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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuits

This isn't really a recipe, just a simple, easy breakfast idea. In my house, we like eggs different ways. I like mine over medium and the kids like theirs scrambled and the hubby likes his scrambled well. I found that using a cupcake pan to make the eggs in works really well. First of all, they come out the size of your biscuit and second I can do some eggs scrambled and some over medium! (Just make sure you use cooking spray or butter to grease your pan well first or clean up will NOT be fun!)

*Pillsbury Grand Buttermilk Biscuits
*A little milk
*Bacon (Made in skillet, microwave or oven- done to your liking... extra crispy for my household!)

*Make biscuits as per directions on can.

*Make bacon

*Eggs- for over easy (medium or hard), just crack egg into a cupcake pan. For scrambled- I scramble eggs, milk and seasoning in a bowl and fill cupcake pan till 3/4 full. Bake until done at 350. Flip half way. Cooking times will very depending on how done you like your eggs. Typically around 10 minutes.

*When biscuits are done, cut open and place cheese slice on bottom half. Top with egg and bacon. Place top half of biscuit on top and enjoy!

Optional- Top your breakfast sandwich with avocado, fresh sliced tomato or even some sauteed spinach!

after 3 minutes of cooking. I typically flip after 6 minutes. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chicken Amaretto

I love this meal. Everytime my mom is in town I have her make it for me. It's great served over sticky rice and we always serve with a green veggie on the side (steamed broccoli, sauteed green beans or a salad). It's great for leftovers as well! She uses her electric skillet to make this, if you don't have one I'm sure any big skillet over the stove top or a wok would work as well! My kids don't eat this, what I do is fry up some plain chicken breasts in the skillet before I start making our meal. They eat those plain with the veggie and sometimes a little rice.

*3 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes (We used 1.5 lbs chicken tenders and left them whole)
*2-3 garlic cloves- minced
*1 T salt
*1 T pepper
*1/2 T curry powder
*1 cup flour
*1/2 cup butter
*1 quart fresh sliced mushrooms
*1/4- 1/2 cup Amaretto
*1T fresh lemon juice (We use a whole big lemon + slice an extra lemon to serve on the side... I LOVE lemon!)
*1 1/2 cups chicken broth
*1 T cornstarch
*1/2 cup sliced almonds (we used 2 cans of sliced water chestnuts instead)

1) Sprinkle curry powder, salt and pepper (or Nature Seasoning) over chicken. Place in fridge for one hour.

2) Toss chicken with flour and shake off excess.

3) In Fry pan, saute mushrooms with butter until done. Remove mushrooms and set aside.

4) Add garlic and chicken to fry pan and saute chicken until it is just done- don't overcook. Add mushrooms back to pan. Add water chestnuts

5) In separate bowl, mix chicken broth with the corn starch and mix well. Add to pan along with amaretto and lemon juice. Stir till thickened while cooking on medium heat.

Mixing chicken with flour and seasonings

Saute mushrooms first, then set aside

Saute chicken until done and then add your mushrooms back.

add the waterchestnuts, chicken broth/cornstarch mixture, amaretto and lemon juice. 

Serve over rice with a lemon slice

I like to cut my chicken up and stir it all together and mix the sauce in with the rice! YUM

Sunday, September 18, 2011


If my family could eat these everyday, I think they would! The are relatively easy to make... BUT they are very time consuming. There is a LOT of chopping and dicing involved. You can use a Pampered Chef food chopper for the onion and carrot, but you will want to chop the potato and rutabaga yourself.  Chopping the veggies up to a day in advance and storing them in tupperware until ready to bake may help.
This is something we make in a big batch and freeze individually. The recipe below makes 16. So for my family of 4, that will give us 4 meals.  My mom gets together with a friend once a year and they go halves on the ingredients and they quadruple the recipe. They each take about 30 home. My mom used to give me 4 or 5 per batch, but I love them so much I decided to make them on my own.  They are great for a last minute meal since all you do is take them out of the freezer and cook them for 30 mins! I serve them along side a green veggie or salad, but they really could be a meal in themselves! My mom's friend makes her own pie crust, I don't. I think Pillsbury's crust works wonderfully and saves a TON of time:)
Sorry if the recipe is a bit confusing. It's hard to explain, but the pictures I think explain the directions better. Email me if you have any further questions!

Thank you Carrie and Mom for this awesome recipe!

*5 lbs russett potatoes- cubed (we used yukon gold this time) (don't cut these as small as the other veggies)
*1 lb carrots- peeled and finely chopped
*1 LARGE or 2 medium sweet onions- diced
*1 medium rutabaga (or half a large one)- peeled and FINELY chopped into cubes
*2 lbs LEAN ground chuck (93% or leaner)
*salt/pepper (I used Nature Seasoning and pepper)
*butter (aprox half sick cut into 16 slabs of butter- (1/4 T slabs))
*4 boxes Pillsbury Pie Crust (found in fridge section). Each box has two pie crusts. You will cut each crust down the center. This will make 16 pieces of crust. (See picture below)

1) Preheat oven to 375. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper

2) Mix all the veggies, the meat and the seasoning together in a large bowl. Make sure it's mixed really well (using your hands works best) and make sure the meat breaks apart and is not left in large clumps. I used aprox 1 T Nature Seasonings and 1 T (or a little more) of black pepper.

3) Take your crust and place about 1 cup full of the mixture in the center of the lower half (See picture) Then top each mound of mixture with a slap of butter.

4) Fold crust over and pinch sides together. Cut one inch slit at top of each (just over the butter slab).

5) Place 5-6 pasties on each cookie sheet. (You will have to bake these in two batches. Put second batch in fridge until you are ready to bake them.) The first batch, I did two cookie sheets of 6 and par-baked them for only 30 mintues since these were the ones I was going to freeze)

6) Fully bake the ones you will eat that night for about 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

7) If you are having some for dinner that night, serve while hot and serve with ketchup!

8) The ones that you will freeze... let cool until completely cool (at least an hour) Place a towel over them while cooling. Then wrap each individually first in press and seal and then in tinfoil. Freeze for up to 3 months!

9) To make them once frozen- take directly from freezer. Unwrap tinfoil and press and seal. Wrap each with a paper towel and microwave for 3 mintues. Then bake them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Dice rutabaga in SMALL cubes 
add diced onion and carrot and cubed potatoes (Make sure carrots and rutabaga are chopped smaller than the potato since they take longer to cook)

notice potato is larger chopped. Add your meat and mix well

Once it is completely mixed (use your hands) add your seasonings and mix some more

Two round pie crusts come per box (if you get the pillsbury ones) Cut each down center. (So each box will make 4)

Take one cup of the mixture...

And place in center of bottom half of the crust.

Place slab of butter on top and fold top half of crust over. Pinch sides together (Kind of like if you were making ravioli- roll over sides and pinch)

Cut one inch slits on each (above butter slab)

Bake until golden brown.

Serve with LOTS of ketchup!!