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

Friday, August 5, 2011

Teriyaki Pork Medallions with Pineapple Salsa- By Cooking Light

Here is another great recipe I found in the Cooking Light 5 ingredient 15 minute Recipes magazine.  It's healthy, quick and we liked it. The salsa really made this dish. Another reason I like this recipe: I hate it when you have to buy an ingredient for one meal and then you never use it again. I already have mirin on hand from my Miso Cod recipe and I was wondering what else I could use it for.  I liked serving this with rice and a green veggie.

*6 T mirin (found in Asian food section of your store, it's a sweet rice wine)
*2 T low-sodium soy sauce
*1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
*1 tsp dark sesame oil
*1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin (I used pork chops here because it's what I had on hand, but I think it would
      be better with the tenderloin. Also, I couldn't get my chops as thin as I should have.
*Cooking spray
*Pineapple Salsa (recipe below)

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

2. Cut pork crosswise into 8 pieces. Place pork pieces between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound each to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.

3. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pork generously with cooking spray. Add to pan. (I also seasoned with salt, pepper and nature seasonings). Cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork and any cooking juices from pan; set aside. Add mirin mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.

4. Return pork and accumulated juices to pan, and cook 2 minutes, turning pork to coat. Serve pork and sauce with pineapple Salsa.

Pineapple Salsa: (I make this as pork is cooking)
*1 cup diced fresh pineapple
*1/4 cup diced red onion
*2 T chopped fresh cilantro
*1 T fresh lime juice (I used one whole lime and squeezed it in)
*1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
(I also used a pinch of sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve over pork.

Mirin mixture

Pineapple Salsa
Heat pork till done

Cooking pork chops after adding them to mirin mixture

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grilled Rosemary Chicken with Tomato-Avocado Salsa- By Cooking Light

We were on vacation and wanted to cook something tasty, but healthy. I came across the Cooking Light- 5 ingredient 15 minute Recipes Magazine. I found this recipe, tried it, and we all really liked it. It was simple, healthy and the flavors of fresh oregano, tomatoes and avocado from the salsa and the fresh rosemary and garlic in the chicken really made this dish! I will definitely be making it again! It paired nicely with my grilled artichokes , rice and corn on the cob!

(Three tips: First, you'll want to marinate the chicken for about 30 minutes- 1 hour before cooking. Second, I made the salsa just before taking the chicken off the grill. You don't want to make it too soon or it'll will get mushy. Third, you really want to use fresh herbs in this recipe. Save the dried ones for other recipes.)

*2 T Olive oil (I always use extra virgin)
*2 T red wine vinegar
*1 T chopped fresh rosemary
*1 T minced garlic
*4 (4 oz) chicken cutlets. (I just used 1 lb of thin chicken breasts that had 5 breasts in a package)
*1/4 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp black pepper
*Cooking Spray
*Tomato-Avocado Salsa (recipe below)

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Spring chicken with salt and pepper and add to bag and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. Prepare grill
3. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until done. Serve with Tomato-Avocado Salsa.

Tomato-Avocado Salsa Recipe:
*1 T chopped fresh oregano
*1 T extra-virgin olive oil
*2 T red wine vinegar
*1 garlic clove, minced
*2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
*1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled reduced-fat (or fat free as I use) feta cheese with basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
*1 ripe peeled avocado, chopped

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl, stirring with whisk. Add tomato halves, cheese, and avocado; toss gently. Serve on top or along side of chicken. Enjoy!

Grilling Chicken after marinating 
added tomato and avocado to the oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano

Add the feta cheese

Grilled Chicken

I like to top mine with the salsa.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheesy Pasta

This is my husbands favorite meal I make. I try not to make it too often because it is one of the most unhealthy meals I make... but it is SOOOO good that I still indulge once in awhile! We always serve this with a side salad and my Cheesy Rolls.

*1 Box Pasta (Penne or Rigatoni work best)
*3 T Butter
*2 T flour
*1 pint Heavy Cream
*2 string cheese sticks, pulled apart into tiny strings (or 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese)
*1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
*Seasonings (Italian, garlic and black pepper)
*1/2 cup of spaghetti marinara (I use Preggo Traditional)
(optional- 1 or 2 tsp of vodka)

1. In one pan, bring salted water to a rapid boil. Boil pasta till done.

2. While boiling the pasta, melt the butter in a pan on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour slowly. Wisk together till combined.

3. Slowly add the cream. Keep stirring and adding a little more at a time. Sauce should thicken in about 7 minutes. Add seasonings and cheese and keep stirring till well mixed. Add the red sauce and stir well. (If you want to add vodka- sometimes I do, sometimes I like it better with out... Depends on my mood :) - add that here as well.)

4. Once pasta is done, drain and put back into pan. Add the sauce directly to pasta. Stir together and serve immediately. Serve with extra fresh grated cheese and black pepper!


mix flour, butter and cream. Once thickened, add your cheese.

Mix in cheese and then add seasonings and red sauce.

Mix sauce in with cooked pasta.

It's Creamy. It's Cheesy. It's Scrumptious!