Friday, April 30, 2010

Mix & Match Fish and a Chocolate Cobbler

Way back in the day, before I met Bo, I didn't know how to cook fish.  So, I never ever cooked it - ha!  Don't get me wrong, I l-o-v-e salmon, and sushi is just about always a yummy option.  But then I met Bo, and he's a cowboy and a hunter and a fisherman, so of course, he loves fish too.  Voila!  Reason to learn how to cook it!  I've slowly been adding fish to our dinner rotation, and I now serve it a couple of times every week. 

This recipe is always my go-to when I'm in a hurry or didn't make a trip to the store for fancier ingredients.  It started out as a Sea Bass recipe, and then I tried it Salmon, and then I tried it on Tilapia.  I'm guessing that it'll be yummy on just about any kind of fish.  It's so quick to throw together - and healthy - that I keep going back to it.  As such, we give it 5 Spoons Way Up High.

The dessert recipe here is..well..Interesting.  But good!  The best way I can describe it is that it's a cakey brownie with a built-in fudge sauce.  I'd never made a "pudding cake" before, so this was all new to me.  I included photos of each step so that you can see how it looks, but if you were to just throw this together, it would be really quick.  I'm thinking that it would be a fabulous chocolately comfort food to whip up after dinner some night.  We give it 4 Spoons, but only because we both love good ol' brownies so, so much.


Mix & Match Fish
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Garlic & Herb seasoning
3 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 filets sea bass (or salmon or tilapia!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a shallow baking dish with Pam.  In a cute* bowl, throw in everything but the fish.  Melt it in the microwave.  Stir. 

Bake fish for 10 minutes**, then flip. Dump on butter garlic mixture and bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork.  Yum.

* Hey, if we're in a hurry, throwing together some semblance of dinner, we may as well make it a cute experience, right?
** My Tilapia filets were thin, so I only baked them 7 minutes per side.

Ingredient Lineup:

Dump the mixture onto the filets and continue baking.

Dig in!

Chocolate Cobbler
courtesy of
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa

1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. white sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 c. boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in an 8x8 inch baking dish while the oven preheats.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 c. sugar, and 2 Tbsp. cocoa. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Spoon this batter over the melted butter in the baking dish.  Stir together the remaining 1 c. of sugar and 1/4 c. cocoa. Sprinkle over the batter. Slowly pour boiling water over the top of the mixture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, until set (but still a little jiggly). Serve warm with ice cream.

Ingredient Lineup:

The dry ingredients.
(They look harmless enough, right?)

After melting the butter in your pan, add in the cocoa-milk mixture.
(Those burbling bubbles worried me a tad.)

Then pour over the cocoa-sugar layer.
(Is it just me or could this be Barbie quicksand?  Just me?)

Then pour over the boiling water.
(Eeeeeeek.  This doesn't look promising in the least!)
(You ought to click-zoom just to see how weird this looks.)

Holy Mackerel!  This looks gooood!

Whoa.  I had no idea that this would be on the bottom!
It doesn't get much better than a built-in fudge sauce.

Who wants a scoop?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big City Hot Dogs & Low Cal Root Beer Floats

I love a good dirty water 'dog! Here is a recipe that's very quick to make and jazzes up your ordinary all beef hot dog. Everyone will love it...and you won't even need the ketchup!

Big City Hot Dogs
1 all-beef hot dog
1 poppyseed hot dog bun
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sweet green pickle relish
1 tablespoon chopped onion
4 tomato wedges
1 dill pickle spear
1 dash garlic salt

1.Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook hot dog and set aside to cool.
2.Place hot dog in bun. Pile on the toppings in this order: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, and celery salt. The tomatoes should be nestled between the hot dog and the top of the bun. Place the pickle between the hot dog and the bottom of the bun.

Now, for dessert.....Low-Fat Root Beer Floats!

1 can of diet root beer
1 scoop of low-fat vanilla bean ice cream

Drop one heaping scoop of ice cream into a large glass and pour over about half of the can of diet soda. Top with a squirt of low calorie whipped cream for an even tastier treat!!

Chrissy MacCEO

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pork Barbacoa

Pork Barbacoa

Pork Roast: Put in crock pot with a little water and cook until very tender (about 8 hours on low)

Shred Pork by pulling apart with two forks.

Put meat and all the following items back in the crockpot to finish cooking


Barbacoa Sauce:

1 can enchilada sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

1 small can diced green chilies

1 can coke (not diet coke-- I used pepsi)

1 cup brown sugar

Salt to taste

continue to cook for one hour or more. (we cooked for 3 hours and it was better after one then it was after one.)


Hubs and I rated it a 4 spoon- I would have given it a 5 if I had some Tomatillo dressing to accompany it. (the pork is so sweet, this dressing is spicy and counter balances eachother!)

I found a recipe I will try with it next time! :) If anyone makes it please let me know how it rates!

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

1 package Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Mix

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 cup mayonnaise (can use half mayo and half sour cream)

3 fresh tomatillos

1 cup fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Just put everything into a blender and puree.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours and if you need to, adjust the thickness by adding more buttermilk to thin out or sour cream to make it thicker

So we threw this pork in a tortilla, with refried beans, some spanish rice and cheese. Then topped it with sour cream, tomatoes, avacado or salsa/pico etc... pretty much anything you want. It was yummy but would be FANTASTIC with that dressing... at least it is at the local restraunt that we have eaten it at.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

This is one of those recipes that I have made once or twice and now can't even remember where I got it from. It's more like a method than a recipe...the steps are simple and the veggies can be switched out to your liking. This is the first time that I have included asparagus and mushrooms.

I have only made it a few times (usually when I want to make my family feel special or when I want to impress people) because while easy and only has a few steps -- it makes a ton of dishes to wash.

1bunch asparagus
1 box whole white mushrooms
1 whole onion
4 zucchinis
olive oil to coat veggies
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese

I clean and prep all the mushrooms, cut up onion and zucchini, and cut off the ends of the asparagus to find the woody end that needs to be cut off.

Drizzle all with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees until tender. This usually takes about 20 minutes.


Try to ignore the foil packets...I was also roasting garlic and beets separately. They were test roasting's to see if I could do it and if they were good.


Take a really large bowl - this one I picked up at Wal-mart -think summer plastic.

Cut roasted asparagus into bite size pieces, place all veggies in bottom of bowl, then 1 lb of pasta (this is for 6), 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Fold to mix all ingredients. Take spoon down the sides of the bowl coming up through the middle. This is the easiest way to mix it all without losing it due to spillage or flying pasta.


Carefully transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish that has been coated with non-stick cooking with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.


Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is hot and bubbly.


This is a fabulous combination of carbs, cheese and yummy veggies...there was only a little bit left.

While there were leftover's - we give it a resounding 5 spoons!

The left overs were put to good use the next day...I sent the pasta with garlic bread in their school lunches.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baked Penne with Turkey Meatballs & Apple-Rhubarb Crisp

This is a recipe I invented to build in the morning, store in the fridge, and then pull out to bake on those nights our boys have baseball practices. If you'd like to see how I was able to feed 4, with left overs, for $5.00 you can see my post at Money Saving Maine-iac.

Baked Penne with Turkey Meatballs

Baked Penne with Turkey Meatballs

Here's the line up:

  • 1 package Shady Brook Farms Ground Turkey
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 1 carrot, peeled & shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 2-cup Bag Shredded Mozzerella Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ground pepper to taste
    Baked Penne with Turkey Meatballs

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.) Begin cooking pasta according to package directions.

3.) In a medium size bowl mix turkey, bread crumbs, carrot, onion, egg, parmesan cheese, an pepper. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, make 12 meatballs.

4.) Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 15 minutes. (30 minutes total)

5.) I a 13 X 9 inch baking pan combine meatballs, 1/12 cups of the mozzerella cheese, the drained pasta and 1 can of pasta sauce.

6.) Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of mozzerella over the top.

This is where I cover the dish with aluminum foil and, with a permenant marker, write baking temp. and time on top. I store it in the fridge until ready to bake.

7.) Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Baked Penne & Turkey Meatballs

EVERYONE in the family loves this! It fed 4 people, 3 adults and 1 child, supper with leftovers for lunch the next day. When I see ground turkey on sale BOGO this is the recipe I pair up with the sale. A simple salad goes well with this dinner.

Our Rhubarb patch is full and ready for harvesting! So I baked an Apple-Rhubarb Crisp for dessert.

Apple-Rhubarb Crisp

apple-rhubarb crisp


  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

apple-rhubarb crisp

1.) Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking dish. I use a round.

2.) Heat oven to 375°.

3.) In a bowl combine rhubarb, apple, sugar, juice, cinnamon; spread in the bottom of the prepared pan and dot with the butter.

apple rhubarb crisp

4.) In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients until blended and crumbly.

5.) With hands, sprinkle over the top of the rhubarb and apple mixture.

6.) Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until browned and fruit is bubbly. Serves 8.

apple-rhubarb crisp

This dessert recipe is a great way to use your rhubarb, and it makes a wonderful treat for the family. Serve this cold or warm, plain or with a little cream or a scoop of ice cream.


What's on Your Table?

We are looking for great recipes to feature every Sunday - did you make something great to share with your readers?

Share it with us too!

This week's featured blogger is The Coupon Goddess with an amazing looking soup recipe.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Flank Steak a la Willyboy

Well, this recipe was a swing and a miss. (And, obviously, I'm terrible at marketing, haha!) You see - On Sunday, I sat down with a cookbook and picked out 4 new recipes to try, made a grocery list, and went shopping. I'm not normally so organized, but I'm tired of fixing my same recipes, and I really wanted a good one to offer you all today. Welp, so much for that plan :)

Bo and I agreed that this only rated a 3 Spoons, and he summed it up after dinner by saying, "You know - this is jerky. It tastes just like jerky." I couldn't agree more. I think it's the combo of red meat with both soy sauce and honey that reminds us of teriyaki jerky. Whatever the cause, whoops and sorry!

Better luck next time?

Flank Steak a la Willyboy
courtesy of
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. red wine
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pinch oregano
1 pinch thyme
ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb flank steak

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.  Let stand for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.  Place the marinade and steak into a gallon size ziploc bag and allow to marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Lightly oil grill rack and preheat grill for high heat.  Grill steak for 7 minutes each side for medium-rare or to desired doneness.  Let stand for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.

Ingredient lineup:

Mix everything and throw into a ziploc:

Makes for a pretty salad, but we would've
been just as happy without the meat.

p.s.  If you want info on the salad part and my most favorite homemade dressing, I've got details on my personal blog - sweet somethings.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE their chicken nuggets! And, do you know what? So do my husband and I! Since we don't buy fast food due to their allergies, we enjoy having our own fast food night at home--nuggets and fries style! Here is the recipe that I use to make delicious, moist chicken nuggets with a healthy twist. There are never any left after a batch is made, so I am sure that means that the kids give them 5 spoons!

1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and seasonings. Pour the applesauce into another small bowl. Dip each chicken chunk into the applesauce and then into the bread crumb mixture.

2.Place in a greased (cooking spray will do!) baking pan. Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear.


Photobucket of Life as a CEO

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taco Soup with Smoked Sausage

Taco Soup with Smoked Sausage
**Recipe pulled from The Hillshire Farm 75th anniversary Cookbook


1 pkg. Hillshire farm turkey smoked sausage
1 medium onion chopped
1 can (16oz) pinto beans, drained
1 can (15.5oz) kidney beans, drained
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained
1 can (15.25oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14.5oz) tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14.5oz) chicken broth
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 pkg. (1.25oz) taco seasoning mix

Optional Toppings:
Shredded reduced-fat Cheddar Cheese
Crushed baked tortilla chips
Fat Free Sour Creme


Cut Sausage into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat a 4-5qt pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Cook sausage and onion for 3-4 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.


Stir in all remaining ingredients except for optioinal toppings. Bring to a boil; Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top each serving with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips and sour creme, if desired

Makes: 8 servings ( about 1 1/2 cups each)
Nutrition per serving: Calories: 260, fat 6g, cholesterol 30mg, carbohydrates 33g, fiber 8g, sodium 1490mg, protein 17g.


Doesn't it look good!!! I rated it a 5 Spoon WITH the sour creme, without it it's a 4 spoon.

I am sure you could throw all this in the crockpot and let it cook itself too.
(I think this would be a good one for freezer meal!)


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Whole Grain Pasta with Zucchini and Parmesan

Since the kids and I are planting our very first garden this year I have been on the lookout for some easy recipes that are going to help me use up all the veggies I am dreaming of growing.

This one from Barilla's website looked great and tasted great too! While I loved that it included lots of tomatoes and zucchini - things that I buy each week...but I was a little leary of the lack of sauce...turns out - it's fantastic!

There was something fantastically simple about only having as many ingredients as people who were going to eat this supper. I think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to out do our selves that we forget that simple is sometimes better.

If you are looking for a quick and yummy supper - this will one hit the spot!


1 box Barilla Whole Grain Pasta

4 zucchini

1 pint cherry tomatoes...I only had vine ripe.

4 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 Tbs Olive oil

1 clove garlic


Bring a large pot of water to boil...add salt to flavor and cook pasta according to package directions.


While pasta is working get your veggies ready. Give the tomatoes and zucchini a rinse. Set tomatoes aside to dry. Chop zucchini and garlic. I took all the basil leaves and layered them one on top of the other...then rolled them and sliced.

Saute Garlic for a few minutes....add zucchini and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and just cook until skin is blistered and warmed through. Drain pasta and add to pan. Toss everything with basil and cheese.

We give this recipe 5 spoons...we all wanted more (in fact everyone had seconds) and it was all gone!

I can't wait to make this recipe again with veggies from my own garden!


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