Friday, April 14, 2017

Aunt Louise's Lasagna

This is one of my top 5 favorite foods of my life.  May aunt makes the best lasagna, hands down.

Brown & Saute:
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 1-1/2 Cups chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp garlic or 4 cloves chopped
 In large pot, put together and simmer:
  • 1 18oz can Hunts Tomato Paste
  • 2 30oz jars Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper 
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp garlic salt

Add meat mixture into the large pot, simmer for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, Cook as per directions.
  • 1 lb lasagna noodles
In lasagna pan, layer noodls, sauce and
  • 6-8 oz shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Then top with
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  let stand 15 minutes after removing from oven, then serve.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Liz's Famous Chili

One of my besties told me about her amazing chili recipe and i'm adding it here so i don't lose it.  i can't wait to try it!

Liz’s Famous Chili

  • ¼ pkg. of bacon, cut into small pieces (optional) 
  • ½ medium sweet onion 
  • 1 ½  lbs. lean ground beef 
  • 1 – 15 oz. can black beans 
  • 1 – 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans 
  • 1 – 15 oz. can whole kernel sweet corn 
  • Water (see directions) 
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 recipe Homemade Chili Seasoning 
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro 
  • 2 cup pkg. 4 cheese Mexican blend                 
  •  1 recipe Homemade Cornbread Mix

Homemade Chili Seasoning

  • ½ Tbsp chili powder (more or less, to taste) 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional) 
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder 
  • ¼ tsp onion powder 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

Homemade Cornbread Mix
(this mix can be made and stored in a ziploc until ready to use)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal 
  • ½ cup white sugar 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 3 tsp baking powder 

When ready to use, mix in:

  • 1 egg 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

Bake in 400⁰ oven for 20-25 minutes.
(This recipe can be made all by itself if you prefer, just use a 13”x9” pan and bake according to the directions.)

*This recipe will make enough for 1 - 13”x9” pan, or a cake-sized aluminum pan.


In large pan/pot or Dutch Oven, cook bacon most of the way through.  Add onion, cook until translucent.  Remove both to separate bowl.  Add ground beef to pan and brown until cooked through.  Drain ground beef of most of the fat, return to pan with bacon/onion mixture.  Rinse both cans of beans.  Add black beans, kidney beans and corn (with juice) to pot.  Fill empty corn can with water, add to pot.  Add tomato paste and chili seasoning, stir to combine.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove lid and simmer for about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Add cilantro and more salt/pepper/garlic, to taste.  Simmer to let flavors combine.  (You can stop at this point and just serve the chili in bowls, topped with some of the cheese.)

While chili is simmering, preheat oven to 400⁰ and make cornbread mix.  Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl, stir to combine.  Add wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl, mix again until combined.  The key is to not over mix this.

Spray pan of choice with cooking spray.  After chili is finished simmering and tastes delicious, transfer to prepared pan.  Top chili with 4 cheese blend, spreading evenly.  (If 2 cups isn’t enough for you, by all means add more)  Top cheese with cornbread mixture, spreading to edges of pan to cover cheese entirely.

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until cornbread is finished and toothpick comes out clean.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tuna Salad w/ Apples

  • 1 packet of Tuna in water (no liquid)
  • 1 small apple, cored and finely diced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ a lemon (optional)
  • French bread (to serve)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (garnish, optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients together with a fork.
--To serve, spoon onto a lightly toasted french bread and sprinkle with torn parsley.

Original recipe from:

10.29.2016 - made this for myself for lunches all week.  used a soft french bread roll sliced legthwise to serve.  I did not use lemon juice in this one because I didn't have it on hand, but i didn't miss it.  I did add cracked pepper to it. definite keeper.

Breakfast Irish Apple Cake

Original Recipe:  Irish Apple Cake with Custard  can be found at
  • 3 C. Flour
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ⅛ t. Salt
  • ¼ t. ground Cloves
  • ¼ t. ground Nutmeg
  • 6 oz. cold butter
  • ¾ C. Sugar + 2T Sugar
  • 4 large Golden Delicious or Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ C. Milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Grease and flour an 8" round spring-form pan.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg into a  mixing bowl large enough to allow room for the apples to be folded in later.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour with pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  4. Add the ¾ C. sugar to the flour mixture and mix in.
  5. Peel the apples and slice them into uniform pieces. This cake works best and gets that 'chunky apple look' if the slices are about ¼" wide and then cut into 3 pieces.
  6. Toss the apples into the flour mixture and combine them thoroughly.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Add to the dry bowl and mix in with a large spatula until just combined. Batter will be thick.
  8. Transfer the dough into the prepared cake pan and flatten the top surface using the back of your spatula.
  9. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cake.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Test the center for doneness. The top of the cake should be golden brown. 
10.29.2016 - I made this at our new apartment, and shared it with my mom.  This was very simple, with a lovely cakey-flavor similar to mom's "cherry puddin" and I ate it as a breakfast cake.  The apples maintained a good bite to them and did not turn to mush, so that was very nice!  The original recipe also has a recipe for custard to go with this but I did not make that. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas

I found this recipe through pinterest, from someone else's blog
I adapted it according to what I had on hand, and that resulted in my version of the recipe as follows:

  • 15 oz large shrimp
  •  1 yellow onion, short slices
  • 1-2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes with mild green chili peppers
  • 1-1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • freshly ground salt to taste
  • 4-5 flour tortillas
  • 6 oz grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  1.  In a large saute pan, saute onion in butter over medium heat until softened and somewhat transluscent. 
  2. Meanwhile, measure heavy cream, sour cream, garlic and spices all into one measuring cup or a medium bowl and whisk to combine. 
  3. When onions are ready, add in tomatoes and cream mixture and stir well.  Add in shrimp and cook, still over medium heat, until shrimp is almost done. **
  4. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 inch square baking dish.
  5. To assemble enchiladas, add about 1 oz of cheese into center of each tortilla.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop out about 1/4 of the shrimp mixture (draining most of the sauce) into the tortilla.  Close tortilla and place in baking dish, securing with a toothpick to help hold it together.  Repeat with remaining tortillas - filling 4-5 total into one pan. 
  6. Pour sauce over all of the enchiladas trying to cover the entire top, and sprinkle with remaining 2oz grated cheese.
  7. Bake 15-18 minutes, serve hot.

**You can make this ahead!  At this point, you can use a slotted spoon and put all shrimp/veggies into one container, and pour all of the cream sauce into another.  Store in fridge or freezer.  When ready, assumble tortillas and continue.  After 15 minutes, increase oven temperature to 375 for 10 more minutes if needed to warm fully and get a lovely golden melted cheesy top! 

4/18/2016 - Made this with make-ahead method, storing items in fridge until 1 hr before ready to serve.  Made for mom and dennis.  This is at the limit of spiciness for my mom, but was really not very spicy imho.  Original recipe called for 2 tomatoes and 2 jalapenos, but we have several cans of pre-diced tomatoes w/ chilies in the pantry so that was just as easy.  While this is not my favorite enchiladas recipe, it was perfectly easy, we typically have everything on hand, and it tasted pretty good.  Dennis thought it was a little too saucy, so i decreased the cream by 1/4 cup (reflecetd in recipe above)

Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins, Spinach & Goat Cheese

I found this recipe on Pinterest, from Better Homes & Gardens.
Modified very slighty, and here is my version!

  • 4 large turkey breast tenderloins
  • 5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 6 oz log of chevre, cut into pieces and left at room temperature
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil  (not extra virgin)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Rinse turkey breasts and pat dry.  Butterfly each tenderloin by cutting lengthwise from end to end, but not the entire way through.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all chopped spinach,  chevre and fresh black pepper to taste; you can try to use a spatula, but really just give in and dig your hands in there to get all the cheese and spinach thoroughly combined to a beautiful sticky mess. 
  3. Split spinach mix into 4 portions, and stuff each tenderloin with 1/4 of the mix using your fingers to really smush in and close tenderloins with toothpicks or kitchen twine to keep inside and hold into place.
  4. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, salt, cayenne; brush evenly over all sides of the tenderloins.   Roll each tenderloin individually, tightly  in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate 4-24 hours.
  5.  Preheat oven to 375.  Unwrap turkey and place in a shallow roasting pan with a lid.  Cover and roast 40 minutes or until turkey reaches 170F.  Remove and discard strings / toothpicks before serving, and slice tenderloins crosswise to plate.

4/11/2016 - made this for mom & stepdad.  Everyone really loved it - super easy to put together, and came out really moist with great flavor.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad

Found this on FB via Tasty Videos,, and this is my version by cutting it in half and making a few adjustments.

1/4 c creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp Kikoman soy sauce (not low sodium)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. sesame oil 

1 Tbsp. (heaping!) Sriracha  
1-2 tbsp water (to thin, as needed)
1/2 tbsp minced ginger

1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional) 


1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti pasta (or soba noodles)
1/2 cup shredded carrots / matchsticks
2 cucumber, halved crosswise and shaved using vegetable peeler
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, sliced into 2" strips
1/4 cup sliced green onions (using mostly white to lt green, and not the green ends) 

1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped

small hand of cilantro, chopped (optional*)


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente, then drain and submerge in ice bath to stop cooking.  Let drain.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, water, minced ginger, minced garlic, and brown sugar and whisk together to incorporate.
  3. Combine all sliced veggies into a large tupperware bowl that has a lid. Add in pasta, and pour sauce over; stir to combine.  Garnish with peanuts.
  4. Cover bowl, and leave in fridge for a bit or overnight for flavors to combine.  This is a perfect lunch to go!

    Made this on 4/11/2016, mom and I both really enjoyed taking this to work!  I'll definitely be making it again.