basil.
 ~Stir every hour if possible.
 ~Add salt, pepper & Parmesan cheese into mixture & serve.



Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chicken Chimichangas

Mmmmm!   Great with a side of Mexican rice.  Not too spicy, but you can make it spicier.   You can add rice or beans to the chimichangas if you would like.  I make my own chicken broth for the enchilada sauce, but if you want to make it quicker, use store bought.  You can bake this to make it less fattening.





CHICKEN CHIMICHANGAS
(makes 6)

Ingredients:
*1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
*4 cups water
*2 carrots, peeled & cut in half
*2 celery stalks, with tops
*1 small yellow onion, peeled & cut in half
*1 garlic clove, cut in half
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
*3 tablespoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
*1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 yellow onion, diced
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
*1 tablespoon, chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 -2 (4 1/2 ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained
*6 (10 inch) flour tortillas.
*1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
*3 cups vegetable oil for frying.

Directions:
~Place chicken breast, water, carrots, celery, small onion and 1 garlic clove into a medium saucepan.
~Cover and bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is done (about 30-40 minutes).
~Remove chicken breast and shred (I use my kitchen aid mixer to do this).
~Strain chicken stock through a sieve (discard veggies).
~Set chicken stock aside.
~In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.
~In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
~Whisk in flour and whisk continuously for 1 minute.
~Add in mixed seasonings.
~Slowly add in 2 cups of chicken stock.
~Whisk until mixture comes to a boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
~Remove enchilada sauce from heat and set aside.
~In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
~In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
~Add diced onions, cook until translucent.
~Add in minced garlic & mixed seasonings.
~Add shredded chicken and mix well.
~Stir in green chilies and heat through (about 3-4  minutes)
~Remove from heat.
~In a large skillet, heat 3 cups oil, to 360 degrees.
~Heat flour tortillas (wrapped in wet paper towels) for about 10-15 seconds.
~Spread around 3/4 cup of chicken mixture down the center of a flour tortilla.
~Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheddar cheese over chicken mixture.
~Fold ends in over chicken mixture, then roll tortilla up.
~Using tongs, carefully place chimichangas folded side down into oil (do not do more than 2 at a time).
~Cook until golden brown, and turn cooking all sides until they are golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
~Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.
~Top with enchilada sauce.

Variations:
`Reduce the amount of chicken mixture by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup rice or refried beans.
`Top with sour cream.
`Top with diced jalapeno peppers.

**You can bake this to make it less calories if you prefer.
   ~Heat oven to 400 degrees.
   ~Spray wrapped tortillas with cooking spray.
   ~Bake for 20-30 minutes (flipping half way through) or until tortilla  is a golden brown.

Monday, May 12, 2014

No Bake Raspberry Lemon Mini Cheesecake

If you like lemon flavor & you like cheesecake, you are going to love this.  Very easy to make.  It's only time consuming, because it needs to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours.   The little bit of raspberry sauce on top, makes it irresistible.





NO BAKE RASPBERRY LEMON Mini CHEESECAKE
(30 mini cheesecakes)

Ingredients:
*1 pint fresh raspberries
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*2 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
*2 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 cup very cold wateru*20 sheets graham crackers (2 cups)
*3/4 cups butter, melted
*2 tablespoon granulated sugar
*2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
*1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed


Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and orange juice.
~In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth.
~Add mixture to saucepan and bring mixture to a boil.
~Turn down stove to a simmer and simmer mixture for 4-6 minutes, stirring continuously until it starts to thicken.
~Puree sauce with a blender until smooth.
~Strain through cheesecloth or a sieve to remove seeds.
~Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
~Fill cupcakes pans with paper liners.
~Place graham cracker into a large resealable plastic bag.
~Crush with rolling pin or meat mallet until you have very fine crumbs or use a food processor.
~In a medium bowl, mix graham crackers crumbs, melted butter and 2 tablespoons sugar together.
~Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the paper liners.
~Chill in freezer for 15 minutes.
~In a mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
~Beat in sweetened condensed milk, scraping the sides of the bowl.
~Beat in lemon juice & vanilla until well mixed.
~Gently fold in cool whip.
~Pour filling into liners to the top.
~Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
~Remove from cupcake pans & spoon raspberry sauce over the cheesecakes.

Variation:
`Make in a 9-inch springfoam pan









Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pizza Lasagna Casserole

A little bit of pizza and a little bit of lasagna makes for a very yummy casserole.   This recipe can also be cooked in a slow cooker.  If you like a little more kick to your food, use spicy Italian Sausage in place of sweet Italain sausage.





PIZZA LASAGNA CASSEROLE
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*1 pound lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
*1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
*1 pound ground beef
*1 yellow onion, chopped
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
*2 (12 ounce cans) tomato sauce
*1/2 cup water
*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
*2 bay leaves
*1 tablespoon sugar
*2 teaspoons salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 pound ricotta cheese
*1 egg
*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/4 cup sliced pepperoni
*1/2 pound fresh small mozzarella cheese balls
*1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or 1/4 pound Mozzerella cheese cut into pieces)


Directions:

~In a large pan, cook sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until browned.
~Drain off any grease.
~Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, 1 tablespoon parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, sugar, salt & pepper.
~Bring to a boil, simmer and for 1 hour.
~In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
~Season water with a little salt and drop lasagna noodles in water.
~Boil for 10 minutes and remove from stove.
~Drain any water off of it.
~Mix tomato mixture over the noodles.
~In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, 1 tablespoon parsley & oregano.
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Mix ricotta cheese mixture & fresh mozzarella cheese balls into noodle mixture until just until lightly mixed.
~Pour into a 9x13 inch pan.
~Sprinkle shredded mozzarella evenly over casserole.
~Place pepperoni over cheese.
~Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
~Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.
~Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Variation:
`Slow Cooker Method: 
~In a large pan, cook sausage, ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until browned.
~Drain off any grease.
~In a large bowl, mix everything together (do not cook noodles a head of time).
~Pour into slow cooker & cover.
~Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.