Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taco Soup

Who doesn't love taco soup? I'm sure we all have some kind of a recipe for this scrumptious Mexican classic, but if not or you're looking for a new one (dare I say better?) . . . here ya go. This is our version.

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can stewed tomatoes, Mexican style (a can of diced tomatoes can work too)
sour cream
In a deep skillet, brown the beef. Add all other ingredients. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes. Top with toppings. Eat. :)
Prep: 10 min + Cooking: 20 min = 30 min
Serves: 4-6

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet n Sour Chicken

Not the best picture but I love this stuff. This was one of the staples that my Mom made when I was growing up.

You Need:

3 chicken breast, cooked and cut up into bite size pieces
1 can pineapple tidbits or chunks
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 sliced green pepper (or red or yellow or all three!)
2 cups cooked rice

To Do:

Drain pineapple juice into a large skillet.

Add brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and whisk together

Add corn starch and whisk that in

Heat on med/low until thick and bubbly

Add peppers, chicken and pineapple

Serve over warm rice!

Also good with broccoli, baby corn or topped off with crunchy asian noodles

Skillet Parmigiana Chicken

Looooovvveee this. It's from Betty Crocker's Best Chicken Cookbook. And it just became a family favorite in the Catenzaro home. And the 2nd best thing (1st is taste) is that it's super easy to make.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lbs)
1/3 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz.)
Flatten each chicken breast half to 1/4-inch thickness between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper. (OR you can just carefully cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make them thinner). Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with bread crumb mixture.
Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Pour spaghetti sauce around chicken in saucepan; heat until hot. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken.

Serve over spaghetti noodles.

Prep: 10 min / Cook: 15 min
Serves: 4

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

chocolate crinkle cookies.

my sister, heather, made these delicious cookies & brought me a plate {lucky me!}. i had to share the recipe:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup hershey's cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
powdered sugar

in a large mixing bowl, combine sugar & oil. add cocoa; blend well. beat in eggs and vanilla. combine flour, baking powder & salt; add to cocoa mixture blending well. cover; chill at least 6 hours. heat oven to 350. shape dough into 1 inch balls. roll in powdered sugar. place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. bake 12 to 14 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched. remove from cookie sheet; cool on wire rack. makes 4 dozen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Easy Healthy Apple Turnover!!

1 Whole wheat tortilla
1 Tbls fat free cream cheese
1 apple (any kind)
splenda & brown sugar mix

peel and slice up your apple put it in a bowl and heat in microwave for 2 minutes.
spread cream cheese over tortilla, heat up for 10 seconds. After apple is heated put down center of tortilla, sprinkle splenda and brown sugar mix over apple and roll up....enjoy.

Pampered Chef Hot Pizza Dip (FAVE!!)

No picture, sorry. But this dip is TO DIE FOR!! It is so flippin' good I could eat the entire thing by myself. No joke. Great to serve at parties and get-togethers.

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 can/jar (8 oz.) pizza sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Serve on toasted Baguette bread (or Bread sticks, Canape bread slices, Tostitos chips)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a bowl combine cream cheese and Italian seasoning; mix well.
-Spread in bottom of pie plate or a similar shallow dish- Combine cheeses and sprinkle half of cheese mixture over cream cheese.
-Spread pizza sauce over cheese.
-Top with remaining cheese (green onions, olives, peppers optional)
-Bake 15-18 min. or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling around edges.Hints- The dip can be heated up in the microwave as well. Just microwave on High 2 min. Turn. Microwave on High 2-3 min. more or until mixture is bubbly around edges.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

strawberry banana smoothie.

1 frozen banana, cut into 4-5 pieces
5 strawberries, fresh or frozen
5 ice cubes
1/4 cup yogurt {i use lemon flavored}
1 tablespoon sugar

put all ingredients in a blender. blend until smooth. enjoy!

serves 1.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Brown Sugar Muffins

1\2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1\2 cup walnuts (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda
1\2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

Cream butter, brown sugar and eggs together. If desired, chop walnuts and stir into creamed mixture.
Add soda and salt and mix well
Stir in milk and vanilla
Add flour and stir just until moist
Pour into greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes

Makes about 16 regular sized muffins

Simple Yogurt Parfait

I want to share my all time favorite treat! It is so simple and doesn't actually require any cooking, but with the weather warming up, I thought it would be nice to share! I enjoy this for breakfast, as part of my lunch, and it is also really good as a healthy night time snack.

1 6 oz. Yoplait Light Vanilla yogurt
1\2 C. chopped strawberries

Mix and enjoy!

I have tried other brands of vanilla yogurt, but have found Yoplait's to be the best tasting and most creamy.

I have also used peaches, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in place of strawberries and it is equally delicious.

Frozen, pre-packaged fruit is also good. I prefer fresh fruit whenever possible.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

canned chicken.

i need your help. several weeks ago i bought a package {8 huge cans} of canned chicken at costco. at the time i was thinking... "how convenient! i'll use this for everything." but all these weeks later, i've only used one can {to make a chicken salad sandwich}. i just have no idea what to do with all of this canned chicken. so my question is:

what recipes do you use canned chicken in {if any}?

post your recipes, thoughts, ideas, etc in the comments or email me: arielesmith{at}

♥ ariel

Monday, March 16, 2009

lemony pan fried chicken.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts {for however many you plan to serve}
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
juice from 1 lemon

using a meat mallot, pound each chicken breast until flattened {place chicken in a large zip lock bag or between 2 sheets of plastic wrap while you flatten}. combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic salt & paprika. spread mixture over a paper plate. in large frying pan or skillet, bring butter & vegetable oil to medium heat. coat chicken breasts in flour mixture. fry 2-3 breasts at a time, depending on the size of your pan, for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

after all chicken breasts are cooked, squeeze juice from 1 lemon into the pan with the remaining butter & oil. let simmer for a minute. pour a teaspoon or two of the mixture over each chicken breast. serve with veggies & rice, or perhaps some yummy scalloped potatoes!

*if you're not into lemon everything like i am, you could skip that whole last part & just have plain old fried chicken. i was also thinking that adding a little honey to the sauce would be sooo good.

scalloped potatoes.

{sorry no picture, friends. but i swear i made them and they were de-lish!}
ingredients:4 cups peeled, sliced potatoes
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp onion, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

in a small bowl or cup, combine flour, salt & pepper. grease casserole dish and layer: potatoes, sprinkling of flour mixture, a few dots of butter, a tsp of minced onion {or slightly less}, sprinkling of cheese, potatoes {etc... ending with cheese on top}.

warm the milk in microwave or on the stove top to scalding. remove any skin that formed on the top. stir in baking soda {this helps prevent curdling}. pour milk over potatoes. cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. after 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes in the center are tender. optional: after the full hour, sprinkle extra cheese on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

*tip: this will almost always bubble up and spill over. to prevent the mess, put a cookie sheet or a sheet of tin foil underneath to catch the drippings.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Banana Sour Cream Cake

I love fancy cakes that seem hard but really started with a box cake mix. It is the best deception if you want to seem like you worked really hard but didn't, it's the best!

1 pkg. (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 pkg (16 oz) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Heat oven to 350

Beat cake mix, eggs, bananas, sour cream and oil with mixer on low until moistened, scraping bottom of bowl often. Beat on medium 2 minutes.

Pour into greased and flowered 13x9 in pan. Bake 35 min or until toothpick insterted into center comes out clean.

Cool completly in pan on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese and butter with mixer on medium until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well after each addition.

Remove cake from pan and carefully cut in half.

Place one cake half, top side down on plate; spread with frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top side up. Frost top and sides.

Press nuts onto sides.