Apple Cinnamon Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 apple sliced and lightly broiled
1/4 c. pecans, toasted
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Place pecans and apples on shallow baking sheet.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and place under low broiler until pecans and apples are lightly toasted.  

Meanwhile, combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Divide quinoa into two bowls for serving.  
Sprinkle with cooked pecans and apples.  
Drizzle additional coconut milk or sprinkled cinnamon on quinoa, if desired.
Serves 2.


Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup

20 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 c. roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound ground beef
1 small white onion, chopped
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
14 oz. diced tomatoes
14 oz. petite diced tomatoes
10 oz. marinara sauce
4 c. chicken broth
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring 3 quarts of water to boil, add tortellini and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Drain tortellini and set aside.
In stockpot, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat.
Brown ground beef and drain grease
Add onion, spinach, cilantro and garlic.  Sautee until spinach is wilted (2-3 minutes)
Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) and bring to a simmer.  Add cooked tortellini.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Chicken Soup with Avocado and Cilantro

1 lb shredded chicken
       (I like the packages of Costco rotisserie chicken in the deli, already cooked and shredded)
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large potato, diced
1 c. white instant rice
1/2 tbsp. dried cilantro
1 can tomato soup
1 can diced petite tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth
1.5 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 jalapeño, seeded
1 lime, juiced
1/4 of bunch of cilantro, chopped

Serve each bowl of soup with…
Fresh cilantro, a slice of lime and slice of avocado

Dump in all the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.  You can add tortilla strips or chips to make this into a tortilla soup.

Pistachio Muffins

I just LOVE pistachios.  I think they are my favorite nut. 
Not only do they taste WONDERFUL but they are also
good for my heart, my blood, my nervous system, eyes, immune system and skin!
Another added bonus is that they are high in protein and curb my appetite.
So, I decided to incorporate these little green wonders into breakfast.
I used my basic muffin recipe and tweaked it just a little bit.
I must say, they turned out awesome!  
I hope you will enjoy them too.


1 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk (or regular milk)
2 eggs
1/4 c. applesauce
1/3 c. olive oil (EVOO)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
2 c. self-rising flour
1 c. chopped pistachios (finely grated)
A drop of green food coloring (to tint them, not required)

Mix the above ingredients, reserving a small portion of the pistachios to be sprinkled on muffins after they are poured into muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

*Tip* I buy the pre-shelled pistachios and drop them into my NINJA blender - it grates them perfectly.

Spinach Tomato Tortellini

2 - 9 oz packages of three cheese tortellini (Buitoni is the brand I prefer)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. basil
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. Fat Free Coffee Mate Creamer or Half n Half
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 can tomato soup
Boil tortellini noodles for 9 minutes.  
Add a drizzle of olive oil to keep the tortellini from sticking together.
While noodles are cooking, heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil in skillet over medium heat. 
Add the minced garlic, spinach and shallot to oil and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Add salt, pepper and basil.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and cream.  Use a whisk so it's well blended.
Add cream mixture to the skillet along with parmesan cheese and tomato soup.
Bring to a simmer and add to the cooked and drained tortellini noodles.
FYI:  Pictured below is the tortellini that I buy.  
It's usually found in the refrigerated pasta section, it is not frozen.

Classic Chili

1 lb. of ground beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 can tomato sauce
12 oz. water
1 can dark red kidney beans
2 cans light red kidney beans

In large stockpot, brown ground beef with onion and green pepper. Drain grease.  Add salt and chili powder, then add remaining ingredients.  Simmer for 45 minutes.

This chili is delicious with Skillet Cornbread.
You can find the recipe HERE.

Skillet Cornbread

8 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
2 c. self-rising yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 c. cooking oil or EVOO

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Add stick of butter to cast iron skillet and place in oven.  After butter is melted, swirl around in pan, in order to evenly coat skillet.  In separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.  Pour batter over buttered skillet.  Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon Cheddar Quiche

8 slices of center-cut bacon
9 inch pie crust
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. colby jack cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
5 eggs
1 1/2 c. fat free half and half
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 red pepper, chopped
1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook bacon, then remove bacon 
and drain bacon grease from pan but do not rinse.
Place bacon in the bottom of pie crust.
Cook onion, garlic and red pepper in the bacon-greased skillet.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs, half and half and green chiles.
Add flour and cheeses to egg mixture.
Then combine the skillet and egg mixtures. 
Pour into pie crust over the top of the bacon.
Bake for 60 minutes or until set.  
Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Spinach Feta Quiche

1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 unbaked pie crust
4 eggs
1 c. fat free half and half

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt butter in a medium skillet and saute garlic and onion until browned.
Stir in spinach, feta and 1/2 c. cheddar cheese.  Salt and Pepper generously.
Spoon mixture into pie crust.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top.
Bake 35 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Turtle Cheesecake

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. white sugar
4 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. milk
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
1/4 c. AP flour
1 c. milk chocolate morsels
20 caramel candy pieces, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9 inch springform pan.  In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and 2 tbsp sugar.  Press into bottom of pan.  In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add milk and then add one egg at a time, do not over stir eggs.  Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.  Pour into unbaked crust.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 5 hours.   Microwave caramel candy and chocolate morsels in separate bowls.  Melt in 30 second intervals until completely smooth.  Drizzle over cooled cheesecake, alternating between caramel and chocolate. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 large Butternut Squash or about 2 lbs/ 6 cups after peeled
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Pepper
2 Tsp. Minced Garlic
1/2 Onion, chopped
4 tbsp. Butter
3 c. Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp. marjoram (dried)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash of nutmeg
dash of cinnamon 6 oz cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Clean squash and cut into 8 pieces and place in baking dish.
Sprinkle squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic.
Place in preheated oven and roast for 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Remove skin from squash (an additional minute in the microwave will help if skin is stubborn)
Meanwhile, saute onions and butter in a large stock pot until tender.  
Add spices and chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer.
Puree squash and cream cheese in a food processor or blender.  (I use a blender.)  
Blend until very smooth.
Add squash to soup mixture and heat through but do not boil.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Chicken Pot Pie Soup Recipe
3 Tbsp. Butter
1/3 c. Chopped Onion
1/3 c. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 3/4 c. Chicken Broth
3 Chicken Breasts, Cooked and Shredded
1 Large Can of Mixed Vegetables (I like Veg-All Country Style)
1 Can of Sliced Carrots
1 Can of Small Peas
2/3 c. Fat Free Half & Half or Milk
Up to an additional cup of half and half or milk (depending on how thick you like soup)
1-2 Pie Crusts, Cut into small pieces and baked
In large saucepan or soup pot, melt butter, add onions and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle onions with flour, salt and pepper and stir and cook for additional minute.
Gradually add in chicken broth, using a whisk to keep mixture smooth.
Cook for one minute or until thick.
Add chicken, vegetables and milk.
Bring to a simmer.  Add additional milk or cream until it reaches your preferred consistency.  Warm on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
Serve in a bowl with pie crust toppers.

Pie Crust Toppers:
Leave pie crusts on counter until they reach room temperature.
Roll out pie crust on a piece of wax paper.
Cut crust into pieces using a cookie cutter.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Pumpkin Chai Latte

1 cup Tazo Chai Latte (at Starbucks)
1 cup Fat Free Half and Half
3 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 tbsp vanilla flavoring
Whisk together all ingredients and then microwave for 1 minute.  

Pumpkin Cake in a Mug

  • 1 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 tsp. Vanilla flavoring
  • 1/4 c. self-rising  flour
  • pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Mix butter and sugar in a mug. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, flour, and spice; stirring until just combined. In a separate small bowl or cup, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Use a fork to coarsely mix butter with the other ingredients. When combined, sprinkle on top of cake batter in mug.
  • Cook in the microwave for 60 seconds. 
I adapted this recipe from Pumpkin Coffee Cake here at "Heather Likes Food"
I store my canned pumpkin in a mason jar in the fridge 
so I'm always ready to make more of this delicious fall treat!

Cowboy Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
2 cans baked beans (I use Bush's Original Recipe Beans)
1 egg
1 c. self-rising cornmeal
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
In cast iron skillet, brown ground beef and add chopped onion, sauté onion with beef for a few minutes.
Drain liquid from beef.  Add salt, chili powder and beans.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg, add cornmeal, milk and oil.  Pour over the beef and bean mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
(This can also be made using a regular skillet and casserole dish)

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

1 c. oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
2 1/2 c. self-rising flour
1/2 c. quick cook oats
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 tbsp. butter, softened
4 tbsp. oats
4 tbsp. SR flour

This recipe makes 24 mini muffins plus 12 regular muffins (in my large Pampered Chef muffin pan)
That's a total of 36 muffins!
Mix the oil and eggs.  Add pumpkin and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients.  Combine the dry and wet mixtures.  Pour into greased muffin pans.  In separate bowl, mix the bottom 4 ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of muffin batter in each cup.
Bake at 350 degrees for mini-muffins - 12 minutes.  Bake for 25-30 minutes for larger muffins.  They are baked completely when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Homemade Maple Syrup

3/4 c. water
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

Bring water and sugar to a boil, turn down to medium heat and continue boiling for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add maple flavoring.  Stir and serve.

In the 1970's, when I was a little girl, I lived in Hong Kong.  We were able to eat and prepare a lot of our favorite American foods while living there but some things were difficult to find and maple syrup was one of those things.  My Mom happens to be one of the BEST cooks in this world and while I was growing up, she always cooked at least 2 meals a day - breakfast and dinner.  Breakfast was always my favorite and my mom's waffles and pancakes are legendary!  She made homemade syrup when we lived in Hong Kong and after returning to the States, store bought syrup would never do - for any of us!  The tradition has continued and my own kids have hardly ever had store bought syrup (at my house) thanks to this great recipe.  Really, this is almost as easy as popping a store-bought syrup into the microwave!  If you've ever had Cracker Barrel's syrup, this is very similar… although I think it's better.

Chunky Monkey Brownies

Family Size Box of Brownie Mix, along with ingredients from box (eggs, oil, water, etc)
2 large *Candy Bars 
*the classic recipe uses Symphony bars with almonds and toffee but I find 
Reese's Cups, Snickers, Butterfingers or White Chocolate Bars to be just as delicious!
Preheat your oven according to brownie mix instructions.
Mix up brownies according to package directions.
Spoon half of batter in greased 9 X 13 baking dish.
Break up the candy bars and layer on top of batter.
Spread remaining batter on top of candy bar pieces.
Bake according to brownie mix instructions.

Grilled Trout with Shrimp & Scallop Skewers

Grilled Trout
Whole Trout Filets with Skin
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
Tony's Creole Seasoning
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wash fish in cold water & pat dry. 
Brush EVOO on both sides of fish...heavily on skin side and light on fish side.
Salt, pepper and add seasoning to taste.
Set grill on medium heat and place fish on the grill, skin side down.  Cook 4-5 minutes.  Turn over fish and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Fish should be flaky and not translucent.  Don't overcook it!

Shrimp & Scallops Wrapped in Bacon 
Individually wrap the scallops and shrimp in uncooked bacon slice.  
Slide on to skewer. (We get 3 per skewer)
Grill over medium heat until bacon will release from grill (about 5-6 minutes)

Portobello Burger

Ingredients for 4 burgers:
2 large Vidalia Onions
2 packages of Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
1 Nicely Ripened Tomato
4 Kaiser Rolls

Get a good, sweet VIDALIA onion!
Slice it and then drizzle a little EVOO all over and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
Put them on your preheated grill (medium heat) and brown them (about 10 minutes).
Since we really like our onions caramelized, we take them off the grill and wrap them in aluminum foil, then we stick the foil packet on the grill and leave them there
(until everything else is done and ready to eat)

Now, moving on to the second key ingredient...the perfect portobello mushrooms!
Prep the mushrooms just like the onion... with salt and pepper and EVOO.
These will go directly on the grill, over medium heat and will cook for about 3-5 minutes per side.

The Kaiser rolls from Fresh Market are to die for!  
They should also be placed on the grill for just a couple of minutes to lightly toast them.

Ahhh... Tomatoes!  Finally good tomatoes are in-season and when they're good, they're so very good! (if you know what I mean)  
Pick out a pretty, red, soft, juicy tomato and slice it just right.  
Don't forget the salt and pepper!
You can add a little spicy mustard, lite mayo or A1... whatever you like.  
You are going to love these sandwiches! 

Sliced pineapple or halved peaches on the grill... this is a great side item.  
I'm getting hungry!

Spinach Pesto Pizza

1/4 c. Archer Farms Basil Pesto Cream Sauce
1/4 c. Ragu Traditional Pizza Sauce
Original Naan Bread (Archer Farms)
1/4 c. Reduced Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 c. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place one piece of Naan bread on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Spread pizza sauce over naan and then spread pesto cream sauce on top of that.  Sprinkle the chopped spinach to evenly coat pizza and then top with the shredded mozzarella.  Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden brown.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. applesauce
1 c. quick cook oats (uncooked)
2 c. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix wet ingredients first, whisking in eggs, one at a time.  Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in blueberries and pour into muffin pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  This recipe makes 12 large muffins in a Pampered Chef stone pan.


Strawberry Lemon Trifle

Lemon Cake Mix
20 oz. Sprite
16 oz. fresh Strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp. Sugar
3/4 c. Confectioners Sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip
8 oz. Cream Cheese (reduced fat)

Mix cake mix and sprite together and pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 for 30 mins.
Let the cake cool and then crumble it.
Sprinkle strawberries with sugar.
In another bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, cool whip and cream cheese.
Next, layer using 1/2 the cake crumbs in the bottom of a trifle dish, then place half of whip cream mixture on top, then 1/2 of sliced strawberries...AND REPEAT
Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa and Queso Fresco

When I was in California last summer, I ate at this little seaside restaurant called Cody's in La Jolla.  It was fantastic and I highly recommend it. 
 I had the most amazing fish tacos that day... 

I decided to try to adapt my fish taco recipe to include some of the ingredients in their recipe and here's what I came up with:

Fish Marinade: 
1/4 c EVOO 
2 Tbsp vinegar 
2 Tbsp lime juice (fresh) 
2 tsp. lime zest 
1 1/2 tsp honey 
1 tsp minced garlic 
1/2 tsp cumin 
1/2 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp old bay seasoning 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1 tsp hot sauce 

Marinade 1 pound of mahi mahi or tilapia in shallow dish for 2 hours in refrigerator. 
Cook fish in a skillet using a tbsp of olive oil.  
Cook on both sides until fish is no longer translucent. 

 Dressing for Tacos: 
8 oz sour cream 
1/2 c chipotle salsa 
2 Tbsp lime juice 
2 tsp lime zest 
1/4 tsp cumin 
1/4 tsp chili powder 
1/2 tsp old bay seasoning 
salt & pepper to taste 

 Corn Salsa: 
1 chopped red pepper 
1 chopped green pepper 
1/2 c chopped red onion 
1 c. white corn (cut from cob) 
1/4 c fresh cilantro 
1 tsp lime zest 
1 Tbsp lemon juice 
Combine and refrigerate the above ingredients for 1 hr.  Then throw them in a warm skillet over med-high heat and toss for a minute, til they turn bright and then remove from heat.

Serve with sliced avocado and queso fresco cheese on warm tortillas.

Creamy Pesto Lasagna

No Boil Lasagna Noodles
Large Jar Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
4 c. Mozzarella Cheese
1 c. Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg
1/3 Box Frozen Spinach (Thawed & Drained Well)
15 oz. Reduced Fat Ricotta
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 c. Basil Pesto Cream Sauce (I prefer Archer Farms from Target)

First, set aside the Basil Pesto Cream Sauce jar, you won't need it until the very end of the recipe.  
To begin, combine spinach, ricotta, 2 c mozzarella, egg and parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl.  
Set aside.
Brown ground beef and add spaghetti sauce, garlic, basil and oregano.
Simmer sauce for 10-15 minutes.
In a 13 X 9 inch baking dish, pour 1/3 c. of meat sauce and coat entire bottom of pan.
Then, arrange one layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.  
Layer 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top of noodles and then 1/2 of the meat sauce on top of that. 
Repeat by layering noodles, cheese mixture and meat sauce using the remainder of the ingredients.  
Pour 1 c. of the basil pesto cream sauce on top of the meat sauce and just spread it around with a spoon.   Then sprinkle the remaining 2 c. of mozzarella cheese over the entire dish.  
Cover it with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

These bars taste like lemon ice box pie.  They are amazing!  
I found this recipe on  The Girl Who Ate Everything via Pinterest, of course! 
I'm so glad I found this blog because I have made many of her recipes so far and everything has been excellent.  Click on the link below to hop over to her blog and view the full recipe...
The Girl Who Ate Everything

Chicken Poppyseed Casserole

For those of you that aren't from the south, you may not have this recipe. For those of you that are from the south, you most definitely have this recipe but let this be a little reminder of it!  This completely carb-loaded happy food isn't something to cook often but it's good every once in a while, it's a great "pick me up" food that will "put you down" on the couch, taking a good, solid nap in no time flat! 
3-4 chicken breasts 
2 cans cream of chicken soup 
8 oz sour cream 
1 pkg Ritz crackers 
1 1/2 sticks margarine, melted 
2 tbsp poppy seed 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place your seasoned (salt & pepper) chicken breasts in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.

Shredded Chicken Trick: Remove chicken from the oven and place the chicken breasts along with juice (from the pan) in your stand up mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, slowly churn/mix the chicken and then increase the speed until the chicken is completely shredded (as pictured below)  
Now, isn't that a nice little trick?

Now, dump your soup and sour cream into the mixer bowl, on top of the shredded chicken and mix it up.  Place back into that 13 x 9 inch pan.  Crush crackers and crumble over the top of the casserole.  Sprinkle poppy seeds over crackers and drizzle melted butter evenly to cover the entire dish.  Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.  Yields 6 servings.

Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake

I follow the Brown Eyed Baker website and receive Michelle's posts via email daily and let me just say that her recipes are always the best!  
That's why I was so excited when she posted this yummy looking Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake.  
I needed a dessert to make for a party last week and it turned out PERFECT!
You can find the recipe here.  

Apple Crisp Skillet

Here's another great recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.  
What drew me to this recipe was the cast-iron skillet.  
I love how this recipe has you mixing and cooking everything in the cast iron skillet 
and then sticking it in the oven to bake.  
It has a great 'presentation factor' this way.  
I serve my Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream.  
You can find the recipe here.

Frozen Freckled Lemonade

If you've ever had the "Freckled Lemonade" at Red Robin, then you'll know what I'm talking about.  This tastes just like a frozen version of that drink.  Just don't forget the whipped topping cause it tones down the tartness quite a bit.
Drop the following ingredients into your blender... 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate, 1 can of water, 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup of milk and 16 oz of ice cubes.  Blend it well.  Pour into glass and top with whipped topping. 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 c. sugar (raw sugar is best)
1 c. milk
2 eggs
2/3 c. EVOO
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. quick cook oatmeal (UNCOOKED)
2 c. self-rising flour
1 bag of chocolate chips

Mix up the muffin batter but don't add the chocolate chips yet! 
 Pour batter into greased muffin cups and then add 5 chocolate chips to the top of each muffin. 
 *I left one muffin plain (for my weenie dog - see photo)
She gets a muffin on Sundays too!  
That's her only table food - don't judge!
Anyway, back to the muffins - stick the muffins in preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.  
Set your timer and then remove them after 5 minutes.
Pour the remaining chocolate chips on to the tops of all the muffins (except the doggie's)
and replace pan in oven.  Cook for 15-18 minutes more.
You'll find these are the most perfect muffins with evenly dispersed chocolate chips throughout!

Lemon Caper Fish

 Lemon Caper Fish
1 lb tilapia
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp EVOO
3 Tbsp Butter
1/2 c. Self-Rising Flour
2 Lemons, Cut and Juiced
2 Tbsp of Capers (more or less, as you prefer)
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese (to taste preference)

*Helpful cooking gadgets for this recipe: lemon press and rotary cheese grater

1.  Put your EMPTY serving dish in the oven at 350 degrees.  
  • This gets the pan nice and hot so when your fish come out of the skillet and they're waiting for you to finish cooking the sauce, they won't get cold!  I like to use my pretty Bobby Flay 9 x 13 dish... pictured below.  I got it at Kohl's and I love the colors!!!
2.  Rinse your fish and pat them dry.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

3.  Dump your flour on a plate
  • I use a paper plate for easy clean up.
4.  Slice your lemons in half and lay out your lemon press so it's ready to use.

5.  Measure out 2 Tbsp of capers and set aside.

6.  Heat EVOO in a large skillet on medium-high heat.

7.  When oil is ready, dredge your fillets in flour and then place in the hot oil.  
  • Cook on both sides for about 4 minutes, each.  You'll know when the fish is done because it will be white and flaky instead of transparent.  
8.  Remove your golden fillets and place them in the warmed dish, back in the oven
  • Turn the oven off!
9.  Put your butter in the skillet (leave heat at med-high)

10.  When the butter is melted and foamy, squeeze both lemons into the butter and add the capers.

11.  Stir for about 30 seconds and then pour sauce over the fish.

12.  Sprinkle the fish with parmesan cheese.

Now, how easy was that?  You wanna know about the other PLATED items?  Okay...

I love to serve this with Risotto.  My favorite easy risotto is from Target... it's Archer Farms Wild Mushroom Risotto.  It's really good!  Leave yourself about 25 minutes to prepare it.

Roasted Green Beans:
The green beans are easy-peasy.  Take fresh green beans and toss them in a little EVOO, dash of garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper.  Stick them in a foil lined baking sheet at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Then after you take them out, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.