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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easy Garlic Knots

Adapted: Mamalovesfood

I make alot of Italian dishes. I was always making the standard garlic bread. The stuff that you get out of the freezer from your local grocery store, but was getting really, really tired of it. I was meandering through Pinterest one day and stumbled upon the Mama Loves Food blog ( for a couple of other interesting recipes. As I was wandering around in her blog, I came across this recipe for the Two Minute Garlic Knots and the next time I made pasta, these were on my table and didn't last the entire meal because my family loved them so much. At this time, these are all I make. I make these so often that I have even adjusted them somewhat to have added Paula Deen's Revamped House Seasoning with a bit of oregano added. I have also used the recipe, as written and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

I am giving pictures of two options below:
Knots with Parmesan cheese and Paula Deen House Seasoning
Prepared as original recipe

These things are so easy to make that I already have them memorized!

So, here we go!!


1 tube crescent rolls
4 T. butter
1 T. jarred garlic

Additional ingredients:

1 T.   Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. Paula Deen's House Seasoning Revamped
1/2 t. Oregano


1) Remove crescents from their packaging and "tie" into a knot. Place knots on cookie sheet
2) Melt butter with garlic. Add additional items at this point, if desired.
3) Bake according to package directions.

Italian Chicken Breasts with Lemon Vegetable Pasta

I had to say goodbye to an old friend today. My heart was broken, as I had to make the decision to lay to rest my electric skillet that I have had since I got married. In fact, I received it as a shower gift. I love my cooking stuff, it is beaten up, bruised, but I know it and it knows me and, for the most part, has never left me stranded! Plus, I am not at all swayed with the new stuff on the market. OK, I must admit I do drool over the Kitchen Aid Professional series 6 Qt mixer

and once my current baby decides to take its' last breath, I will not grieve for too long and grab this one.  Plus, there is a set of $2000 knives that I WILL be buying but I am trying to figure out a way to convince my husband that they were only $100.

But, back to my electric skillet...I made my Italian chicken breasts last night in my skillet and noticed that the cord was hot...I mean really hot. I had noticed this before, but ignored it as I know how that skillet works like I know the back of my hand. I always made sure to have the fire extiguisher close by in case the worst of the worst happened. So, my husband and I made the official call of death and laid it to rest in our garbage can.

In honor of my little buddy who was used more times than I can count and never left me high and dry. I dedicate this blog to him and remind him that he will never be forgotten! Now..I do have to admit that this dish was actually never going to make it to the blog until I had to do this in honor of my skillet, I had not tried lemon vegetable pasta yet and didn't want to subject my audience to a potential disaster, so pictures are very limited.

I devised the lemon vegetable pasta dish from a dish I always get at Olive Garden. Years ago, I had come across a dish of theirs called Chicken and Shrimp Limone (or something like that). As is the tradition with Olive Garden, once its' season was over, the dish was never seen or heard from again. At one of my favorite Olive Garden's, the manager, bless his soul, broke down what was in the recipe wrote the ingredients on a business card and now I can get it whenever I head in. Well, seeing that the closest OG is 40 minutes from my home, I wanted to be able to have it more often, but could never figure it out. Well, I was strolling through Jewel one day and I saw that Kraft has a whole new line of Philadelphia Cream Cheese cooking cremes that look fantasic. I eyed one for Savory Lemon and Herbs and my mind quickly got to ciphering!!  I came up with Lemon Vegetable Pasta!

So, here we go!:

First the chicken:


2 pounds thinly cut chicken breast, should be cutlet sized
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Very liberal amounts of olive oil cooking spray
lemon slices, optional


1)  Combine parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a ziploc bag
2)  Dip chicken breast into egg mixture and place in bag and shake until well coated. Repeat until all chicken is finished.
3) Allow chicken to dry for about 15 minutes.
4) In the meantime, in your electric skillet or a nonstick pan, spray pan with olive oil spray and then place the olive oil in the pan and allow to heat up.
5) Place chicken breast in pan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place in a 350 degree oven while the rest of the meal is wrapped up. DON'T LET CHICKEN COOK MORE THAN 10 MINUTES. BE SURE TO PLAN YOUR MEAL ACCORDINGLY!
6) When ready serve.

Now the pasta...

Lemon Vegetable Pasta


Approximately 3-4 cups of fresh veggies: I used
Baby carrot~grated finely
SWEET Onion, sliced
Frozen asparagus brought to room temperature and cut into 1 inch pieces
Frozen thin cut green beans or fresh green beans blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
Zuchini/Summer Squash, sliced
tomatoes chopped (with seeds is ok)

1 teaspoon Olive oil
Olive oil spray
8-12 ounces pasta (depends on how "saucy" you want your pasta). I like mine a bit saucier so I went with 8 ounces
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
Additional lemon slices if desired


1) In a nonstick large skillet, spray very liberally with olive oil spray and 1 teaspoon olive oil...allow it to get HOT!
2) Add veggies and allow to cook down. This should take about 20 minutes. Be patient with it!!
3) In the meantime, cook the pasta.
4) When veggies are cooked down, add cooking creme and stir until well coated
5) Add milk and additional lemon juice. Stir and it is ready to serve!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maple Lager Chicken Ridge


I had purchased a bunch of bone in chicken breasts which were on sale. I was really disappointed with them because these things were HUGE. I mean they were really, really large...the type of large that I would have hated to come across these chickens in a dark alley. I used the couple of packages that I had, but had one more to use up, so I went on a recipe search for something unusual. One can only have it fried, roasted or grilled so many times. When I saw this one had a mixture of lager and maple syrup, I became intrigued and it was the winner for the night. So, I set off to preparing it. I did do some moderations to this recipe.

A word of warning, so don't say I didn't give warning, this dish, while FANTASTIC, will produce some serious dirty dishes! All in all, it was well worth it and I would do it again, except maybe save it for a weekend meal! Another slight warning, this dish is pretty involved, so I am going to lay out the directions step by step by step.

My family enjoyed this recipe so much that I had little leftovers. This recipe was so special, it will definitely go on my "dishes to entertain with" list!

So, here we go!:

1 12 ounce lager beer (I used Leinenkugal Red Lager)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 large onion, sliced
8 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 4 teaspoons divided of jarred garlic)
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-2  tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon UNSALTED butter

1) Preheat the oven to 400.
2) In a bowl, whisk together the beer and maple syrup. Add the onion, 4 cloves chopped garlic (or 2 teaspoons jarred garlic) and 1 tablespoon driedrosemary to the beer mixture.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan or 5 quart casserole. The recipe calls for a 2 quart casserole, but I would have liked to see that magic to have that all fit!

3) Arrange the chicken skin-side up on top and season with salt and pepper.

4) Cover the dish with foil and set it on a baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is just cooked through, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reaches 145, about 1 hour, check after 45 minutes.
5) In a small sauce pan, combine the olive oil with the remaining 4 cloves garlic (or 2 teaspoons jarred garlic) and 1 tablespoon dried rosemary in a small saucepan; warm over low heat until the garlic is soft and the oil becomes fragrant, about 15 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY!!

6) When finished baking, remove chicken and onion to a plate. Pour the remaining cooking liquid into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced by half. Whisk the flour into the liquid, followed by the butter. Add reserved onions. Season with salt and keep warm.
7) Heat grill over medium-high heat or start charcoal grill.
8) Brush some of the flavored oil over the chicken; place skin-side down on the grill  and cook until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
9) Spoon the grilled onion and sauce on top of the chicken

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crock Pot LOW FAT Pumpkin Spice Latte

Adapted: Stephanie O'Dea

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am a huge fan of Stephanie O'Dea. I don't pay full price for alot of cookbooks, but I do for hers. They are used minimally of once a month and have a prominent place on my bookshelves for easy access.

On that note, I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. Like Shamrock Shakes from McDonald's used to be for me. Lightened up Pumpkin Spice Lattes are my new favorites that I have to wait for once a year. Until now. I can have these as often as I like without the $5 price tag! One other thing that I need to mention is that I am cheap...if I can make it at home for less money, that is what is going to happen.

I have been known to whip this up the night before and throw it in the crock pot as I am getting ready for work. I then throw it in my coffee travel cup while heading out the door for the day. It also reheats well so I can drink it over two days.

So, thanks to Stephanie O'Dea for this wonderful recipe and here we go!!

Ingredients the way I make it:

1 cup STRONG brewed coffee
2 cups FAT FREE milk
2 T. canned pureed pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 T. Equal
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Fat Free canned whipped cream
Extra pumpkin pie spice for topping


1) Place first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
2) Cook on high in a 2 qt crock pot for 2 hours.
3) Ladle finished drink into a mug or coffee travel cup and top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

Easy Crock Pot Salisbury Steak

Adapted: Allrecipes

My husband loves Salisbury Steak, especially if it has a thick gravy and is served alongside real mashed potatoes. I am not a fan of it because it normally calls for a higher fat ground beef. When I found this recipe in my "mailbox" though. I thought it had potential, especially because it called for crock pot cooking and it was made with low fat ground beef. I was even able to find a way to "lighten" it up even more. Even I enjoyed this recipe. It was even better the second day!

One thing that stood out for me as I read the reviews was that several reviewers spoke re: doing the majority of the prep the night before and threw it in the crock pot on their way out to work for the day. I could easily see it!

So, here we go with my adapted recipe!!


2 pounds lean ground beef (4% fat)
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed low fat cream of chicken soup
1 (1 ounce) packet beefy onion dry soup mix
3/4 cup water

1) In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, and milk using your hands. Shape into 8 oblong patties.

2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure oil is hot before use
3) Dredge the patties in flour just to coat, and quickly brown on both sides in the hot skillet.

4) Place browned patties into the 4 qt. crock pot stacking side by side.

5) In another bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, beefy onion dry soup mix, and water. Pour over the meat.

6)Cook on the Low setting for 5 hours, until ground beef is well done. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie Bars

Adapted: Martha Stewart
I noticed a recipe similar to this pinned yesterday on Pinterest. The recipe was similar to a magic cookie bar complete with coconut and pecans. Now, my boys are not fond of coconut and won't eat it. They will eat pecans, but I had none in the house and I really prefer my chocolate chip cookie with walnuts so I swapped out the pecans for the walnuts.

When I first read the recipe, I was concerned with some of the reviewers' comments regarding dryness of the crust and the fragility of the I set out to work on that. Here is what I came with. First, I changed the pan size to a 9 x 13 pan. Then , I added a full 2 sticks of butter to the crust instead of the stick and a half that the original recipe calls for. It is really important to note that these bars take several hours to completely cool. Allow them to do that before cutting.

Don't be surprised if the edges of the cookie bar burn. That is to be expected. I simply trimmed them up and all the goodness was less than an inch in!

So, here we go!
3 cups finely ground graham crackers, 3 packages
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup walnut pieces
1 packages semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Important: Brush a 9 x13 pan with water and line with parchment paper.
2) In a large bowl, stir together graham crackers, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom of pan.

3) Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes.
4) Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.
5) Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with walnuts and chocolate.

6) Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely.
7) Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
8) Transfer to rack; cool completely.
9) Cut into equal-size bars.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grapefruit Margaritas (Serves 4)

Adapted: The Barefoot Contessa

I love margaritas. Not the margarita mix margaritas, but the ones loaded with fresh juices as a margarita is meant to be. I had was wandering around Allrecipes and came across a recipe for grapefruit margaritas, but a couple of the reviews said that they were too sweet and that made me somewhat leery, but still intrigued, so I continued my search for a GM that would tickle my fancy and go well with chicken fajitas I was making that night. I found the site of the Barefoot Contessa, and in that, THE Grapefruit Margarita recipe I was looking for. Although, I am not a huge fan of the Contessa..this one really struck my fancy, so I went into trying it right away. I must say it fit the bill I was looking for perfectly!

So, here we go!:

Drink Ingredients:

1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed or bottled)~I used OS Ruby Red and it was fine.
½ cup FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice (4 limes)
1 cup orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
2 cups ice
1 cup BLANCO tequila (white/clear tequila)

Rimmer Ingredients (BC listed this as optional, but it is really needed to cut down on the tartness of the GF juice):

1 lime cut in wedges
Margarita or Kosher salt


1) Rim your glasses, as instructed in the "How to Rim" tutorial. Place glasses in freezer to chill
2) When ready to serve, place all the drink ingredients in a blender and blend until ice is chopped.
3) Remove glasses from freezer. Add additional ice to glasses and pour margarita in. Place a lime wedge on the glass, if desired, and serve!

Note: This is an "on the rocks" margarita. It will not have the consistency of a frozen margarita.
Note: Normally I stress the need for fresh squeezed juices in any of my drink recipes. Although, the bottled Ruby Red Grapefruit juice worked well in this recipe, I wouldn't use concentrated lime juice. It is too rough tasting to support this recipe!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Griddle Steaks and Steak Sandwich on a Bagel

Adapted: Julie's Eats and Treats

I stumbled across this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and was skeptical about frying steaks indoors. It is funny in reviewing Julie's site, she stated that she is fearful of cooking on a grill. I am totally the opposite, I am fearful of cooking steaks indoors. I just don't think it is fittin', not fittin' at all! Any how, when I did these, it was still 20 some odd degrees outside and I am a more of a wimp about cooking in the freezing cold than I am about trying new things.Plus,  I was also craving a steak at the time and the craving won out over my pig-headed belief that the only place to cook a steak is over a charcoal grill.

So,  in the morning, I threw some of my crock pot baked potatoes into the crock pot and then continued on for the day.

Approximately 1 hour before I was going to cook the steaks (this can be done in as little as 1/2 hour), I rubbed them with olive oil and seasoned them using McCormick's Grill Seasoning and Paula Deen's Revamped House Seasoning and allowed them to come to room temperature.

I, then, took out my cast iron pan and, you guessed it, sprayed it liberally with non-stick cooking spray and then a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. I heated this over a medium flame to get the oil good and hot. My husband and son like their steaks well done, so I did theirs first. I cooked theirs for roughly 6 minutes per side and then allowed them to finish cooking in a "warming" oven that was set at 170 degrees. I really like my steaks still mooing, so I did mine last for 3 minutes per side.

THESE STEAKS WERE FANTASTIC!! Better than anything that I would get in a restaurant.

So, here we go...


Steak (I used a 1 inch thick Rib eye steak)
McCormick's Grill Mate Seasoning~to taste
Paula Deen's revamped House Seasoning (listed under "My Favorite Seasoning"
Olive Oil


1) Approximately one half  hour before cooking, remove steak from refrigerator, LIGHTLY rub in approximately a teaspoon of olive oil and seasonings, to taste, and allow to come to room temperature. You don't want your steaks drowning in the oil, just enough to have the seasonings attach.

2) Spray a CAST IRON pan liberally with non-stick cooking spray and add additional olive oil. Allow to heat over medium heat. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR OIL BE HOT, OTHERWISE YOUR STEAK WILL SOAK UP ADDITIONAL OLIVE OIL! This will negatively affect its' taste.

3) Fry to desired temperature:

  • Very Rare to Rare~2-3 minutes per side
  • Medium Rare to Medium~ 4-5 minutes per side
  • Medium Well to Well Done~ 6-7 minutes per side (allow to finish off in a warmed oven)

Note:  Cook the more well done steaks first because they can be placed in the oven without altering its' "doneness" too much.

Note: These steaks turned out so well that I did a steak sandwich on a toasted bagel for lunch the following day. I topped it with lettuce, tomato, onion and horsey sauce. It turned out so yummy it wasn't even funny!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Susan Mallery's Sunset Bay Chicken Thighs


Adapted: Susan

Susan Mallery is a member of my group, Sisterhood of the Traveling Book, on Goodreads. When she first joined (after I swallowed my tongue that a New York Times best selling author would join our little group),  I decided that I had to investigate her works further. Well, I was wandering all around her website, and stumbled upon her recipe page. Being the foodie that I am, I made a beeline for there and came across a very large number of scrumptious recipes that I ended up trying. One that has become a regular part of the Blackburn family menu has been her Sunset Bay Chicken Legs. Because I am not a leg girl, I switched it to thighs and prefer it much more. This is a very simple recipe to make and has some rockin' results. The house smells SO good whenever I make this dish! Although Susan says to get rid of the butter mixture after baking, I keep it and it becomes an awesome topping for white rice. Do a side of corn and you have an awesome, whole family meal for even the pickiest eaters!

So, here we go!:

1 Stick Butter/Margarine
1/2 t. jarred garlic
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 t garlic powder
½ t Black pepper
½ t Cayenne pepper
1 T Mixed herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, or a combination of the
above)~ I normally use a teaspoon each of Oregano, Basil and Parsley
6 chicken thighs (Susan calls for 12 chicken legs)

1) In a small sauce pan, melt butter or margarine and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Add garlic, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper and mixed herbs. Stir until well blended.

3) Place thighs in a 9x13 pan and pour butter mixture over all. Turn pieces to ensure coverage.

4) Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken reaches and internal temperature of 180 degrees.

Low Sugar Pink Lemonade


I LOVE pink lemonade...I mean I love it, but I don't love the extreme sweetness that you see when it is made with sugar or in commercially prepared pink lemonades. I was meandering around Allrecipes, as I am frequently known to do, and came across a recipe for this. The original recipe was doubled from mine and called for 2 cups of sugar. That reminded me of my common complaint, so I moved on, but kept going back to it and thinking. That is when I starting configuring a new recipe for a tarter version of the drink and here is what I came up with. Please note that this recipe is much lower in sugar than your run of the mill pink lemonades. Also, it is much tarter, because I bumped up the lemons by one whole lemon. Don't want it as tart, drop the one lemon.

So, here we go!:


7 lemons, juiced
1 cup "bulk" granulated, no calorie sweetener, such as Equal
1 cup cranberry juice (regular or sugar free)
4 cups water


1) Pour all into a pitcher and stir
2) Allow to chill for a couple of hours before serving and stir again.

Comforting Cube Steaks with Super Easy Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes


I came across this recipe several years ago and it is now a staple in our house. We never have leftovers and the gravy goes beautifully over my super easy homemade garlic mashed potatoes; however, you can serve over rice or egg noodles just as well.  On a side note, I use diet Sprite in my dish. I have found it is not as sweet as using the sugared pop, plus I also save save calories.

So, here we go! :

4 (4 ounce) cube steaks
1 medium onion sliced
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, such as 7-up or Sprite
2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup or low fat cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.               
2) Season the steaks on both sides with Cajun seasoning and Paula Deen's Revamped House Seasoning Place the steaks into the prepared baking dish. Top with sliced onions.
3) Pour the lemon-lime beverage over them.

4) Combine the cream of mushroom soup and dry onion soup mix, and pour over the steaks.

5) Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Do not open the oven door during the first hour of cooking.
6) Serve steaks with gravy spooned over starch (potatoes, rice egg noodles), as well.

Now for the Super Easy Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes (my recipe)


10 Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Paula Deen's House Seasoning Revamped (
1/4 cup butter


1) Place potatoes in pan and cover with water. Boil for approximately 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2) Add milk, house seasoning and butter in pan and mash using either a mix master or a potato masher. I do prefer using a mix master to make the potatoes really smooth
3) If desired, add an extra 2 tablespoons of butter.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies


These are my family's new favorite chocolate chip cookies. Loaded with the taste of peanut butter and chocolate, it is only bolstered by taste and chewiness of the oats. I also love the fact that there is the goodness of whole grains in the oatmeal rather than being straight white processed flour. The original recipe only called for 1 cup of chocolate chips, but I love chocolate so much, I bumped it up to a full 12 oz bag and it worked out well. Betch ya can't eat just one!!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips


1) In a mixing bowl, cream butter, peanut butter and sugars; beat in egg and vanilla.

2) Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt.

3) Add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

4) Utilize a cookie scoop or drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

5) Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Removed to cooling rack and allow to cool. Store in an air tight container.              

Lemony Caesar Salad


I love Caesar salads so when I came across this on, I knew it was a new version of my old favorite and I wanted to try it.


1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
9 cups torn romaine lettuce
Sliced red onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup salad croutons


1) In a small bowl or mason jar, combine the first six ingredients. Shake until well blended and refrigerate until ready to use.

2) In a large bowl, combine the lettuce and onion.

3) When ready to serve, pour the dressing on the salad mixture and top with Parmesan cheese. Toss gently and add salad croutons. Toss again. Serve immediately!

Easy Stuffed Manicotti

On my Goodreads group, Sisterhood of the Traveling Book, we have a thread for recipes which members can post. One of our members posted Stuffed manicotti. Now, I love me some pasta and love manicotti, but was always intimidated by all the work and such that goes into it. This dish is SO easy though that it isn't even funny. I have even thrown some thawed frozen spinach in it and it worked beautifully.

So, here we go!:

1lb box manicotti shells
1 egg
1 quart cottage cheese
1 lb Italian Sausage
Box frozen spinach,  thawed (optional)
Jar of Marinara Sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese


1) Combine cottage cheese, sausage, and egg into a bowl and mix well, then put it into your piping bag. I use a gallon sized Ziploc bag with the corner cut.

Mixed up

Put meat in Ziploc bag and cut the easy!

2) Pipe mixture into your UNCOOKED manicotti.

3) Liberally spray 9x13 dish with cooking spray and 1/2 cup of the marinara

4) Lay filled manicotti in the baking dish and top with remaining marinara and mozzarella cheese.

This is how it will look before you top with cheese

5) Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mediterranean Vegetables

I revert back to this vegetable side dish when I am looking for something really fresh to go with my meals. Except for the baby carrots, the prep work for this dish is so simple, I can whip it up in no time. The other thing that I love about this dish is that it uses no salt whatsoever..I am really trying to cut down on my family's salt consumption so dishes like this really help that.

So, here we go!:


25 baby carrots,  halved lengthwise
3 zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper sliced thin
25 grape tomatoes, halved
1 heaping tablespoon oregano
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil


1) Steam carrots until somewhat soft. Mine took about 20 minutes
2) Liberally spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and place olive oil in pan. Allow to heat up.
3) Place all veggies in pan and saute.
4) Add oregano and lemon. Give a final stir.

Serves 4.

Lemon Greek Chicken with Potatoes


I love Greek food. Absolutely love it, minus lamb, which I don't eat for personal reasons.

I normally grab a Greek chicken dish when I head out to a Greek restaurant which is near us. Our son Jonathon is able to do some killer Greek Chicken wings, which closer to Summer, I will be posting for the Pub and Grub, and those are SHEER pleasure. Well, lo and behold, I was stumbling around Pinterest and came across this recipe for Lemon Greek Chicken with Potatoes and knew I had to try it!

So, here we go!:


4 pound chicken, cut into quarters
8potatoes, peeled and quartered
juice from 2-3 medium lemons (NOT CONCENTRATE)
1 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or 4 teaspoons jarred garlic
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 cup of water


1) Preheat oven to 375°F
2) Rinse chicken and pat dry. Using cutters, cut chicken into quarters.
3) Peel the potatoes and quarter.
4) Salt and pepper the chicken and potatoes.

5) Transfer chicken to a roasting pan, add potatoes, on and around the chicken.
6) In a mixing bowl, mix oregano, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, distributing evenly across the pan.

7)Add water and roast uncovered for 2 hours. If needed add up to 1/2 cup water.  Chicken will be 180 degrees when cooked thoroughly.

NOTE: 45 minutes into backing time, flip chicken. 1.5 hours into cooking time, flip chicken again.