February 17, 2013

Week 62, Recipe 1: Quick Fried Rice


  • Make your rice the night or day before you want to make fried rice. Freshly cooked rice is too wet. 
  • This is quick, flavorful and makes great leftovers so double the recipe below to have lunch for the next day!
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups cooked leftover rice, white or brown
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen mixed diced vegetables (or just corn & peas or whatever you have on hand), cooked according to package directions
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce, more to taste (I like the Tamari brand)
  • 1/2-inch chunk of ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • Splash (1-2 tsp) sesame oil
1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add a tbsp of oil. Add rice, making sure all grains are coated with a little oil then spread into a thin layer across the bottom of the pan. Let the rice cook for a few minutes then stir and spread out again. Continue until rice is starting to brown a bit. 
2. Push rice to the sides of the pan and spray a little oil or add a little oil to the center of the pan. Pour in eggs and let cook 30 seconds before stirring. Let sit again and stir, until just barely scrambled. Mix them into rice.
3. Add soy sauce, ginger, and garlic then stir. Add the cooked diced veggies, cooking until they are warmed through. Stir in the green onions and a tsp or 2 of sesame oil.
4. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed before serving.

Week 62, Recipe 2: Creamy Tortellini & Spinach Bake

Photo from What a Dish!


  • This was really good. The creamy sauce bakes into the pasta and the bacon adds a nice flavor. We all ate it up! Double the recipe below for sure as a 8x8 inch casserole was NOT enough! 
  • Modified from What a Dish! website


  • 1 pkg (16 oz) cheese tortellini 
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 
  • juice of half a lemon - about  1 1/2 - 2 tbsp
  • 1 package frozen spinach, cooked according to package directions and squeezed of excess liquid once cooled
  • ¾ c. grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¾ c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided


1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Cook tortellini according to package instructions and drain. Do not over cook or it will get mushy.
3. Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet at medium-high heat. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain then crumble when cooled. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. 
4. Reduce heat to medium low and add garlic to pan. Cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer. Add lemon juice to sauce and continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. In a large pot or bowl, gently mix the cooked tortellini, half of the crumbled bacon, spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese with the sauce. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 (or similar sized) baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan and extra crumbled bacon.
6. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Week 62, Recipe 3: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Photo & recipe from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

  • Recipe modified from afarmgirlsdabbles.com
  • LOVE this soup. We've made it several times now and I've taken it to a friend of mine who'd just had a baby. 
  • Double it!
  • 1 c. uncooked wild rice
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced into 1/4'' thick circles
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 8 c. (2 boxes) chicken broth
  • 2 c. half and half (or a mixture of half and half & milk)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 4 c cooked and coarsely shredded turkey or chicken
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice


1. Cook wild rice (ahead of time if you want). Mine takes 45 minutes so plan accordingly.
2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Stir well and saute until the onion is transparent and softened. 
3. Blend in flour, stirring and cooking it for bit. Gradually add the broth, stirring constantly.
4. Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a simmer for 1 minute. Reduce heat slightly and add the cooked wild rice, half and half, soy sauce, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and turkey or chicken. Simmer slowly for 20 minutes or until thoroughly warmed. 
5. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and add more salt and pepper if needed. 

Week 62, Recipe 4: Baked Pork Chops in Gravy


  • These were tender and flavorful!
  • The pork chops take an hour or so to cook so plan ahead if needed by setting out all ingredients and the utensils you will need to get them in the oven as quickly as possible. 
  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 8 pork chops (1/2 inch thick)
  • 3/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs (or use Panko and add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can condensed French onion soup
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Mashed potatoes (optional)
1. In a shallow bowl, beat egg and water. Dip pork chops in egg mixture, then coat with bread crumbs. 
2. In a large skillet, brown chops in oil. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. 
3. Combine the soups; pour over chops. Sprinkle with cheese. 
4. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with mashed potatoes if desired.

Week 62, Recipe 5: Taco Pizza


  • Recipe modified from Kiddies Corner Deals
  • Buy pizza crust or make your own (and freeze extra dough while you're at it)

  • Pizza doug (see link above to make your own)
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (make your own, it's so easy and no preservatives!)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 tablespoon sour cream
  • hot sauce -a  few drops
  • 1 cup chunky mild salsa
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapenos (optional)
  • 2.25 oz black olive rings-drained (optional)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1½ cups shredded Mexican taco cheese or Monterrey Jack or whatever you have on hand
  • lettuce to garnish
Sauce for drizzling - 
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salsa or taco sauce

1. Preheat oven to 425 (or whatever you normally cook your pizza at).
2. Brown ground beef, drain. Add water, taco seasoning and 4 tablespoon sour cream to ground beef, cook for a few minutes.
3. Top the crust with salsa then add ground beef mixture, jalapenos (if using), olives (if using), onions, tomatoes and cheese. Bake according to pizza crust directions (see my link above in NOTES for cooking instructions).
4. While pizza bakes, mix ⅓ cup sour cream, a few drops of hot sauce and salsa or taco sauce in a small bowl. 
5. Remove pizza from oven and top with lettuce and drizzle with the sour cream mixture.

February 10, 2013

Layout problem

I wanted to post to let everyone know that for whatever reason, all the items that used to appear in the column to the right of my blog (search field, archives, popular posts, etc.) all appear at the bottom of this page. My layout still shows it being to the right but for whatever reason, it appears below all the posts on the main page. Sorry for the confusion!

Update - it appears (at least on my computer), that the layout issue is only when viewed in Internet Explorer and not in Google Chrome.