• Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon


    This is the first year that we’ve planted rosemary and it actually thrived! Wohoo! I found a recipe in Great Food Fast…shocking I know that sounded really good. I adapted the recipe just a bit, and it tasted delicious. I served the chicken with grilled zucchini and peppers (also adapted from Great Food Fast) and Tuscan cous cous (my recipe).


    • 4 TBSP fresh chopped rosemary
    • 1/3 c. water
    • 1/4 c. lemon juice
    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


    1. In a small saucepan bring water and rosemary to a boil; remove from heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Transfer rosemary and the steeping water to a blender. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Let cool.
    2. In a shallow dish or ziploc bag, combine chicken with rosemary oil, and marinate for at least 15 minutes (mine marinated for about 2 hours) or overnight.
    3. Grill.

    Grilled Zucchini and Peppers


    • 2 zucchini, 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal
    • 2 red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers, big chunks
    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 c. basil, chiffonade
    • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced


    1. In a large bowl, toss veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill veggies until tender.
    2. Return veggies to the bowl; toss with basil and rosemary.

    Tuscan Cous Cous


    • 1 c. cous cous
    • 1 1/2 c. water
    • 2 tsp. olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 TBSP rosemary, chopped
    • 1/4 c. basil, chiffonade


    1. Combine couscous, water, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, keep covered and let cous cous continue cooking, for about 10 minutes. Uncover fluff with a fork and stir in basil.

    Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon:


  • Broccoli Parmesan Casserole


    I had a huge bag of broccoli I just had to use up. I came across a recipe at A Veggie Venture. I thought the kiddos would really like this. They like broccoli and they love cheese, but they were both really tired tonight, and it wasn’t the night to try something new. It was good though.



    • 2 pounds fresh broccoli florets
    • Salted water to cover


    • 1/3 c. flour
    • 1/4 tsp. table salt
    • 1 1/2 c. skim milk
    • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
    • 1 c. grated cheese (I used fontina)
    • 6 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


    • 1 c. coarse bread crumbs
    • 2 TBSP grated Parmesan
    • Cooking spray


    1. Preheat oven to 400F (to save oven time, do this about the time the broccoli’s done).
    2. BROCCOLI: Bring the salted water to a boil in a large covered pot. Add broccoli, and cook until done and still crisp. Drain.
    3. SAUCE: In a medium saucepan on MEDIUM, stir together the flour, salt and mustard. A TBSP at a time to start, stir in the milk and chicken broth, incorporating each new addition before adding more. Let cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 1 c. of the grated cheese, Parmesan and pepper. Gently combine the broccoli and sauce (use the pan the broccoli cooked in). Transfer to a well-greased baking pan.
    4. TOPPING: Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle over top. Spray the top with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    Broccoli Parmesan Casserole:


  • Tuscan Bean Salad


    This recipe comes from the May 2007 issue of Cooking Light. I modified it slightly, namely I omitted the parsley because we didn’t have any and when I went to the grocery store they were all out too. It was good, but nothing great. I thought it needed some more texture, so I added some red pepper. It still didn’t have enough texture for me. Maybe this salad is better on top of some crisp lettuce.


    • 1 c. tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 red pepper, minced
    • 1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • pepper to taste


    1. Combine everything in a bowl and toss.

    Tuscan Bean Salad:


  • Taco Meat 2


    TT, our oldest loves taco meat from our local burrito place, so I decided to make tacos last night. I’ve made taco meat before, but I wanted to try something new. I came across a recipe in Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, and the seasoning reminded me of taco meat, so I adapted that recipe for my own taste and for stove top cooking, and the result was tasty.


    • 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
    • 2 4 oz. cans chopped roasted green chiles
    • 1/2 small onion, chopped
    • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 TBSP chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • olive oil
    • 1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
    • salt to taste


    1. Combine tomato sauce through garlic in a bowl, mix and set aside.
    2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, season with salt, and cook until nearly cooked. Add sauce 1/4 c. at a time until you’ve added the amount to your liking. Simmer meat in sauce until meat is fully cooked.

    Taco Meat 2:


  • Vietnamese Steak Sandwiches


    What is one to do with left over flank steak with lime marinade? Why turn the page of Great Food Fast, and there it is…Vietnamese Steak Sandwiches. The only thing I would do differently next time is make more of the sauce, because the sandwich was a bit dry with the sauce amount in the recipe. Sauce recipe below is for twice the amount as printed in the original recipe.

    This sandwich is super tasty!


    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
    • 2 carrots, grated
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 1/4 c. cilantro leaves, chopped
    • Rolls
    • Sliced flank steak


    1. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, sugar, red pepper flakes, and vinegar.
    2. In another bowl, toss together the carrots, green onions, and cilantro leaves. Toss with half the vinegar mixture.
    3. Split and lightly toast the rolls, add carrot mixture and sliced steak; then drizzle with the sauce.

    Vietnamese Steak Sandwiches:


  • Martin Yan’s Lettuce Cups


    Months ago Martin Yan came to our town and the cafeteria at -s’s work turned into a Martin Yan Feast for lunch. We went to taste all the yummies, and I fell in love with the lettuce cups. After talking to Martin Yan, he told us the lettuce cup recipe is in his Quick and Easy cookbook. Of course I just had to have that cookbook! These lettuce cups are delicious!

    Note: -s loved the lettuce cups too, and after finishing his lunch at the cafeteria, I told him that there were mushrooms in the dish. He didn’t believe me, so when I got the cookbook I showed him the recipe, and sure enough there were mushrooms! Because he liked the dish with the mushrooms in it, he said if I put mushrooms in it, he would eat it! YEAH!!!


    • 4 dried black mushrooms (I used shitake)
    • 1 lb. ground turkey
    • 3 tsp. cornstarch
    • 4 tsp. Chinese rice wine
    • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 2 tsp. minced ginger
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 c. red bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 c. water chestnuts, finely chopped
    • 4 tsp. cilantro, chopped
    • Iceberg Lettuce cups


    • 1/2 c. hoisin sauce
    • 4 tsp. soy sauce
    • 3 tsp. chili garlic sauce
    • 2 tsp. sesame oil


    1. In a small combine the mushrooms in warm water, cover and soak for about 15 minutes. Drain and discard stems; then coarsely chop.
    2. In a bowl, combine the turkey, cornstarch, and rice wine and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes.
    3. Make sauce by combining all sauce ingredients, mix well and set aside
    4. Heat skillet over medium high heat, until hot. Add the oil; then add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the turkey mixture and stir-fry until crumbly and no longer pink. Add the bell pepper, water chestnuts, and mushrooms, and stir-fry until the pepper is soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
    5. Assemble: In a lettuce cup and the turkey mixture then top with sauce or put sauce on the lettuce and top with turkey mixture.

    Martin Yan’s Lettuce Cups:


  • Flank Steak with Lime Marinade


    I adapted this recipe from a recipe in Great Food Fast.  I have found the longer you marinate flank steak the better it tastes. (The second time I made this I marinated it for 8 hours, and it was absolutely delicious). I’m sure the steak would still be delicious if you marinate it for the 30 minutes, but if you have the time, marinate for longer.


    • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 2 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 1 1/2 lb flank steak


    1. In a zip loc bag, combine the lime juice, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and red pepper. Add the steak and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for at least 30 minutes (longer if you can-the second time I made this I marinated it for 8 hours, and it was absolutely delicious).
    2. Heat grill. Remove steak from the bag and discard marinade. Cook, turning once, until desired tenderness–6 to 8 minutes for medium rare.

    Flank Steak with Lime Marinade:


  • Crock Pot Lasagna Florentine


    I’ve never tried making a pasta dish in the crock pot. Today I got creative and made a lasagna. I used the no boil lasagna sheets and made a spinach and ricotta filling (trying to get veggies in wherever I can). Everyone really liked it. I thought the pasta was a bit over cooked, so next time I’ll start checking at the 2 hour mark. You would never guess this came from a crock pot!


    • 9 oz. fresh spinach leaves
    • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
    • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3/4 c. grated pecorino romano cheese, divided
    • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
    • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced
    • 1 26 oz. jar of pasta sauce
    • 1 package of no boil lasagna noodles (12 sheets)


    1. In a food processor, pulse the spinach in two batches until finely chopped.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, Italian seasoning, salt, 1/2 c. percorino, and eggs.
    3. Spray your crock with cooking spray. Add about 1/4 sauce to the crock; layer with the lasagna noodles (break the noodles if necessary to fit your crock; add a layer of the spinach ricotta mixture; then layer with mozzarella; then layer with about 1/4 c. sauce. Repeat until you get to the top layer, ending with sauce (my top layer was pasta, sauce, and pecorino). Sprinkle top layer with remaining 1/4 c. pecorino romano cheese.
    4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours (start checking at the 2 hour mark for desired doneness).


    Crock Pot Lasagna Florentine:


  • Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken


    I had some red peppers that needed to get used up, and it was a Thursday, so I needed a crock pot dinner. The recipe below is my version of a recipe I came across. It was pretty good, and one that I will make again when we are in need of a tasty crock pot dinner, especially since the kiddos liked the chicken (albeit dipped in ketchup).


    • cooking spray
    • 2 bell peppers, sliced thick (I used 2 reds, but use what you like)
    • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thick
    • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips
    • 1/4 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. corn starch
    • 1 c. pineapple juice (juice from one large can)
    • 1/4 rice wine vinegar
    • 1/4 c. water
    • 1 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • Pineapple chunks from large can
    • hot rice


    1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Place onions, peppers, and chicken in crock pot. In a small bowl combine brown sugar through salt, and mix well. Pour over chicken, onions, and peppers.
    2. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, take lid off and stir in pineapple and cook until pineapple is warmed, a few minutes.

    Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken: