Tuesday, April 29, 2008


As I am typing this, I realized I should have saved this dinner for Cinco de Mayo. Oops! Well I'll have to come up with another fabulous Mexican Dinner for May 5th.
Or wait, I will make something Irish. B/c you see, on St. Patrick's Day, the hubs & I went to On the Border. And he tried to order a Guinness. Yes, yes he did... Back on topic.

In the past few months, I have discovered chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. These spicy yet smoky suckers are awesome! It took me awhile to locate them at the P.Chop, but I did find them. Now, you don't use too many in any recipe so when I get the urge to have some, I need to find other recipes to use them in before they go bad. Yes I know you can freeze them, but I am weird and don't really like freezing things. Anywho, for a potluck luncheon at work next week, I decided to make the Chili & Cheddar Bow Tie Casserole I went in search of what else I could make with the peppers and found in my "Fall Recipes" document (yeah I know its Spring, I started it in the Fall and haven't gotten through all of them yet) Roasted Chicken Chipotle Nachos w/Avocado Crema. I apparently got this from "Sunset" magazine. Or to everyone else, myrecipes.com

  • So I didn't like idea of avocado-crema, we just a bowl of guac & a bowl of sour cream.
  • I grilled my chicken breasts with some "Southwestern" seasoning. No clue what was in it, but looked like some red pepper.
  • I started to chop up my 2 peppers, then realized I had forgotten to seed them. So I did my best to pick out the seeds but my lips were still on fire!
  • I decided to just keep all the mixins' separate. I hate when my nachos get soggy.

These were very good & a nice light dinner. So light in fact, that we made a run to Dairy Queen!

Monday, April 28, 2008


I have been really bad the past few weeks about making breakfast in the morning. Unless its already prepared, its doubtful that Hubs & I will have anything to eat. I also hate buying breakfast at work. I mean, $6 for eggs, some bacon & an english muffin? (That is for both of us).
So I was determined to make something this weekend that we could eat throughout the week. I had some pie crust in the freezer so I took it out to defrost on Friday. I also saw Julie's Broccoli Cheddar Quiche & decided to use that, with some of my own additions & deletions.

I basically left out the onion. I did 3 egg whites & 3 eggs and a little milk. I omitted the mustard, b/c DH hates it, and added some ham. I only used cheddar cheese, no other cheese. I think it took closer to an hour to 75 minutes to cook though.

We had it this morning for breakfast and it was good stuff!

Presto Pasta!

Over at Once Upon A Feast , Ruth hosts a "Presto Pasta" blog event. I thought I would enter this one into the Presto Pasta Night. The hubs and I got home last night and went for a walk. I didn't want to make anything too heavy, I also honestly didn't feel like cooking.
So I had the following:
one very large grilled chicken breast
8 boxes of Ronzoni Whole Wheat Pasta (thanks Sam's Club!)
Canned tomatoes
mozz cheese
pecorino-Romano cheese.
Tomato sauce

So I cooked up the pasta, diced the chicken, mixed everything together & topped my casserole dish with some mozz & pecorino-romano cheese. I tossed it in the oven at 375 for about 40 mins.
Dinner was done (& delicious) PLUS we had leftovers for lunch today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I am so tired of eggs for breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I really love eggs. I just need something else. I like making stradas, quiche, etc... It gives the eggs a little extra something, but to be honest. I only had 4 eggs left and it's pretty hard to bake a quiche out of that small amount.
So onto baked goods. I had some cream cheese in the fridge and I remembered I had bookmarked a Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffin from CL. So I went in search for it.

I realized after reading the recipe, it wasn't all that healthy (not that bad for you in comparison but still not great) and I was missing some things. So I will denote in pink what I did differently.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Filled Muffins
Cooking Light
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese --> I had reg. cream cheese
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour --> I used 1 1/4 cup all purpose & 1 cup whole wheat stone flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons poppy seeds --> Omitted b/c I didnt have any on hand
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk --> I used 1 Tbsp white vinegar & enough skim milk to make 1 cup. In place of the 1/4 cup I used low-fat sour cream.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine the cream cheese and preserves; stir with a whisk.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg whites, and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray, filling one-third full. Top each with about 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture; divide the remaining batter evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove the muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack.

1 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 182(29% from fat); FAT 5.9g (sat 1.7g,mono 1.6g,poly 2g); PROTEIN 5g; CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CALCIUM 94mg; SODIUM 231mg; FIBER 0.7g; IRON 1.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.4g

They were delicious, but, like anything else I stuff, they kind of exploded. I lost quite a bit of filling in some of them. Oh well. I mean, I cant stuff chicken, or tortillas or bread without the insides oozing out, what would make a muffin any different? The recipe also said these would work well for freezing so maybe if you have some extra time, whip a batch and toss em in the freezer for a rainy & non-eggy day.

Corn Off The Cob

Who doesn't love corn on the cob??? It signifies the beginning of BBQ season. You can have corn on the cob all summer long, for any meal! Ask my mom, she likes to have it for "brunch".
(My mom also thinks "brunch" is anywhere between 10am & 3pm. For example,
Mom: Hey come to our house for Brunch this weekend.
Me: Ok Mom, when?
Mom: Oh like 2pm, how does that sound?).
We love corn on the cob at our house, but we HATE how it gets all caught up in your teeth & its so messy.

Enter, the corn stripper.

You can pick up one of these suckers at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $12.00 Santa brought the hubs one for his stocking this past winter & we busted it out! We have actually used it a few times but this time I took some pictures.

Here is the corn on the cob

Next you have the corn stripped off the cob & in the handy holder.

Here is the corn off the cob & nicely plated.

Talk about super easy! It takes a few times to get it right but well worth it in the end.
And, I didn't get a picture, but the hubs made some great BBQ pork chops last night for dinner. Thanks Hubs!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Strawberry Salad

This salad always reminds me of summer. Probably b/c I associate strawberries with summer, but it is so light & refreshing!
Usually I use a different raspberry vinaigrette but the store was out it the last time I went, much to my despair, so I had to buy a different type & I just didn't like it as much.
Anyway, all you need is some spinach, some sliced strawberries, silvered almonds & red onions if you like. We don't like red onions but sometimes I'll put them in for looks!
Drizzle with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette. I like the kind that is in a clear bottle with black & white writing on it. When I get it next, I'll be sure to post it here!

This was a perfect pairing to the whiskey chops. Since the main dish was pretty heavy, this salad was a refreshing compliment.

Whiskey Chops!

I love mushrooms so whenever I see a picture that has something with sauteed mushrooms in it, you can bet I am going to put it on my "to make" list. So when I saw the One Pan Whiskey Chops screaming at me from my inbox, I glanced at the P.Chop add and to what did I see? You guessed it, pork chops were on sale & so were mushrooms! (It was meant to be!!)
I made this last night. It was the Hubs & my one year wedding anniversary. We spent the day together gardening outside so it was nice to just be able to put something together & let it bake.

One Pan Whiskey Pork Chops
Cooking Light

2/3 cup fat-free sour cream (I used low fat)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops, trimmed (I used boneless sirloin chops)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (I didn't have any onions at home)
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup whiskey (I used Maker's Mark)

Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.

Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove pork from pan. Add onion and mushrooms to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Carefully add whiskey to pan; cook for 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir sour cream mixture into pan. Return pork to pan; spoon sauce over pork.

Wrap handle of skillet with foil. Cover and bake at 300° for 1 hour. Serve immediately. (I ended up baking these for about 45 mins at 325F. We were hungry and wanting to eat our wedding cake)

I did have to laugh though when I made the accompanying rice. My friend Betsi asked me on Friday if I had tried this "Nature's Way Parmesan & Romano Rice". Non-chalantly she said, but you would probably make it from scratch. Not so my friend, not so. The rice & I, we haven't had the best experiences. I have tried many a risotto that turns out crunchy, or even mexican rice that also, turns out crunchy. Heck, I cant really even make Minute Rice, it turns out watery. So yes, I turn to the Rice-A-Roni folks to lend a hand. And yes it was delicious, the sauce combined with the rice made a perfect pair!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Healthy Stuffed Shells

This recipe was loosely based off the Garlic Chicken Stuffed Shells. I remember we really enjoyed them, but I was wanting them to be a bit more healthy. Plus cottage cheese was on sale and since I am being frugal with the evil Grocery Store, it was a no brainer.

Hum as I am reviewing my pictures I sure did get some good ones!!!

LowFat Stuffed Shells
1lb chicken, sliced thinly
about 12-15 pasta shells
1 cup cottage cheese (lo fat)
2% shredded mozzarella cheese (One package)
Italian Parsley (fresh or dried)
one egg or a little bit of egg beaters
Pasta sauce about 1 jar

1) Preheat the oven to 375F
2) Start by cooking the pasta shells in the boiling water. You want them to be al dente as they will cook in the oven.
3) Saute chicken & season with S&P. Once its cooked, cut into smaller pieces.
4) In a bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 1/2 of the mozz cheese, a little egg & chicken.
5) Drain pasta shells & run cold water over them.
6) In a pyrex baking dish, spread 1/2 the sauce on the bottom. Next fill the shells & place in the dish. Once all the shells have been filled, top off with the remaining pasta sauce. Then sprinkle with mozz cheese.
7) Cover with foil & cook for about 30 mins. I removed the foil, sprinkled it with some Parmesan cheese, increased the temp to 400F & cooked for an additional 10 mins to get the cheese browned & the the sauce bubbly. Then I sprinkled it with some Italian Parsley for looks.

This was very good! I could tell that it was cottage cheese rather then ricotta, but only by texture, not by taste. I wish they made whole-wheat shells, but this will do for now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Not So Spicy Orange Chicken

I was bored last week, catching up on my hotmail emails and I came across an email from Cooking Light. I just love Cooking Light. Anyway, the email was about bringing "dining out" to the home. There was a recipe for Spicy Orange Beef, but we don't really eat beef & I had chicken. Oh and I had some oranges at home.

Now this was a tasty meal. I changed it up a bit b/c I was going for PF Changs Spicy Orange Chicken. I didn't quite accimplish it. It wasn't spicy enough, I think I needed those little red chili peppers. And because I did change the recipe, I don't think it qualifies as "CL". But the Hubs liked it and since it was his birthday, I am sure glad he did!

Spicy Orange Beef (Chicken)

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
I omitted these b/c I made shrimp "fried" rice
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-inch strips --> I used chicken
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind --> I cut these into peices as opposed to grinding
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onions --> didn't have any so I didn't use any
A little flour to coat the chicken

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Combine rice and salt, tossing well. I omited this step

Combine garlic, pepper, and chicken, tossing well. Place about 1/4 cup of flour in a ziploc bag. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Combine rind, juice, cornstarch, and soy sauce, stirring with a whisk.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture and onions; sauté 2 minutes. Add juice mixture; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Serve chicken mixture over rice.

Shrimp "Fried" Rice

4 cups cooked rice (either brown, white, whatever)
Canola oil
veggies (I used carrots & onions, both diced)
one or 2 eggs (depending on how "eggy" you like your rice to be)
1 to 1 1/2 cups salad shrimp, precooked but thawed
Soy Sauce (I use low-sodium)

In a large saute pan, saute the carrots & onions until tender. Remove from pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Once hot enough, add the eggs and scramble. Then add the rice & veggies.
Next add soy sauce and continue to "fry". Lastly, add the shrimp. Since they are pre-cooked if you add them too soon they will become rubbery.
Season with S&P.

I usually cook my rice in chicken broth or beef broth.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well I have had this box of gnocchi in my pantry for awhile. I never could find something to make with it, although in reality, anything you make w/pasta could be made with gnocchi. The April Edition of Cooking Light had a section on gnocchi. I saw one recipe, for gnocchi w/Italian Sausage & Red Peppers and decided to put it on the menu.

Gnocchi is pronouced like "nyawk-ee" not "gu-no-chi". Do not be mistaken on this pronounciation, as I have been told, a true Italian would shiver in horror to hear it pronouced the other way. But hey, I am Irish so whatve!

Anyway, this was tasty and not too heavy. I edited some items to fit our tastes better.

Gnocchi with Sausage, Red Peppers & stuff
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces basil, pine nut, and chicken sausage (such as Gerhard's), casing removed and sliced --> hey it was a Saturday night, I am using real Italian Sausage
1 cup thinly sliced fennel --> um I dont think so, I did use some fennel seed though
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
--> Lets add some sliced mushrooms since I had some
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Asiago cheese --> not enough Asiago? Add some parm cheese before mixing into the dish.
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the gnocchi in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep gnocchi warm.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon.
3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add fennel, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook 13 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, gnocchi, cheese, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.

My first attempt with gnocchi went quite well. I wish I had thought to make a salad to go with this but I was being utterly lazy on Saturday and just wanted to sit down!

The Hubs Birthday

Well, the hubs birthday is tomorrow. He is a Tax Day baby. I asked him, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?? How about a 3 layer lemon cream cake?? What about some kind of cheesecake?? I give him any option in the entire world.

He says "I want Dirt cake." Yes, as in the cake that you put gummy works in to make it look like soil. The cake that consists of crushed oreos, some cool whip, cream cheese & pudding mix. This is of no fun to me! I wanted something fun to make!! But alas, it is HIS birthday after all. So I made him dirt cake. (My husband is turning 31 by the way) We are breaking into it this evening.

Because the dirt take took all of 20 mins, I had time to make something else. So, even though he denied me the layered lemon cake, I forged forward and made lemon cream cupcake. In all truth, I wanted something to put in my cake stand. It looked so sad on my counter, with nothing in it.

These were super easy, but they definitely made more than 12 cupcakes. You could get 16 out of this mixture and my cupcakes were pretty big.

Lemon Cream Cupcake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks unsalted) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 1/4 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray.
Combine the butter and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar in the large bowl and beat with the mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice and beat until well combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice as necessary. Mix in the flour, baking powder, slat, and 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest until just combined.

In the small bowl, mash together the cream cheese, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest until combined.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on top of each portion of batter and cover the cheese with some of the remaining batter (the batter should reach three-quarters of the way to the top of each cup). Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning over onto the wire rack to cool completely. Use the strainer to sift the tops with confectioners' sugar before serving if desired.

I decided I wanted some with powdered sugar and some with buttercream frosting, so I used the recipe from the margarita cupcakes, but in place of lime I added lemon juice.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Do you own an iPod?

According to news.com, one in five people under the age of 30 own an iPod. I can attest that is true. I can name at least 5 people who own ipods and one person who does not.

Lets see: JB, BR, JM, KN, & LY all have iPods.
Guess who doesn't: Jules

So I bring you Cooking by the Seat of My Pants iPod Giveaway!


How cool is it that he is giving this away???
And b/c I turn 30 this year, I don't want to become the one in SEVEN Americans who don't own an iPod.

Kiss & Shop Again

Well I could only hold out for so long on the "Great Grocery Store Boycott of 2008". Not so much b/c I wanted to go to the store, but b/c we really had nothing left in the house, I was tired of eating out or eating leftovers & really, I just wanted to cook something.

The grocery gods were in my favor this week! I shop at Price Chopper. I know my way around the store so I don't get frustrated and something about them saying at the end "You saved $35.16" makes me all happy. This week the ole P.Chop was having a sale on meat & dairy! What more could one ask for!! So I stocked up on some chicken breast (about 60% off) as well as pork chops & some other things here and there. I was proud of my grocery store trip.

Back to food. So I now have food in the house! Woo-hoo! My blog will no longer be greyed out on your Google Reader. To kick off the renewed cooking at Jules house, I decided to make Chicken Francese. I saw this over on Culinary Infatuation. While not entirely healthy, it was somewhat healthy and I could adjust to make it shade more healthy. (Basically I am saying we are not totally sticking to our diet from P90X, but we are trying).

Anyway I served this with some garlic mashed red potatoes (boiled red potatoes, skim milk, some garlic powder and a lil spray butter)
To lighten up the chicken, I used olive oil to pan "fry" it. I also cut back on quite a bit of the butter for the sauce and I used low sodium chicken broth.
This was delicious and even better the next day. I think the next time I make this, I may add some Thyme to the sauce to give it a different flavor.

PS Sorry for the yellow photo. We had some NASTY weather in the Midwest last night.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Still Boycotting

The grocery store and I are still in a fight. I haven't forgiven him for taking all my money, make me feel like I am some Sugar Mamma. We might have to make up this weekend since the fridge/pantry/deep freeze is starting to become bare, but my decisions will be made wisely.

Anyway, last night I had to make something for dinner. It was also trash night, which means I clean out the fridge. I had already taken tilapia out of the deep freeze to defrost, I just needed to make something to go with it. On Tuesday, we met a coworker at Gordon Biersch for Happy Hour. He ordered a tapas plate that have tapenade on it. Well lo and behold, I had tomatoes & black olives in my fridge that needed to be used up.

It was somewhat nice out last night, so I fired up the grill and made my tilapia foil packets. This is so easy b/c you don't have to flip the fish, it doesn't get stuck to the grill or the foil & you don't have to pay much attention to it. (This could easily be done in the oven)

Tilapia Tomato Foil Packets
By Jules

Tomatoes, quartered & somewhat seeded
Olives, halved
Seasoning, (I used Paul Purdhomme's Seafood Magic)

Spray your foil with the misto to prevent the fish from sticking.
Place fish in the middle of the foil sheet. Season with whatever you are using.
Top the fish with the tomatoes, then the olives.
Now make your packets. (I should have taken step by step pictures sorry!)
Bring the two longer pieces together and fold down. Now take the sides and fold inward.
Place on a heated grill for 20 minutes (do not peak in the packets, you will lose the steam).

I served this with a baked potato topped with broccoli & cheese.
You can do this technique with pretty much anything, salmon, chicken, etc... Top with your favorite veggies and season, then you are good to go.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

White Chocolate Caramel Brownies

You know when you have one of those days? The ones where you don't want to do much, but you think that cooking or baking will make you feel better? I had one of those days yesterday. My husband made it worse, b/c he was having that kind of day as well.

So I looked through my cabinets at what I had on hand (see previous rant about how much money we spend at grocery store). I had cream cheese, white chocolate squares, eggs, peanuts, caramel. Off to Internet to look at what I could make.

Cheesecake (too much effort)
Chocolate White Chocolate Chip cookies (not enough semi-sweet chocolate in the house)
Some kind of nutty bark thing.

Husband decided nutty bark thing was going to be too sweet, so we went with Blondies. Only he wanted to add caramel to it. Oh-kay. So he started unwrapping caramels, probably about 50, while I made the recipe.

C/O Food Network

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1 1/2 cups butterscotch, semisweet chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
Put the sugar in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small skillet or in the microwave in a glass measuring cup. Stir the butter into the sugar until smooth, cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Beat the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix until a smooth thick batter forms. Fold in the chips, as desired.

Spoon the batter to the prepared dish and spread to evenly fill the dish. Bake until the blondies are light brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Invert onto a rack and cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

So here is how we incorporated the caramel. Hubs melted the caramel in the microwave with a little bit of milk. We then used a square pyrex dish and put half the blondie mixture in it. Then poured the melted caramel on top, then topped it with the remaining mixture. It was pretty gooey when it was finished but I didn't want to keep cooking it. They were delicious, easy to make and gooey goodness!

Orange Glazed Salmon & Garlic Onion Cous Cous

Well last week the Hubs and I sat down and went over our finances. We track everything and was in complete shock when I saw how much we spend at the grocery store per month for two people. I could feed a family of 4! Yes I completely understand that eating healthy is more expensive. But I just went to complain about it too!

Needless to say, I am trying to use everything we have in the house right now. I am tired of wasting things. I sometimes make too much for dinner, so I freeze it, only to forget its in the freezer. Or how about fresh produce that goes to waste? That really gets under my skin!

Last night was one of these clean out the pantry nights, that turned out pretty well. I marinated some salmon in OJ for about 45 minutes. Then I used my grill pan to grill it up. I topped it with about 2 Tbsp of cream cheese that had been mixed with dill. Since I topped the salmon with the cream cheese while it was still warm, the cream cheese turned into a nice sauce.

I checked out the pantry to see what else I could make. I had some plain couscous, so I got that out, realized I had some green onions in the produce bin that HAD to be used. I sauteed some chopped green onions & garlic in some olive oil. Cooked the couscous, then added the onions & garlic to the couscous. I added a little garlic salt to give it some more flavor.

Then I steamed some broccoli. (You know the BirdsEye frozen kind that steams in the bag in 5mins)

And there you have it, healthy dinner, without going to the store!

RR- You got me on this one!

Hello! My name is Jules and I receive Rachel Ray emails. (First step is admitting right??) Well most of the time I skim over them. I do like some of RR's recipes, but overall they are not very healthy. If I am going to cook at home, it had better be somewhat healthy. If not, why not just order carryout?
So anyway, I was going through my emails last week and saw something for leftover ribs. Well we had like 2lbs of leftover ribs from ED . RR had a recipe for leftover rib pizza. Intrigued I checked it out, sent to it the hubs and decided to go with it.

Sweet Onion Pork Pizza
Courtesy of Rachel Ray

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
One 16-ounce package frozen pizza dough, thawed --> I used a thin crust Boboli
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce with Italian herbs
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (2 cups) --> We used a Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese mixture (2%)
6 to 8 leftover baby back ribs, meat shredded and bones discarded (about 1 cup meat)
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin rings --> I only used one pepper. We are not big pepper fans.


1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Omit this step2 if you are using a prepared crust.
2. Invert a large baking sheet and place it on a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat the oven to 500°. Place a second inverted baking sheet on a work surface and cover with parchment paper. Stretch the pizza dough to fit the parchment, then brush with oil.
3. In a small bowl, combine the barbecue and tomato sauces. Spread the sauce over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Top with the cheese, shredded meat, bell peppers and caramelized onions.
4. Slide the pizza and parchment paper onto the preheated baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Hubs added some slices of brisket on it, b/c lord knows we have 4lbs of that sitting in the fridge. I made a few pieces with no meat on them. Anyway, it was pretty good. And *fairly* healthy.