Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chile Rellenos Chicken

This is a really quick and tasty dish that you will love.  I just made it for the first time tonight and I wish I had not eaten something already for supper.  I had to take 3 test bites of this one.  So good.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4-6 oz. each)
1 lime, cut in half crosswise
1 egg white
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup finely crushed nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 can (4 oz.) whole green chilies
2 T. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 t. snipped fresh cilantro
Prepared Salsa (opt.)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a shallow pan with foil.

2.  Place one chicken breast in a resealable food storage bag. Seal. Lightly flatten to even thickness with a meat mallet.  Repeat with other breast (I actually put them both in a gallon-size bag so that I could adjust the size more easily.  And it was quicker).  Discard bag.

3.  Juice the lime halves into a small bowl.  Add egg white and garlic.  Whisk until frothy.

4.  Place crushed tortilla chips in a shallow dish.  Dip chicken into egg mixture, then into chips, coating completely.  Discard any remaining chips. Place chicken on pan.

5.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Arrange chile strips over chicken, sprinkle with cheese and bake 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with cilantro.  Serve with salsa if desired.  YIELD: 2 servings.

Source:  Stoneware Inspirations.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sausage and Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms

I have always wanted to make stuffed mushrooms. I have had them at parties before, but had never made them up until the other day. I briefly looked online at a few different recipes and then came up with my own recipe on the day I made them. I love Asiago cheese and it lends a different flavor than Parmesan. The mushroom stems are sauteed with shallots and some herbs and then added to a mixture of cream cheese and cooked sausage. They are rich and flavorful and were a huge hit with my family.

20 large cemini (baby bella) mushrooms. You can use button mushrooms if you want.
8 oz. (1/2 package) sausage.
4 oz. cream cheese- softened
1/3 C. grated Asiago cheese
1/4 C. panko bread crumbs. Plus extra for sprinkling on top.
1 medium shallot-diced
mushroom stems chopped (rough end removed)
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 tsp. thyme
S and P to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saute pan, brown the sausage.

Meanwhile, wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Cut off the rough end of the stem and chop the stems. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a 9x13 baking dish.

When sausage is done, remove from pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

In the sausage drippings, add the chopped mushroom stems and diced shallot. Sprinkle with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Add the sage and thyme. Cook til the mushrooms have shrunk down a little bit and shallots are soft.

In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, drained sausage, asiago cheese, panko crumbs, and mushroom stem mixture. Mix til blended.

Fill each mushroom cap with a heaping amount of the filling. Sprinkle each mushroom with a bit of panko bread crumbs, drizzle a little olive oil over the top the mushrooms and bake for about 20-30 minutes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Southwestern Frittata

One of the things I love about Thrive Life foods is the convenience.  This morning I awoke to realize that all my scheduled recipe posts have run out!  I thought I had a few more in the reservoir.  But alas, they are all gone.  And today is my posting day...what to do? 

Thrive Life to the rescue.  I quickly went to one of my newest cookbooks, Against All Grain, and tried to find a breakfast recipe that I could Thrivalize.  I had tagged this frittata recipe because I have always wanted to try making one and the ingredients sounded pretty tasty.

I was able to sub Thrive freeze dried foods for almost all of the ingredients.  And really, I could have also subbed the eggs for the scrambled egg mix (which is SO good) but I wanted to try it with traditional eggs first.  I could also have used Thrive zucchini, but I was out.

When I use Thrive in a skillet meal, I just keep adding water a few tablespoons at a time until things get hydrated the way I want them.  If I end up adding in too much, I just wait for it to simmer off and then move on with the recipe.  If you are not using Thrive, see the notes at the bottom of the recipe for conventional directions.

oil or bacon grease for the pan
1 cup Thrive freeze dried ground beef (or 1/2 pound raw ground beef)
1/4 cup Thrive freeze dried onion (or 2 Tbsp. chopped onion)
1/2 cup Thrive freeze dried butternut squash (or 1/2 cup diced butternut squash)
2 1/2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Thrive freeze dried spinach (or 2 cups fresh  baby spinach)
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/3 cup Thrive freeze dried red bell pepper (or 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper)
10 eggs, beaten
cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a cast iron skillet (mine is a square 10") melt some bacon grease over medium heat...about 1 Tbsp (or use your oil of choice).  Pour in the ground beef and onion and stir to toast a little.  Add in about 1/4 cup of water and allow the beef and onion to rehydrate.  Add in the butternut squash and keep adding water a little at a time.  You will see the squash change color a little as it rehydrates.
3.  Once these ingredients are well-hydrated, add in the taco seasoning and salt and stir well to combine.
4.  Add in the spinach, zucchini, and red bell pepper....adding in more water as needed to adequately hydrate the ingredients.  Cook for about 4 minutes.
5.  Turn off burner, pour eggs into skillet, and place skillet into preheated oven for 20 minutes OR until the eggs have puffed up AND are cooked through (no wet jigglies on the surface).  Immediately sprinkle with grated cheddar, if desired.  Allow to melt for a minute or two.

Serve with avocado, salsa, sour cream.

Conventional Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.   In a cast iron skillet (mine is a square 10") melt some bacon grease over medium heat...about 1 Tbsp (or use your oil of choice).  Add in ground beef, onion, squash, taco seasoning, and salt and saute until the meat is mostly cooked through.
3.  Add spinach, zucchini, and red bell pepper and cook for 4 more minutes.
4.  Turn off burner, pour eggs into skillet, and place skillet into preheated oven for 20 minutes OR until the eggs have puffed up AND are cooked through (no wet jigglies on the surface).  Immediately sprinkle with grated cheddar, if desired.  Allow to melt for a minute or two.


  • Original recipe stated 12 minutes of bake time, but I needed a full 20.  Check your frittata starting at 12 minutes.
  • Make sure your skillet is oven-proof.
  • Cast iron is the best!!!!!!
Recipe Source:  adapted from a recipe in Against All Grain, by Danielle Walker (her website: Against All Grain)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mormon Morsels: How Strong is Your Magnet?

Image from FreeDigitalPhotos/Danilo Rizzuti

Do you have women that you look up to, that have qualities and traits that you would like to emulate?  Is there one in particular that you would really like to hang out with, spend time with, hoping that some of what she has will rub off on you?   These could be qualities like humility, the ability to light up a room when they walk in, someone who is well-versed in the scriptures, or who knows just the right kind of service to give.  Maybe it's someone who knows how to perfectly put a room together, knows just the right style and colors to wear to enhance her already natural beauty.  Whatever it is, temporal or spiritual, you might feel you lack that and want some of what she's got.

Well, this is pretty typical for me.  I often observe women that I know that have something about them that I wish I had about me.  Maybe I do have it deep down inside, you know, but it just hasn't emerged yet. As I sat in church one Sunday, pondering over this issue because I had just seen one of those women in the congregation, I likened the pull I had toward this person to a magnet.  Why am I pulled to her?  Why is this someone who doesn't naturally gravitate towards a friendship with me, beyond just an occasional chat in the hall?  And then it occurred to me.  How strong is MY magnet?  My pull must not be strong enough to bring someone like that in.  Do you understand what I mean?

As I thought about this whole magnet analogy, I realized that at some point this woman had paid the price, prepared herself, and had done what she needed to be the kind of person the Lord wanted her to be--and I am sure she has more to accomplish.  The more temporal traits were just something she developed as well.  Have I paid the price?  Have I prepared myself and put in the time and prayer to develop traits within myself that are there for the taking?  Probably not to the degree that I should.  So instead of comparing myself to others and coming up short, I just need to do what I need to do to bring out the traits and qualities the Lord instilled in me and hoped I would recognize and strengthen.  Then my magnet will pull others to me--those with whom I can associate and we can strengthen each other.

Just some Sunday morning musings for you to consider, if you'd like.  Thanks for listening.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sloppy Joes

And who doesn't have a recipe for this one?  But I needed a blog post and I am taking a meal to a couple of teen-aged boys and I think this will fill them up quite nicely.  Their Mom is at Duke Medical Center with another brother and several of the women at church are providing some meals for the boys in her absence.  This goes together very quickly, but does need to simmer for an hour.  I chose to throw it in the slow cooker because I don't have time to cook when I get home from work. You can probably substitute ground turkey to make this recipe a little healthier.  I won't do that to the boys--their palates would probably freak out.

1 lb. hamburger*
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 t. salt
dash of pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup Catsup (or ketchup, whichever you prefer)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. chili powder
hamburger buns (potato rolls are da bomb!)

1.  Brown meat and drain off fat.
2.  Mix meat and other ingredients together in a skillet and bring to a boil.  Simmer one hour.
3.  Serve on buns and add some celery/carrot sticks and maybe some chips of some kind.

NOTE:  I stretched the meat a little with Taco TVP that I had on hand so that I could keep some of this for our supper.  Also, if  you are using a slow cooker, just do everything according to the recipe and then cook on low for about 5 hours.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

How can you go wrong with something wrapped in bacon? I got the recipe for these little gems from a friend in Florida. You have crunchy little water chestnuts wrapped in smokey bacon with a simple tangy, sweet sauce. A perfect little appetizer.

1 pkg. bacon
2 small cans water chestnuts
1/4 C. Mayonnaise
1/4 C. Chili sauce
1/4 C. Brown sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the package of bacon into thirds. Drain the water chestnuts. Take a piece of bacon and wrap it around a water chestnut. Place seam side down on a large baking sheet. Continue process until all water chestnuts are wrapped up.

Place baking sheet in oven, bake for 15-30 minutes, depending on how well done you like your bacon.

Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Then remove the water chestnuts from the baking sheet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Make your sauce by combining the mayonnaise, chili sauce and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk til there aren't any lumps.

Put the water chestnuts in a small baking dish and pour the sauce over top. Place back in the oven to heat the sauce through (you can turn the oven temp down and keep them warm  until ready to serve.)

Serve and enjoy!

Note: I used just one baking sheet for this recipe, but the bacon shrunk down quite a bit and the yield was not very high. I would recommend doubling the recipe if going to a party or something.

Monday, January 5, 2015

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Okay, I admit it.  I've never tried spaghetti squash before this.  But I've always wanted to.  It always looks so cool....all those little curly fibers.  But I never had motivation to try it until I had to go wheat-free.  You know, rice pasta is nice and all, but it's a little bland.  So I was really hoping for something interesting here.  I got it, and it's pretty versatile to boot.  You can serve it with a sauce like you would pasta or just top it with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil, or serve it as a side with salt, pepper, and butter or ghee.

And it's just so stinkin' fun to scrape all those little fibers!!!  Seriously, I giggled.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut a spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds and loose flesh and discard.  Place cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for one hour.

Remove from oven and carefully turn the squash halves over to cool.

When it has cooled enough for you to handle it, take a fork and scrape the squash flesh towards the middle.  (This would be so fun for kids to help with!)

You just made spaghetti!!  Now wasn't that fun?!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman? Can I?

I've been thinking a lot about goal and resolutions lately.  No, not just in the last few days--in the last few months, even years with some of them.  But with my history, I can sometimes be hesitant to set goals.

Why?  Well, I suppose I either aim too high and then can't reach the goal or I lack the drive to get there or my whole plan is just flawed.  I don't know.

But this feels different.

I guess because I've been thinking it over for so long.  That's typically how I can tell that I'm on to something.  On to something for me, anyway.

And since this has been on my mind and heart for so long I feel like it is something I need to approach differently.  I mean, if my success with goals in the past has been mediocre then shouldn't I change the approach?  Doing things the same way all the time and then expecting different results is a recipe for uber frustration, right?

Pinning ideas, graphics, articles for inspiration for becoming more like the Proverbs 31 woman

So, anyway, this Proverbs 31 woman.  She's amazing.  And I want to be like her.  But how?  I've been reading great blog posts and articles about how others have interpreted her characteristics, and that has helped a lot.  I've pondered it myself, reading and rereading the passage, and have taken a few notes.  But it seems pretty overwhelming.

And then I thought of it.  I will take her and dissect her into 12 months and then I will work on one thing every month and divide each month into subcategories and by the end of the year I will be perfect and wait a minute this is the same old plan I always do when I try a goal and overreach and so I better not do it this way.

<screeching halt>

No.  For me, this year, I have to do this differently.  I can't approach this like a science.  I need inspiration.  I need guidance.  I need advice from One who knows me a lot better than I do and knows exactly what I need to work on and when.

So, this year's efforts will be different.  This year I am going to feel what I need to work on first.  And that takes thought, introspection, pondering, prayer.  Not a formula, not a checklist, not a spreadsheet.  Not the same old way (that never really worked for me anyway!).

I've already picked 3 small, measurable, attainable goals to work on in relation to my Proverbs 31 project.  They are personal, but I will share one of them--have a devotional study time every single day of 2015--no excuses, no misses.

The other two are related to a characteristic of the P31 woman that I feel like I am supposed to work on now.   When I feel it's the right time, I'll move on to another couple of things.  And I'm totally okay if this whole P31 thing takes more than the number of days 2015 has to offer me.  In fact, I am kind of expecting that to be the case.

And that's okay.

To paraphrase a favorite poem:
Little by little,
Day by day,
Julie and flowers
Grow that way.
What are your goals?  Do you feel like you should change your approach to achieving your goals? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hot Mustard

Here is a tangy, tasty, tongue-pleaser!  Anytime you need a nice, bold mustard, this will do the trick.  We are getting ready to dip some Reuben Pigs in a Blanket into it.  

3/4 cup dry mustard 
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup malt vinegar
3 beaten eggs

1.  Combine the first 3 ingredients in a 1 quart microwavable mixing bowl and let stand 24 hours in
     the refrigerator.

2.  Next day, mix the eggs in with a whisk and then microwave on high for 2 minutes, whisk again.  Repeat
     5 times for a total cook time of 10 minutes.

3.  Keep refrigerated.

Source:  Marie Roth