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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cucumber Avocado Feta Salad

This is a delicious no cook side dish. It can go on top of salmon, on the side to almost any meat, or just be a tasty snack. I found a few different recipes through Pinterest but tweaked each until I settled on this. I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures, they were taken with my phone this time.

Serves 4

1 medium cucumber
1 medium to large avocado
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
Small bunch of fresh mint
2 to 3 tbsp lime juice

 Peel and chop the cucumber in to small quarters. You can remove the seeds before also if you prefer to not have them. Throw in a bowl.
Finely  chop the mint and add to the bowl.
 Peel and chop the avocado into small chunks. Add to the bowl.
Next add the lime juice and as much feta cheese as you desire.
Stir and serve immediately.
I had some leftover that I had the next day, and the avocado did not brown because of the lime juice in the recipe. It definitely was not as good as it is freshly made though.

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Brussels Sprouts Pasta

This recipe is delicious! I found is on It took a little more prep, but totally worth it!

Serves 4 to 6 

6 tbsp butter
8 oz pasta (I used elbow)
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped brussels sprouts
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

 Cook pasta according to instructions, set aside.
In the meantime, brown the butter. Cook over low-medium heat until golden brown. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
 Toast the hazelnuts over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Place on a towel and rub the skins off. This step takes more time than I thought it would so be ready for that! Roughly chop the peeled hazelnuts.
Heat the olive oil and saute the brussels sprouts, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, pasta, hazelnuts, browned butter, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and then serve.

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Balsamic Beef Roast

Hi there! Sorry I have taken a very long break from blogging! Life has been very busy. This recipe is a slow cooker recipe I found on It has minimal prep time, and it is super easy. You can serve it several different ways, so it is a fairly versatile recipe.

Serves 4 to 6

 1 2-3 lb Beef Roast
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
4 cloves garlic chopped


Mix together all of the liquid ingredients and the garlic in a bowl.
Place the roast in the crock pot and pour the mix over top.
Cook for 6 hours on low.
We chose to serve ours with potatoes and veggies. You can shred the meat and put it on sandwiches, and a bunch of other options as well.

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bacon-Cheddar Frittata

I found this recipe on surprisingly. I was searching for cast iron skillet recipes because I finally took the plunge and bought one! It was super fun to cook with. This recipe was easy adn delicious.

Serves 2 to 4

 non-stick cooking spray for skillet
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 large eggs
1 cup fat-free milk
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
ground pepper to taste

Spray skillet with non stick cooking spray and cook the bacon. Set aside. Add onion and bell pepper to skillet and cook about 5 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the broiler.

Whisk eggs and milk together. Stir in bacon, tomato, bell pepper, cheese, and onion.

Spray the skillet again with non stick cooking spray. Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Cook over low to medium heat undisturbed for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place the skillet under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the frittata is set in the center. Cut into 4 wedges and serve at once.

My husband even liked this recipe and he is not big on eggs. From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Almond Turkey Stir-Fry

I found this recipe in the cookbook Busy Family Favorites. It is an easy and yummy spin on chicken or beef stir-fry.

Serves 4 to 6

1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 lb turkey breast (cubed or chopped up deli slices)
4 tsp canola oil
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped or shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup slice mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 cups (after cooked it will be 4 cups) of white rice, cooked

 Combine corn starch, chicken broth, water, soy sauce, sugar, and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside for later.
In a skillet, heat canola oil. Stir fry celery, carot, onion, mushrooms, and green onions until crisp-tender, about 5 or 6 minutes.
 Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add water chestnuts and reserved turkey, heat through.  Stir in broth mixture and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.
 Stir in rice and heat through.
Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pork with Cucumber-Peach Salad

I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine a long time ago. It is just a normal pork tenderloin, but the real thing I wanted to post is the Cucumber-Peach salad. It is delicious!

Serves 4

 1 lb pork tenderloin
2 peaches
2 cucumbers
Bunch of green onions, chopped
1/4 cup dried cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2-3 tsp salt

 Peel and dice cucumbers. Dice peaches. Set aside in a bowl.

 Season pork tenderloin with the seasoning of your choice. I use an all-blend spice from a local farmers market vendor, Grateful Bread.
 Whisk olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
 Cook pork tenderloin with green onions in a skillet until barely pink in the middle, about 15-20 min.
 Slice pork tenderloin.
Combine the lime juice mixture, cilantro, mint, peach, and cucumber.

I served the two with some plain greek yogurt and naan bread. The combination of all these flavors was delicious!

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Friday, June 6, 2014

BBQ Apple Bacon Chicken

I have not had a chance to bog in a long time. Work got really busy and we traveled a bit. Finally I was able to make a new meal worthy of sharing! This honestly might be my new favorite way to prepare chicken. It was absolutely delicious. It had a little bit more prep than some of the other meals I have made in the slow cooker, but it really was easy. It is one of those meals that is really easy to adjust quantity of ingredients according to how many people will be enjoying it! I found the recipe through Pinterest on

Serves 2

2 small red apples
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup brown sugar
2 chicken breasts
6-8 slices of bacon

Peel and chop both apples into small bite-sized pieces.
 Combine all the ingredients except the bacon and chicken in a bowl.
 Wrap the chicken in bacon. I didn't need to fasten the bacon on in any. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour the apple mixture over top. Cook on low for 6 hours.
I served mine with brown rice pilaf and steamed corn. It really was absolutely delicious!

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Make Ahead Crock-Pot Meals

The idea is that you create a mass number of slow cooker meals and freeze them to be made at a later date. I had seen this idea a lot on Pinterest. I knew I would do it when we have children, so to make week nights easier, but it dawned on me that I could do it now as well! I collected recipes for crock pot meals, created a shopping list for the ingredients I did not have on hand, and then prepped all the meals. I decided on 10 meals this go round. In total the process took about 3-4 hours, including the trip to the grocery store. I will include the recipes I made at the end of this post.

 This is all of the ingredients I bought at the store because I did not have them on hand. The rest aren't pictured.
After getting back from the store I started by preparing all the ziploc bags for the meals. I put the title of the recipe and the cooking instructions in sharpie on the bag. Then I wrote out the ingredients to add to the bag on a post it note to be removed before freezing.

Next I prepped all the meat by rinsing and cutting off the fat. I put all the chicken in a large bowl since that is what most of my meals called for.
 I set the meat aside and started on the produce. I went through each vegetable/fruit to be cut up and added them to their respective bags.
 Next I added canned and frozen vegetables to the bags.

After that I put in all the spices and liquid ingredients.

Last I added in the meat. I had my husband help me hold open the bags so I could add all the meat without worrying about the safety of handling all that raw meat.
 I closed each bag, making sure to get all the air out that I could.
Lay each bag flat, one on top of another, so you can stack them in the freezer easily. This is all ten meals stacked up, and it surprisingly did not take up much room!

It was a lot of work at once but it will save so much time later! I actually had a lot of fun doing the process.

Here are all the recipes I chose to make. There are a ton on Pinterest.

Hearty Beef Stew
1 pound beef stew cubes
4 carrots, sliced
4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 cans 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) package frozen green peas
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 7-10 hours (or HIGH for 5-6 hours).

Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours). Sprinkle with fresh or dried rosemary for serving.

Cilantro Lime Chicken w/ Corn and Black Beans
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
Juice from 2 limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin 
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours). 
Serve with tortillas and toppings such as with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken  
2 lbs chicken breasts
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1 ½ cup barbecue sauce
Combine all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and zip closed.  When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours. 

Slow Cooker Sweet Teriyaki Chicken
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
Mix together soy sauce, sugar, garlic salt and chopped onion in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Place chicken breasts inside the bag and zip closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours.
Serve over rice.

Slow Cooker Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs pork chops, boneless (about 4-6 chops, thick sliced)
6-8 medium potatoes, chopped into large pieces
2 (10.75 oz each) cans cream of chicken soup (I used 1 chicken, 1 mushroom)
2 (1 oz each) packages dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup milk
Dried parsley to sprinkle on top (optional)
In a bowl, mix together the soups, milk, and ranch dressing mixes and pour into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Combine all other ingredients together and zip closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours.
Use the extra sauce in the slow cooker as a gravy for the potatoes and the pork chops. Sprinkle with dried parsley if you want.

Crock Pot Orange Chicken
1 orange
1 onion
¼ soy sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup honey
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1-2 chicken breasts
1.    Place 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced onion, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 cup honey, 1 T fresh minced ginger, and 1 T minced garlic in a gallon freezer bag.
2.    Seal bag, and massage sauce.
3.    Add 1 lb. of chicken to the bag, seal, and massage sauce into the chicken.
4.    Freeze.
5.    The day before serving, thaw in the fridge for 24 hours.
6.    Day of cook for 4-6 hours on low depending how hot your crock-pot cooks.
7.    Carefully remove orange peels, and enjoy!

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken
·        Chicken 
·       5 garlic cloves chopped
·       1 tsp. oregano
·       3/4 cup soy sauce
·       1/4 cup ketchup
·       1/2 cup spicy honey bbq sauce
·       1/3 cup honey
·       pinch of salt
·       dash of pepper
1.    Place all ingredients in gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze.
2.    Thaw overnight & dump into Crock-Pot, cook on low 6 hours.

Marinated Tuna Steaks

It is not very often that I convince my husband to let me cook fish for dinner. He is not a fan. Tuna is one fish that is not very "fishy tasting" so sometimes I can convince him to let me cook this. I LOVE tuna! This recipe is a delicious marinade for tuna steaks. I found it on

Serves two

2 tuna steaks
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
Ground black pepper

 Combine all the ingredients except the tuna in a glass dish.
 Marinate the tuna steaks 30 minutes to an hour, turning once.
 Cook over the stove top for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until browned.
I served mine with quinoa and cheesy broccoli! It was delicious!

From one newbie to another, enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I found this recipe through Pinterest on I made it a little bit smaller since it is just my husband and I. It was absolutely delicious and the left overs were great the next day too!

Serves 2 to 4

1 large chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
 4 to 6 slices deli ham
4 slices swiss cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 tbsp butter melted
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

 Grease a square baking dish. Spread chopped cooked chicken over the bottom of the dish.
 Shred the deli ham and scatter evenly over top the chicken.
 Place the cheese evenly over the ham.
 Meanwhile make the sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over low to medium heat. Once butter is melted stir in the flour, do not brown. slowly pour in the milk while stirring. Cook until the sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper, and paprika. Bring sauce to a low boil and turn off heat.
 Pour sauce over the top of the casserole, being sure to pour down the sides as well.
Make the topping. Heat the butter in microwave until melted. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.
 Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake casserole uncovered for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly throughout and topping and turned a light brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes prior to serving.

From one newbie to another, enjoy!