Meredith's Blog

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Aunt Kay’s Cookie Cake July 6, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Meredith @ 11:09 am

My aunt made this cookie cake all growing up.  It is super easy and WAY better than any cookie cake you can buy (and way cheaper:)). In fact I was reminded how yummy it is when my mom made it for my birthday this weekend!

1 box yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil.  Add vanilla and stir.  Add chocolate chips.  Spread mixture in a well greased pizza pan.  Bake for 18 minutes.

 

The BEST margarita ever! March 16, 2011

Filed under: Cocktails,Recipes — Meredith @ 8:56 pm

If you are like me, nothing is better than sitting on the porch in the spring sipping a margarita:)  I have tried for years to perfect a recipe but have never been able to make them as good as they are in a Mexican restaurant.  Enter my friend Chris Rush.  Probably the best drink maker EVER!!!  He is always concocting a new cocktail and has, in my opinion, created a margarita recipe better than those in a restaurant.

Here it is:

4 parts silver tequilla (it has to be good tequilla…..you will taste it:))

2 parts FRESH squeezed lime juice (the store-bought, already squeezed lime juice makes them taste funny….I promise I tried)

2 parts water

1 part agave nectar (I think the light tastes better than the amber agave)

Put in a shaker of ice and shake well.  Pour over ice and ENJOY!  Each recipe makes 2 large margaritas.

 

Potato and Poblano Gratin February 28, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Meredith @ 3:28 am

This is such a great side dish!  I found I needed to cook it a little longer and cut the potatoes thinner to get them to cook enough.  If you don’t watch Mexican Made Easy, you need to check it out!  Try this today!!!!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/potato-and-poblano-gratin-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 large poblano chiles, charred, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch wide by 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema, or creme fraiche
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), unpeeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray a glass 9 1/2-inch, deep dish pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the poblano strips and corn.

In a small bowl, mix together the half-and-half and crema.

Arrange 1/2 of the potato rounds, overlapping slightly, in the prepared pie dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of the poblano-corn mixture on top, season with the salt and pepper, and top with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the cheese. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the cheese is golden brown, about 30 minutes longer.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note: For easy peeling, enclose the charred poblanos tightly in a plastic bag.

 

My favorite pork chops! February 21, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 11:53 pm

This is such a simple recipe, but something I loved growing up!  Such a comfort food.  Not super healthy, but a nice treat every once in a while. 

4 pork chops (with or without the bone) 

2 eggs

1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs

Olive Oil for cooking (my mom uses canola oil, but the olive oil makes me feel healthier:))

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Beat the eggs on a small plate.  Pour the breadcrumbs on another small plate.  Dip the pork chops in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs.  Make sure they are really covered in crumbs.  Fry in the oil about 6 minutes per side until they are golden brown. 

Serve with a salad or whatever side you like.  So yummy!

 

I really don’t like lasagna, but…..

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 11:48 pm

I have to start by saying I HATE lasagna…….really, I can’t stand it.  And of course it is my husband’s FAVORITE meal.  In fact he loves my mom’s lasagna and she loves to make it for him.  I have to say my mom is an AMAZING cook, but I do not like her lasagna.  My dislike for the dish comes from the taste of the ricotta cheese.  Not my favorite.  Recipes that don’t use ricotta use cottage cheese.  I dislike cottage cheese as much as I dislike ricotta.  So when I came across the recipe below, I was VERY nervous about the cottage cheese.  My friend Ashley has made it several times and swore to me I wouldn’t know the cottage cheese was there.  We had friends over for dinner on Saturday and I decided to try it.  It was AMAZING!  Seriously, the BEST lasagna I have ever eaten.  And if you are grossed out by cottage cheese, I promise you will not know it is there.  This was so easy and so good it even got me to eat leftovers! 

Thank you again to the pioneer woman….her recipes never fail!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/the_best_lasagn/

Recipe: The Best Lasagna Ever

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Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • ½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles
  • (add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)

Preparation Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.

In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Cook lasagna until “al dente” (not overly cooked).

To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.

Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.

Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

 

Yummy stir fry January 14, 2011

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 9:22 pm

Another great website is thepioneerwoman.com.  If you have never read her blog or used her recipes, check her out.  She shows everything step by step with pictures…..so nice.  And I every recipe I have made of hers is great!  I found this great stir fry on her site.  I used chicken and broccoli instead beef and snow peas because that is what I had in the freezer.  It was great that way.  I will try the original recipe next time.  The sauce was SO good! 

 

Ingredients

  • 1-½ pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
  • ½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
  • 5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
  • Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
  • Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

Preparation Instructions

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

 

Soups….

Filed under: Recipes — Meredith @ 9:14 pm

Since it has been so cold, we have been making LOTS of soup!  If you haven’t checked out skinnytaste.com you HAVE to!  I have cooked so many of the recipes and they are ALL amazing.  They are also all really easy.  I found this potato leek soup on the site and it was so good.  It tasted almost like the really bad for you loaded potato soup.  You could even add some lowfat cheese to make it a little more fun!

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/10/potato-leek-soup.html

Potato Leek Soup
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 cup • Calories: 159 • Points: 2.75 ww points

  • 1 bunch leeks (about 4) dark green stems removed
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups fat free chicken stock (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • salt and fresh pepper

Wash leeks very carefully to remove all grit. I usually cut them horizontally and separate the rings to make sure no dirt remains. Coarsely chop them when washed.

In a medium soup pot, melt butter and add flour on low flame. Using a wooden spoon, mix well. This will thicken your soup and give it a wonderful flavor.

Add chicken stock, leeks, onion, potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for about 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth adding the milk and adjusting salt and pepper to taste.Potato Leek Soup
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 6 Size: 1 cup Calories: 159 Points: 2.75 ww points

  • 1 bunch leeks (about 4) dark green stems removed
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups fat free chicken stock (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • salt and fresh pepper

Wash leeks very carefully to remove all grit. I usually cut them horizontally and separate the rings to make sure no dirt remains. Coarsely chop them when washed.

In a medium soup pot, melt butter and add flour on low flame. Using a wooden spoon, mix well. This will thicken your soup and give it a wonderful flavor.

Add chicken stock, leeks, onion, potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for about 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth adding the milk and adjusting salt and pepper to taste.

 

Mama D’s Amazing Italian Beef September 29, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 1:05 am

So my girl Sarah shared this family recipe with me!  Her mom Diane (Mama D to me) is an amazing cook!  Their Italian beef is SO easy and SO yummy!!!

1 london broil

1 can beef broth

1 can beer

1 package of dry Italian dressing

1 jar of banana peppers (Sarah does half hot half mild….I do all hot….depends on how spicy you like it:))

In a roasting pan, place the beef and sprinkle with the dry seasoning. 

Add beer and broth (pour on the sides so you don’t wash off the seasoning)

Put peppers on top

Bake at 300 for 3-4 hours. 

The meat will fall apart.  Sarah and her family serve it on buttered rolls….I love to serve it on a roll and dip it in the drippings. 

The leftovers are amazing in salads, quesidillas….anything you can imagine!  So yummy!!!!!!

 

The easiest dinner ever! September 23, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 1:57 am

As usual, Gina’s website never lets me down!  I made this recipe last week….it was so amazing.  Even better…it only took like 5 minutes to cook!  I served the shrimp with black beans and rice….fantastic!!!!

 

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro and lime make this simple shrimp dish outstanding. Serve this over rice or with a salad. Shrimp is one of my favorite skinny foods to cook with. It’s packed with protein, low in calories, and cooks in minutes which is great when you need a quick delicious meal.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz • Points: 4 pts
Calories: 197.3 • Fat: 4.1g • Protein: 35.9 g • Carb: 2.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.

 

Like Chinese takeout but better! September 15, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 12:12 am

I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray’s show on Monday and I had to try it!  It is so good!  If you like Hot and Spicy soup you will love this!  I used whole wheat pasta and boneless, skinless breasts instead of thighs.  So yummy!!!!

Ingredients

    1 pound egg tagliatelle, for wide noodles or whole wheat spaghetti, for a heartier soup 6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs Salt and black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, half a palmful
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • A couple of handfuls of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 1/4 Tamari or low-sodium Tamari, eyeball it
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • A couple of handfuls crispy bean sprouts
  • Coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce, to pass at table

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente.

Meanwhile, trim chicken and season with salt, pepper and coriander. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil, a turn of the pan, in a large, deep skillet or wok over high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a cutting board and reserve.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, a turn of the skillet, and stir-fry mushrooms a few minutes to soften and brown. Stir in ginger and garlic, toss a minute or two more then add vinegar. Stir, add Tamari and stock, and bring to a boil.

Thinly slice the chicken on an angle into strips. Add chicken to soup. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into broth. Let thicken a minute more. Add scallions and bean sprouts to soup and turn off heat.

Twist a bundle of noodles up around tongs or a serving fork and pile into individual bowls. Ladle soup over the noodles and garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Pass hot sauce at the table.