Ok, maybe lazy isn't the most accurate word....it sure isn't the most flattering! So instead, let's go with busy. I am a busy cook. I like to eat. I love food. I even like to cook. But I also have a job that keeps me really busy, so don't have a ton of time to spend preparing meals. But I also don't like eating a lot of packaged or pre-prepared foods, because they are just so bad for you.

I don't have little kids to try to feed, but I do have an 18 year old nephew living with me. So the trick is to try to balance meals for me and for him. On my side, you've got an adult female who is trying to eat in a healthy way and lose weight. On Josh's side, you've got an 6', athletic teenage boy who could happily eat 4,000 calories a day and stay slim and athletic. Sometimes, he makes me crazy! And let me add that I love to try new things and be adventurous in my cooking, and Josh would be happy always eating the same 5-6 meals, every 5-6 days. So the happy medium is that I cook healthy meals, making them in ways that make Josh's teenage boy appetite happy, provide lots of veggies, and always have a batch of cookies in the cookie jar.

So anyway, to wrap this up. I know I have a lot of friends who find themselves to be in the same meal preparation situation as me. I've found and collected some really great, simple recipe's. And, since I like to play with things when I'm cooking, I've created some dishes of my own that are pretty darn tasty! Soooo....I figured I'd start a blog to share those recipe's with my friends. I'll only post recipe's that I've made and have passed approval from my family. If they're my own creation, I'll claim credit. If I lifted it from somewhere, I'll give credit to the culinary genius I stole from!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sugar Crumb Crisp

Yummy and super easy!!!

1/4 cup butter *make sure butter is cold*
1/4 cup sugar (next time, I will use a little less of both kinds of sugar)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamondash of salt
1/2 cup flour
1 can Pillsbury Cresent Rolls

Preheat oven to 400 degrees FCut in butter to sugars, cinnamon, and salt and flour to form crumbs.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles.  Sprinkle crumbs on top.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.  After they were cooked and cooled I cut them into smaller triangles but you can leave them big too! 

1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1 Tbsp. softened butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp. milk

Blend together and drizzle over Sugar Crumb Crispies

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shrimp stuffed twice baked potatoes

Ok, ok, I realize that these really don't look like that much, but I cannot BEGIN to tell you how amazing these are!  I watched Paula Deen make this one morning, and after I stopped drooling, I went out and got what ingredients I was mising! 

4 (6 to 8-ounce) russet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
Vegetable oil, to coat potatoes
4 slices bacon
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
4 green onions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts; dark green parts chopped, for garnish
1 cup grated Cheddar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Rub the potatoes with vegetable oil and put them on a baking sheet.  Bake the potatoes until tender, about 1 hour.

While the potatoes are baking, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes.  Transfer the slices to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then crumble.  Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet.

Cut the shrimp into thirds.  Reheat the bacon grease over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp, Cajun seasoning, and a pinch of salt.  Cook until the shrimp are opaque, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes.

When the potatoes are done, let them cool slightly (leave the oven on).  Slice off the top third of each potato and carefully scoop out the flesh into a bowl.  Scoop out the potato from the top third, and add that to the bowl, then discard the skin.  Leave about 1/4-inch border of potato inside the skin. Mash the potato flesh with 1 teaspoon salt, the green onion, cheese, butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, and black pepper.  Add the shrimp and bacon to the mixture.  Stuff the potato skins with the filling, mounding any extra on top.  Return the potatoes to the oven on the baking sheet and bake them until heated through, about 15 minutes.  Remove the potatoes from the oven, sprinkle with the reserved chopped green onions and serve.

Fish Tacos

I love, love, love fish tacos!!  Oddly enough, I made them for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago.  I researched a TON of recipes prior to deciding to make them, and finally decided to combine the parts I liked from several of them and kinda do my own thing!  And I gotta say,  I loved them.  I still have a bunch of tuna in the freezer, so I'll be making these again soon! 

1 lb fish (I used tuna because I have a bunch of flash frozen tuna in the freezer.  Most recipes I found called for mahi mahi or halibut)
1/2 cup flour
1 t. cayenne pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
1 small red onion
1 package salsa seasoning

shredded cheese
shredded cabbage or lettuce

tortillas (I always buy the raw tortilla shells and cook them myself by throwing them on the griddle until both sides are browned and puff up)

Cream Sauce
1/3 c. mayonaise
2/3 c sour cream
1 t grated lime zest
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper

Dice the tomatoes and onion to the size of your preference.  Combine with the package of salsa seasoning(or, if you are way more talented than I am, make up salsa from scratch) Let the salsa sit for at least a half hour, as it gets better the longer it sits. 

Cut the fish into bite sized pieces.  Combine the flour and the pepper in a bowl and dredge the fish through the flour.  Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet(or in my case, I used my wok).  Once it is hot, slide the fish into it and let it cook.  While the fish is cooking, put together the cream sauce by whisking together the mayonaise, sour cream, lime zest, and lime juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Once the fish is cooked, assemble your taco and enjoy!  I always spread a bit of the cream sauce on the tortilla, then the fish, then salsa, shredded lettuce, a little more cream sauce, then shredded cheese.  So yummy!

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Also in honor of Mother's Day today, I wanted to try something new for dessert.  I'd found a recipe on Pinterest that I'd been wanting to try, so decided today was the day for it!  Ohhh my goodness!  So good.  We got a little eager to try it, because it smelled so good, so put the glaze on while it was still really warm.  The glaze melted a little more than it should have, so it maybe wasn't as pretty as it should have, but the glaze sort of seeped down into the cake and was delicious!

Recipe courtesy of:  Cookin Up North

What it shoulld have looked like....

What mine looked like...but it couldn't have tasted better!

 3 c. flour
 1/4 tsp.salt
 1 c. sugar
 4 tsp. baking powder
 1 1/2 c. milk
 2 eggs
 2 tsp. vanilla
 1/2 c. butter, melted

 1 c. butter, softened
 1 c. brown sugar
 2 Tbsp. flour
 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

 Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

 2 c. powdered sugar
 5 Tbsp. milk
 1 tsp. vanilla

 While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Momma's Day Breakfast!

Happy Mother's Day!  To celebrate this year, I decided to bring back an old favorite that we haven't had in a long, long time.....German Pancakes.....yummy!!! 

Recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound bag frozen mixed berries
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl whisk together flour and baking powder until blended. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until homogenous. Let stand at least 10 minutes.
Heat an 8 or 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven with the butter.
Pour the batter into the cast iron pan and bake until the pancake is golden brown, puffed up and set in the center, about 15 minutes.

To make the mixed berry syrup: Heat the berries in a small saucepan with the maple syrup until mixture thickens, but you can still see the berries.

Serve warm over a wedge of pancake, dusted with powdered sugar.

Today, in honor of Mother's Day, we added fresh whipped cream, but that's not the normal!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake

A sign of spring....Strawberry shortcake!!!  Yumm!!!

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons sugar, plus 8 teaspoons
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
2/3 cup half-and-half, plus 1/4 cup
Sweetened whipped cream
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar together. Set aside until time to serve.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Then pulse in the cold butter cubes until a coarse meal is formed. Turn the flour mixture out into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in 2/3 cup half-and-half and gently mix it in with a rubber spatula or fork, be careful not to over mix the dough or the biscuits will be tough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a couple of times until it just holds together. Pat the dough out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut out 8 round 3-inch biscuits.
Transfer the biscuits to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each biscuit with the remaining half-and-half and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the biscuits have risen and are a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Split each biscuit, spoon some strawberries on the bottom piece, then whipped cream and top with the other biscuit half. Garnish with fresh mint and more strawberries.

Blackened Chicken with Wild Rice

Yumm!!  And so easy.

Recipe was taken from http://www.sarcasticcooking.com/

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 packages of wild rice
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped

Sauce over the top:
1 medium avocado
2 T greek yogurt

Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.

After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.

Prepare the wild rice according to the directions.  Once it is done, toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.

Make the sauce by putting the avocado and the yogurt into a food processor and mixing until smooth.

Serve the sliced chicken over the wild rice and top with the avocado cream sauce.