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, November 14, 2012

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Asparagus with Rosemary Olive Oil

I was making ribeye's for dinner so I wanted to get some asparagus and some potatoes for the sides. I found this cool looking bag of Restaurant Style Baby Fingerling Potatoes... they were tri-colored (golden, red and purple). So i got home and I was trying to think of how to make these and it just so happens there was a recipe using both the potatoes and the asparagus on the front of the bag!! BAM! That was easy!! Here is a picture of the bag...

So, luckily I had fresh rosemary in my garden and I followed the recipe exactly... it was amazing!! I highly recommend!! If you can't find these cool tri-colored potatoes at your store, just do a mixture of golden and red fingerling potatoes... it just won't be as pretty as mine! :)

*2 T fresh Rosemary- minced
*1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*1 lb fresh Asparagus- trimmed
*1/2 lb Pacific Gold fingerling potatoes (I used half of the 1.5lb bag) Cleaned and cut in half vertically
*1/4 tsp sea salt
*fresh ground black pepper to taste
*lemon wedges (I used 1 lemon cut into 6 wedges)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Toss potatoes with 2 T olive oil. Roast in oven for 20-30 mins on a roasting pan (or cookie sheet) until potatoes are slightly browned. Remove from oven.
3. Toss asparagus with remaining olive oil. Add them to the roasting pan with the potatoes. Place back in oven for 15-20 mins, turning frequently, until potatoes are fork tender.
4. Arrange potatoes and asparagus on a platter. Drizzle some lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with the fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. (I used the juice of 3-4 wedges and used other 2 as garnish on the platter.
5. Serve and enjoy!!

Thank you Progressiverecipes.com for an amazing recipe that I will make again and again!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cheesy Potato Soup

This is a perfect soup for the cooler days that are coming up. I love making a big batch of this on Football Sunday and eating it for lunch and dinner. I make mine vegetarian, but it'd also be good with some ham or bacon in it!! GO PACK GO!!

* 2 T Butter
* 2 T Olive Oil
* 1 small sweet onion- chopped
* 2 leeks- cut in 1/2 rounds only using white and light green parts
* 3 large carrots- diced
* 2-3 fresh garlic cloves- minced (Or garlic powder would do too)
* Seasonings (Kosher salt, Black pepper, nature seasonings)
* 10 potatoes (around 5-6 lbs) I used half red potatoes and half golden-Take most skin off. Diced
* 32 oz box of chicken STOCK (I used Kitchen Basic brand)
* 1 bouillon cute (I have the granules so I used 1 T)
* 1/2-1 cup water (enough so all potatoes are covered with liquid)
* 2-4 oz velveeta cheese- diced (more or less depending on how cheesy you like it)
* 1-2 cups of half n half

Other Optional ingredients:
*1 T flour plus 1 T melted butter if needs thickening
*Crusty bread (Sour dough round cut into chunks)
*Shredded cheddar cheese for topping soup
*green onion diced for topping
*any other toppings you like on a baked potato would go good!

  1. Use a large stock pot.  Put the oil and butter in the bottom of pan on medium heat. Add onions, carrots and leeks. Cook on medium till onions are translucent (around 10-15 minutes).  
  2. Add some seasonings (I used lots of pepper and nature seasonings and a little salt.. you can always add more later). And add your garlic or garlic powder. Stir well.
  3. Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, bouillon and stir well. Add your water till it covers the potatoes completely. Cook on medium uncovered for about 20 minutes. Stir well and cover and continue simmering for another 20-30 minutes until potatoes are fork tender (not mushy).
  4. Take half the soup (veggies and broth) out and put in blender. (Or if you have a hand blender like me, i just put half the soup into a bowl and use my hand blender to mix well.). Blend well and pour the blended mixture back into the soup. Mix well.
  5. If you like your soup a little thicker you can melt some butter and mix with flour. Add a little at a time of this mixture until it reaches the consistency you want. (I only used 1/2 of the mixture I made)
  6. Add your diced up velveeta cheese and mix. Cook on medium stirring every so often until cheese has completely melted and mixed into the soup.
  7. Add your cream. The amount you use depends on how creamy you like your soup. I used about a cups worth. 
  8. Serve in a bowl (or a bread bowl would be yummy!). Top with shredded cheese and any other toppings that sound good to you! Enjoy!
Not a great picture, but here I'm sauteing all my veggies. 
Adding my diced potatoes

I didn't get great pictures on making it this time around. Here is after I added the blended portion back to soup and just added the velveeta. 

Add your favorite toppings and serve with some crusty bread. DeLISH!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tuna Salad with NO MAYO

I am trying to eat healthier and I love tuna salad, but let's face it... mayo just isn't on most diet plans! Here is a great way to eat your tuna. You can eat this plain with a fork if you are trying to stay low carb, or you can put it on multi grain crackers or bread! This actually is better if you make it and let it sit in the fridge a couple hours before eating it. I sometimes add extra lemon/lime because I LOVE citrus.

*1 lg can albacore chunk white tuna in water- drain well
*1 large celery stalk- diced small
* 1/2 small green bell pepper- chopped into small pieces
* 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
* 2 limes juiced
* 1 lemon juiced
* pepper (and I added nature seasonings)

Mix all together in bowl. Eat right away or let marinate in fridge a few hours before eating. Enjoy and feel good eating it too!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken (Bourbon Chicken)

Here is another crockpot meal I did during my 5-1 meal day. (This is where I make 5 meals at once and put them in gallon size zip lock bags and put in the freezer. When ready to cook I just take out and put right in the crock pot. Great for weekday meals!) I got this recipe from Table for Two blog.

My house smelt JUST like walking past the Chinese Restaurant that hands out samples on a toothpick in the mall's food court! That place always tempts me to eat there! And when I do, i always feel like crap after eating it. This tastes better and I know what's all in it!!

The only thing I will change about the recipe is next time I will use more chicken (It makes enough marinade). While I was cutting it up, the kids and I kept nibbling on it. So once we got it to the table for dinner there was barely enough for all of us, and definitely not enough for left overs! I served this over sticky rice and sauteed broccoli, green beans, carrots and water chestnuts. I will be making this again soon!

Here is the recipe off the blog. If you want to make this into a freezer meal, just put all the ingredients except the cornstarch and sesame seeds in a zip lock freezer bag and put in your freezer. On the day you want to make it, just take it right from freezer and place in your crockpot. (I cooked mine this way on the lowest setting for just under 5 hours.)


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 5
Salt and pepper
1 cup of honey
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds


  1. Place the chicken thighs in the crockpot and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the crockpot.
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
  4. When done, remove chicken from pot and cut into chunks. Prior to putting the chicken back in the stockpot, combine some cornstarch in water and whisk it into the crockpot to thicken up the sauce a bit. Throw the chicken back in and stir around to recoat the chicken in the sauce.
  5. Serve hot over a bed of white rice (optional) and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
Once Chicken is done, take out and cut into chunks

Crock Pot Beef Burritos

School is about to start and my days are getting busier.  I like anything that make my weekday meals a little more simple, but still tasty! I found this blog on Pinterest that shows you how to spend 1-2 hours in the kitchen one day and make 5 different meals to freeze and just throw in the crock pot when ready to make it. It really is a great idea and I love the days I can just wake up and turn my crock pot on and dinner is ready at night! Here is the recipe for the first one I made. Check out Saving You Dinero's Blog for tips on 5-1 Freezer meals! (Make sure it freezes in a size/shape that will fit in your crock pot!)

I really liked these burrito's. We used the meat to make Chipotle style burrito's. I made a side of cilantro lime rice and heated up a can of pinto beans. We all liked this a lot and will definitely make it again!!

Here are all the ingredients that went into this bag. On the bag itself I write:
1. What the meal is called
2. The date I assembled
3. Cooking Directions
4. What to do (if anything) after it's done cooking to prepare the dinner
5. I also list any other ingredients I need during the day I will be serving (ex: tortillas and cheese for burritos)


  • 1 London Broil or top round roast (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – Use just 1 pepper!! (It’s in a can.)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder (you can adjust this according to your taste)
Ingredients to use on the day you make this- Large Flour Tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, pico or diced tomato, and cilantro lime rice (white sticky rice mixed with cilantro, lime juice and a little salt). Also, warm up a can of pinto or black beans.

  1. Add all the above ingredients into a freezer bag. Put in freezer till ready to make. 
  2. When you are ready to cook the meal, dump the contents of the bag into the crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
  3. When the meat is cooked, you will need to strain the juices and add the juice back to the slow cooker. (You want to remove the peppercorns and onions.) Shred the meat and add back to the juice in the slow cooker for about 30 minutes.  Add the meat, some of the rice and come of the beans and toppings of your choice into the tortilla and roll into a burrito. Enjoy!! I always serve with a variety of hot sauces too!! This is one of our favorite recipes. My kids eat it as long as we have leftovers.

Gallon size freezer bag... write on it before you fill it

Once everything is in bag, seal and freeze. (Make sure it doesn't freeze in a shape that is too big to fit in your crock pot)

Half way done

Remove all juices. Take meat and shred back in crock pot

Strain juices removing the whole peppercorns and onions, just letting the juices back in with the meat.

Place all your ingredients in middle of large tortilla



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stirfry

I found this recipe off Skinny Taste.  Her recipe calls for Thai Kitchen Pineapple and Chili Dipping Sauce. My store didn't have this so I used Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce. (Mae Ploy also makes a really good Sweet Chili Sauce). I really liked this dish, it was really simple and flavorful and I really liked the way the cilantro tasted with it! It's a tad spicy, but my son ate it and seemed to enjoy it!

Here is the recipe I got right from the Skinny Taste Site (the only thing i changed was the sauce and I added the water chestnuts and shredded carrots. Next time I may try adding some chopped celery as well)


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp Thai Kitchen fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 cups cubed assorted colors bell peppers (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped (optional or to taste)- I didn't use this since kids were eating
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 jar sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Pineapple & Chili dipping sauce
  • cilantro leaves (for garnish)

Mix chicken and fish sauce in medium bowl. Add cornstarch; toss to evenly coat. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and
ginger; stir fry 30 seconds. Add bell peppers, shredded carrots, chili pepper if using, water chestnuts, and pineapple; stir fry 3 to 5 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp. Add sauce; cook and stir until heated through. Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining oil in the skillet. Add chicken; stir fry 5 minutes or until cooked through. Return bell pepper mixture to skillet; stir fry until well blended. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve over rice.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Kale

My friend was always talking about this tortellini soup she would make. I always wanted to try it, but I'm just not a huge soup person. I'll eat it for a day but I tend to throw out leftovers. I decided to try her recipe anyway, changing a few things and adding Kale to it. I served it for dinner along side crusty bread and the whole family really loved it and we even ate the leftovers along side sandwiches the next day for lunch!!


  • *1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • *1.5 cups diced carrot
  • *1 cup diced celery
  • *1 cup diced sweet onion
  • *2 garlic cloves minced
  • *32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • *1 cup water
  • *2 cups cooked shredded chicken (I use Rotisserie Chicken)
  • *Package of Buitoni Brand Mixed Cheese Tortellini (I get the one that has both white and green noodles) 
  • *Bunch Kale Shredded
  • *Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1. In large sauce pan (6 quart), heat up your olive oil and add your garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring well. Add seasonings.
  • 2. Add chicken broth, water, and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn down heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • 3. Uncover and turn heat back up to medium. Add your kale and tortellini and cook for another 5 minutes, or until all the tortellini float to the top and are cooked through.
  • 4. Season more if needed. Feel free to grate some fresh parmesan cheese over the top:)

Asian Turkey Wrap- Under 200 calories

I was getting sick of eating so many salads everyday for lunch and I wanted to try to create a healthy sandwich or wrap. I already had most of this stuff on hand so off I went to find a somewhat healthy tortilla and dressing to make a wrap with. 

These LaTortilla Factory, multigrain tortillas are only 100 calories per tortilla. They have 15 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!
This dressing only has 35 calories per 2T! I only use around 1 T of it. 

*1 Tortilla (I like the LaTortilla Factory, Multi grain with EVOO. (See picture below)
*1-2 T of Newman's Own Lite Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing
*shredded red cabbage
*shredded carrots
*julienne cucumber
*small handful of fresh spinach or field greens
*2 slices of low sodium oven roasted deli turkey 

In small bowl, mix the veggies with the dressing till well coated. Spread out the veggies in the middle of the tortilla. Place two slices of deli turkey on the tortilla.  Roll the tortilla tight (I use two tooth picks to hold it together) and cut it in half and serve. Great summer wrap! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Veggie Breakfast Pizza

This is great to make for breakfast or snack. Great way to get veggies in in the am. I would cut this into fourths and each piece would count as one meal (snack). So you can use whatever veggies and herbs you like really, (I didn't add an ingredient list because it's really up to you what you want in and on it) but here is what i did...

Use a oven safe skillet/fry pan with edges that are at least 1 inch up.
spray with Pam

I added about 1tsp of olive oil and sauteed garlic and chopped sweet onion (you could also add raw bell peppers and mushrooms at this step). Saute until onions are soft.

I then added some chopped red pepper that I had roasted on the grill the night before. And I added a handful of chopped fresh spinach. Distribute all veggies evenly.

In separate bowl, I put in 3 organic brown eggs and about 4 egg whites (from carton). Wisk well with some black pepper. Pour this in skillet over all the veggies. 

DON'T STIR EGGS. You will just let this cook till edges are done and you can run spatula around edges. Middle will still not be done. Once edges are done, add any herbs to top

I added fresh basil and oregano chopped from my garden. I also chopped half a tomato and sprinkled those on top. Place whole skillet under broiler in oven until middle is cooked through and slightly golden brown on top.

Serve. YUM

Next time I'm going to use zucchini and asparagus and saute with the onions and do everything else the same.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Yummy Chicken on the Grill

Ok, so not a very creative name... maybe I'll rename it one day, but I was giving this recipe by a friend who served it at her daughters bday party. I had to leave before they served it, but someone must have asked for the recipe so she emailed it out. It's SO easy, especially since I had everything already, and it's so good! The kids LOVED it too!! I've made it twice this week!! You can make it and serve it along side veggies and rice, or you can make it into a chicken sandwich. Or even cut it up on top of a salad!

Marinade 3-4 chicken breasts in the following ingredients for at least 4 hours. I recommend more if you can. Then just grill it! So easy! I only changed/added a few things... here is the original recipe sent by my friend Melissa...

8/15/12- I made this SO much now that I buy the big bags of chicken breasts from costco and box of freezer gallon size zip lock bags. I triple the marinade recipe and pour it into 3-4 different bags. Then in each bag I place 3-4 chicken breasts in. I put them in the freezer with the date on them. Whenever I know I'm going to make this (typically whenever I don't have another meal planned), I put a bag in my fridge, either the night before or that am, and it marinades while it defrosts. Then I just grill or bake the chicken!! I always eat it the first night over rice with a veggie and any left overs I slice up and serve on my salad for lunch the next day. I can't tell you how much I love this chicken... and I know you will too!!


* 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil because I didn't have veg oil) 
* 1/4 cup honey 
* 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar 
* 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce 
* 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I did cilantro once on accident... still great!)
* 1 tsp ginger (I grated fresh ginger or I buy the already minced ginger that comes in a tube usually sold by fresh herbs in your salad area of the store)
* 1/2 tsp black pepper (I also added some nature seasonings and a dash of garlic powder)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chicken Gyros

Found this recipe on pinterest and it was pretty good and fairly easy to make! It seems like a long list of ingredients but a lot of it I already had on hand and it wasn't as difficult as it looks:) I will definitely make this again! 

  • Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 cup plain Yoplait® Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (I didn't have so I used red wine vinegar) 
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon

  • For the chicken marinade:
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • juice of one lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons Yoplait® Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, chicken breasts

  • For the gyros:
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 6 pitas or flatbread

  • Directions:
1) Chop the cucumber in a food processor or shred. About 1/4-1/2 cup. Wrap in a towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can meld.
2) To prepare the chicken marinade, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The flavors will infuse the chicken the longer it marinates. Discard marinade after use.
3) Cook chicken in a skillet on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until done. Once the chicken is cooked, tranfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into small strips.
4)Warm pitas in the microwave. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and onions. Serve immediately

Marinade Chicken

Tzatziki Sauce