Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Veggie Goat Cheese Lasagna

Thanks to my friend KP for the amazing recipe!! I am in love with it! My husband won't eat it so this will be a meal I make for girls night or a night he won't be home for dinner. I had a friend over tonight for this and she is just as hooked as I am on it! We ate half the pan! Not the healthiest of meals, but ohhh sooo yummy!

*1 box no bake lasagna noodles
*1 jar Alfredo Sauce (I like Classico's Light Creamy Alfredo Sacue)
*1 jar red sauce (I like Prego traditional)
*1 head of asparagus- chop into 1 inch pieces
*1 medium zucchini- cut into half moons
*1 can quartered artichokes- drain
*Goat cheese- crumbled
*1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the two sauces together in a bowl. In baking pan, start by placing enough sauce on bottom of pan to coat pan. Place lasagna noodles over. Then sprinkle half the veggies and follow by taking half the goat cheese and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkling evenly over. pour more sauce over and repeat layer one more time. End by topping noodles with sauce and last 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.  (Should be two layers of veggie and cheese, 3 layers of noodles)

Cover and bake for 45 mins. Uncover and continue to bake for 10 mins. I serve this with bread and salad.

I will do a better job of taking pictures next time I make this, here is the finished product after a few pieces were missing. This is a MUST try!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

3 Bean Turkey Chili for a Crowd

I like chili a lot during the cold months. I really love this recipe. It's got great flavor and it's healthy (minus some of the toppings). My whole family likes this recipe and I know yours will too! 

*2-3 tsp olive oil
*1 onion (sweet or white) I tend to use 1/2 of both in the chili and then chop the other halves to serve on top  of my chili
*5 garlic cloves (pealed and minced)
*2 tsp kosher salt
*1 tsp black ground pepper
* 2 lbs lean ground turkey meat
* 1 lb stew meat
*1/2 cup chili powder
* 1 1/2 T oregano
* 1 1/2 T cumin
* 1 T paprika
* 1 small red pepper- cored, seeded and chopped
* 1 small green pepper- cored, seeded and chopped
* 1 jalapeno- cored, seeded and chopped (sometimes i omit this when cooking and serve on top so my 1 year old son can eat the chili)
* 2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes
* 2 cans (3 oz each) tomato paste (no salt added)
*3 T red wine vinegar
* 1 can pinto beans
* 1 can dark red kidney beans
* 1 can white (kidney) beans
*Toppings... see below

1) saute onion and garlic in olive oil in sauce pan till soft. seaon with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Put in crock pot
2) brown stew meat in a little oil till browned (not cooked through) add to crock pot
3)in same sauce pan, add more oil and brown turkey meat and break up clumps. Stir in remaining salt and pepper, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Cook on low heat till fragrent. Then add this to crock pot.
4)Add sliced peppers, diced tomatoes, tomatoe paste and red wine vinegar to pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours (the longer the better).
5) After the 6 hours add the 3 cans of beans. Continue cooking for a hour- hour and half. (I don't like the beans to cook in crock pot for more than 2 hours tops so I usually add them about 1hr to 1 1/2 before we are going to eat)

We almost always serve this with sticky rice. I like placing rice at the bottom of my bowl, chili on top of that and then add my toppings. My husband likes to just eat his with crackers and lots of cheese. My son likes his plain. 

Topping Suggestions:
shredded cheese
chopped white and green onion
sour cream
hot sauce
sliced jalapeno
diced avocado

sauteing onion and garlic... add to crock pot

browning stew meat... add to crock pot

Brown ground turkey and then add seasonings and simmer until fragrant ... add to crockpot

Adding the peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine vinegar to the crock pot over the  meat.

Stir all ingredients and cook on medium-low for 6-8 hours

drain 3 beans 

Add beans when there is about 1-2 hours left to cook- stir

Served with topping