Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Beef Crock Pot

Today with the weather very cold and gray.  I wanted the house to feel warm and welcoming.  So the best way to do that is by using a crock pot.  The wonderful smells permeate the house.

1 small beef roast (I used grass fed beef roast)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour (I used gluten free flour)
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper
1/4 dry sherry
8 carrots, peeled and diced
4 turnips, peeled and diced
2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into chucks
5 red potatoes, washed
1 small bag of frozen corn


1) Salt, pepper and flour both sides of beef roast.  Heat a saute pan with olive oil and place beef roast in the pan, brown on all sides, 5 minutes.  Add to the crock pot.
2) Next, add the diced onions to the saute pan, about 3 minutes.  Add them to the crock pot.
3) Deglaze the saute pan by adding the dry sherry, scrapping all brown bits from the pan.  When the dry sherry reduces to 2 tablespoons pour this into the crock pot.
4) Next add carrots, turnips, potatoes, and frozen corn to the crock pot.  Keep on high for 5 hours!
5) Serve

Serve with noodles and broth from the crock pot!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Organic Ham and Swiss Sandwich

On a rare occasion I'm at home during the lunch hour!  So today I made sandwiches for lunch.  They were really easy and delicious!

Organic Ham and Swiss Sandwiches pictured with sliced pears and raspberries in the background!

4 Slices organic ham
2 pieces of romaine lettuce
2 slices of Swiss cheese
2 high quality rolls
2 tablespoons Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Mayonnaise (I used Boar's Head brand)


1) Preheat oven on to 400.
2) Arrange the sandwiches to your liking, (ham, Swiss, and sun dried tomato pesto mayonnaise on a roll) leaving the lettuce off until after heating in the sandwich in the oven.
3) Place the lettuce on the sandwich and serve.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Artisan Boars Head Chicken Salad Sandwich

This was lunch today, but could easily be a dinner as well.  This was very easy to make... Enjoy!

3 slices of boars head chicken (you could use a different brand)
3 Artisan lettuce leafs
1 tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon of smart balance mayonnaise, spread onto the bread
2 slices of 15 grain bread
Salt and Pepper to taste


Place sandwich together how you would like and enjoy!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Mohawk Valley Trading Company is giving away Raw Honey

If anyone loves getting things for free you should become a member of the Foodie Blogroll!  In the month of October The Mohawk Valley Trading Company is giving away Raw Honey!  I want to win do you???  Visit the Foodie Blogroll and try to win:) 
As you can tell by the below photo I always promote great products and can't wait to take a photograph of the Raw Honey I win and subsequently use in a fabulous meal!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Painted Fireplace

Started and finished a painting project today!  Of course... I first had to put my 7 hours in at work, but I still got it done! This one took a couple of days because of drying time, but I'm wondering why I waited so long to do it?  It really turned out nice and it wasn't expensive because I had the paint sitting in the basement.  So... if you're waiting to do a project, don't wait!  It's so gratifying once its done. 

The Completed project!

The Process from start to finish!
This is what it looked like before I started, I really don't care for oak!

First I taped off the fireplace to insure a clean crisp line.

Next, I lightly sanded and primed the area!

Then I painted the fireplace the color of my choice (Off White)!
This is so beautiful and the room now looks fresh and clean!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grass Fed Beef Sauce over Spaghetti

Tonight... more pasta for our family!  This time I used rice spaghetti which is easy to use if you follow the directions on the package!  In the sauce I used grass fed beef which actually contains more Omega's than Salmon... doesn't get any better than that! Enjoy!

1 lb grass fed beef
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup Marsala cooking wine
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 16oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup parsley, cut
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan to taste
1 box of pasta of your choice (cook according to the directions on the box)


1) Saute onion in olive oil.  Once the onion has become opaque add the sugar until it caramelizes.
2) Simultaneously, begin boiling the water for the pasta.  Follow the directions according to the directions on the box for the pasta you choose.
3) Next, add the grass fed beef to the onion mixture and continue to saute until beef is cooked, 5 minutes.

4) Add the Marsala cooking wine and saute on medium-high heat until the wine cooks down to 2 tablespoons.
5) Add the can of tomatoes, oregano and continue to cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Also add a grind of salt and pepper to taste.

6) Place pasta, meat sauce, parsley and 1 tablespoon or so of Parmesan in a serving bowl. Mix and serve with additional Parmesan at the table.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Organic Sprouted Wheat Pea and Chicken Fettuccine

Tonight was my son Graham's favorite meal...Fettuccine!  He loves this and would most likely eat it every night if I let him.  In this recipe I added a bit of a twist by using sprouted wheat pasta.  It makes the meal have a little more of a peppery taste which is a delicious alternative to the basic fettuccine pasta.  Much healthier too!  Enjoy!

1 8 oz. package of Trader Joes sprouted wheat pasta
4 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 small package of frozen peas
3 boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil


1) Saute boneless chicken breasts in small pan in olive oil until they reach a internal temperature of 180. Remove and set aside to cool.

2) Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water add salt and cook fettuccine according to the directions on the package.

3) Place the peas in the microwave or make according to directions on the package.
4) Simultaneously, warm the butter and cream, add the skim milk and keep at a low temperature (do not allow to boil)!  Add the peas once they are warmed in the microwave and continue to warm on stove top until fettuccine is finished.

5) Add the sliced chicken, cream sauce with peas, Parmesan cheese, and fettuccine pasta in a bowl toss to combine and serve at once.

Friday, October 15, 2010

American Goulash

This comes from the "Down Home" section of the cooking journal.  A good meal for a cool evening.  Winter is least in Minnesota it is! 

1lb extra-lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes
16 oz. kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup white cooking wine


1. Brown lean ground beef, onion, and garlic in a nonstick skillet over high heat.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the white cooking wine.
3. Deglaze the pan using the white cooking wine and pour deglaze mixture on top of other ingredients in slow cooker.

Make it work:
This tastes wonderful over mashed potatoes,
or noodles of your choice. If you have
Worcestershire sauce in you can add it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Risotto with Parmesan Cheese and Parsley

Thought tonight would be a good night to get back to basics!  So here is a recipe from the Cooking Journal.  This recipes shopping list is under the 'Fresh Flavors' section!  Very good and not hard at all!

4 cups meat or vegetable broth (your choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion, chopped fine
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1½ cups Arborio rice
Salt and Pepper to taste


1) Have meat/vegetable broth warm and near the risotto pan.
2) Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan when warm add chopped onion.

3) Cook until translucent then add the rice and stir until everything is coated well.
4) Add ½ cup broth at a time to the rice moist and keep it from sticking to the pan. Keep stirring with
    wooden spoon, until you have used up all of the broth.
5) The rice is done when the rice is firm but tender. Add grated Parmesan cheese and parsley, stir to
     incorporate. Adjust salt and pepper and serve at once.

Make it work:
This meal does take a little longer,
because the risotto needs more stove top time.
Add chicken if you are looking for a protein source. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More...Autumn Decor

Every fall I go through the same argument with my oldest son, it sounds something like this, "Mom put up some Halloween decorations!"  "Well, I really don't have time to and I dislike scary things!" "Come on Mom pleeeease buy some of the spider web stuff to put on the trees out front." "Oh...that stuff makes a mess!"  "Mom, give me a break we are boys we want spiders and skulls!"  "Great, well I will see what I can do!"

This is what he got for decorations I have a feeling he will not be to happy, but everything was free and didn't cost a dime....LOVE THAT!

One of the kids old Halloween costumes (I made) stuffed with bags of leaves, a pumpkin for a head and fake flower eyes!

Inside the house I filled containers with nuts instead of candy (Omega 3's anyone?)

On one tree I used some webbing I found in the storage container.  I added spider lights for the scary appeal!

I hung a lighted Halloween sign I also found in the storage container!

This I did for me! A cute pumpkin sitting on a bird bath!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Caramel Apples

My younger son loves caramel apples!  So instead of buying them I decided to make some for him.

4 medium organic apples
1 package of caramels
4 wooden pop sticks/sticks or 1/4 inch thick dowel rods
1 bowl of ice water (optional)


1) Insert dowel rods (or your choice from above, when I have guests I use small sticks from outside and wash them well); into each stem end of each apple.  
2) Cover a pan with parchment paper; set aside
3) Place caramels in small sauce pan and melt (my stove top has a "melt" setting if yours doesn't just use the lowest setting possible.)
4) Dip apples into melted caramel until evenly coated, spooning caramel over apple as necessary.  Once covered with caramel you can roll the apples in sprinkles or nuts if you wish.  Otherwise, you can dip the apple in ice water to make the caramel 'set' quickly then place it on the parchment paper to dry, or you can simply place the caramel apple on the parchment paper and place the prepared plate in the refrigerator for an hour or so. (Both options work just as well)!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dried Fig & Apple Stuffed Chicken

So tonight I get home from work and I see a note that says, "I took chicken breasts out for dinner tonight!"  "Wow," I thought to myself, "that is wonderful but what am I going to do with those?"  I took a look in the pantry and noticed I had dried fruits, that should work great!  Here we go...Yum!

The stuffed chicken served with acorn squash and creamed corn!

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup dried figs diced
1/4 cup dried apples, diced
1/4 cup dried cranraisins
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and Pepper to taste


1) Slice chicken breast to make a small cavity in each chicken breast.
2) Mix figs, dried apples, dried cranraisins, dry sherry, olive oil, onion and sage in a small bowl.

3) Stuff each chicken breast with the mixture and place on a pan.  Run a little olive oil on the outside of the chicken and salt and pepper.  Place stuffed chicken breasts in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes.  This might take longer depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
Stuffed Chicken breasts before they are placed in the oven!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fusilli with Bell Peppers and Onions

Oh...this is so.... good!  Yet another vegetarian meal that is easy and budget conscious! Remember, if you have wheat allergies try a rice pasta.  They are surprisingly good! 

3 red and yellow peppers
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound pasta (I used Fusilli)
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Grate Parmesan cheese on top to serve


1) Place the bell peppers in a broiler until they are blackened.  Remove and put in a plastic bag for 5 to 7 minutes. 
2) Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion.  Cook until softened but not brown, 5-8 minutes. Place the garlic in and stir to mix together.
3) Return back to the bell peppers.  Take them out of the plastic bag, peel them and cut then into thin strips and add them to the onion mixture.
4) Meanwhile, have a pot of boiling water for the pasta.  Cook according to the directions on the box.  Before draining take 1/4 cup of the pasta water and mix into the onion and bell pepper mixture.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper, add parsley then mix in the drained pasta.  Before serving add as much grated Parmesan as you like.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Black Olives, Garlic, and Feta Cheese

Can you believe tonight I made a dinner and never took a picture?  Well, I did!  I totally forgot!  Just too much going on!  Anyway, this is a very good dish if you like olives:)

2 large tomatoes
3/4 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1 lb. bow tie pasta
6 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste


1) In a bowl combine, tomatoes, olives, feta, capers, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
2) Boil water on stove top and cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain.
3) In a medium frying pan heat olive oil and cook garlic for 1 minute or so. Add the cooked pasta and tomato mixture to the garlic oil and serve immediately.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Appetizer

Need a fast appetizer and not a lot of time to prepare? Well, here is one that is a real winner!  I have made this for years and it always is a crowd pleaser! 

Here is the appetizer in a pumpkin shape!
1 8oz container of cream cheese
3-4 tablespoons of basil (depends on how big your container is)
1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes for a jar


1) Use a container of your liking and place a layer of cream cheese on the bottom.
2) Next, spread a layer of pesto on top of the cream cheese.
3) Lastly, slice up sun dried tomatoes and place on top.
4) Serve with crackers (your choice of course)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Broccoli Florets with Bow Tie Pasta

Needed a quick inexpensive meal tonight so I looked in the refrigerator and found broccoli and pine nuts.  Opened up the cupboard and found bow tie pasta.  This will be quick and easy!

1 bag broccoli
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons earth balance butter
1 box of pasta (I used bow ties)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste


1) Boil water in 2 separate pots and add salt when water begins to boil.  In one pot put the pasta and boil according to the directions on the box.  In the other pot put the broccoli and boil until done 5 minutes, don't allow to get over cooked. 
2) Meanwhile, place pine nuts in 350 degree oven on a piece of foil until they become light brown in color, around 3 minutes.
3) Lastly, drain both pasta and broccoli and place in serving bowl add garlic, butter and Parmesan cheese. Salt and Pepper to taste and serve at once.

Clean up the kitchen with...Bar Keeper's below!