Dinner in a Pumpkin


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While I was hard at work today my mom made Dinner in a Pumpkin for the whole family to share. It is our Halloween tradition to eat dinner in a pumpkin and this year we are celebrating a day early due to scheduling conflicts. It is rare the Seanna and I both get to eat something we post about together so this was great. If you are trying to decide what to make for a special Halloween meal give this a try!

Dinner in a Pumpkin
2 Pounds Ground Beef
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1/4 Cup Diced Green Peppers
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 4-Ounce Can Mushrooms (we often leave these out)
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Cups Cooked Rice
1 8-Ounce Can Sliced Water Chestnuts

Brown the ground beef. Add the salt, pepper, onions, celery, and peppers, and simmer about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; mix thoroughly. Put mixture in a scooped-out medium pumpkin. Put on the pumpkin lid. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

We had to make ours in an unusually large pumpkin this year because the pumpkin we chose was rotten when we got into it...yuck! So we had to steal one that Seanna had planned to carve. Normally we would not put the mixture into something this large!

I Have A Weakness


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Most days I can stay away from sweets and junk food. I can pass up a doughnut with ease, cake no problem, but I have a weakness for something my family calls Oatmeal on the Stove. Yes it sounds healthy right? I mean how can oatmeal be bad for you? I think the sugar and butter play a roll there. This delicious little piece of heaven is a dessert I often crave. I can try to tell myself no, but I find days later I am still thinking about Oatmeal on the Stove. This is not a pretty dessert. Definitely nothing I would server to company...at least not formal company. I have subjected my close friends to trying it.

The batch I made tonight, however, has a purpose. It was a coworkers birthday a few weeks ago and I told her I would make a treat of her choice. This is what she chose. Yes it is that good.

Give this recipe a try but don't say I didn't warn you when you can't get it out of your mind.

Oatmeal on the Stove
1 Cube of Margarine (must be margarine)
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Cups of Old Fashioned Oats (NOT INSTANT)

Melt butter on the stove. Once melted add brown sugar, vanilla and baking powder. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and add oatmeal.

That is it! Eat and enjoy.

I guess there is a next step if you want to turn it into a cookie. Press it into a pan and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 10 minutes. I never, ever make it this far. It is all eaten first.

Skinny B East Coast Lasagna


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After making the basic red sauce the other day from the cookbook Skinny Bi*** in the Kitch (posted on a previous blog), I decided to attempt my luck at the East Coast Lasagna on page 98. I wasn't sure what to expect but boy was I surprised! This dish was very tasty and even my boyfriend could not tell that it was a healthier version (aka vegan with no real meat). It is some prep work but once put together it was nice to relax before dinner. If this vegan thing scares you, don't worry on this one. Its tastes very normal. Try it out and let me know what you think!
PS yes, that is roasted garlic on the side that went wonderfully!

Serves 8 to 12
6 quarts water
3 tablespoons sea salt
1 pound whole wheat or brown rice lasagna noodles
5 cups Basic Red Sauce (former blog post)
4 cups Ricotta (Skinny B version says tofu ricotta, um, didn't do that one, regular for me please!)
12 to 14 ounces vegan ground beef (I used Yves brand)
10 ounces mozzarella cheese (again, Skinny B says vegan mozzarella if you want)

Preheat oven to 350. Boil the water and add the noddles. Cook according to package directions. Once done, drain the noodles and rinse them with cool water so that you may handle them. Lay each noodle out on foil, waxed, paper, or parchment paper so that they do not stick to each other. Spread 1/2 cup red sauce on the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch pan. Place the noodles on top overlapping slightly. Top the noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta, 1/3 of the ground beef, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the noodles, ricotta, beef, and cheese layers two more times. Place in the over for about 60-75 minutes.

- Seanna

Apples for Dessert!



I was sitting around the other night and wanted something sweet to finish off the night. I looked in my kitchen and had nothing so the next thing I always do is check Super Cook for ideas. If you have never checked out this website you must do it asap! It is the best way to make something yummy when you think you have nothing. I ended up finding a recipe for a fried apples type dessert. I wasn't expecting much but gave it a try.

2 apples, pared,cored,sliced thin
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
A pinch of cinnamon and sugar to taste
(Vanilla ice cream)

In a bowl, combine apple slices and lemon juice; toss gently but well.
In a skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and add apples, any lemon juice in the bowl, and honey.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring gently, until apples are glazed, and tender.
Scoop into a bowl and add your cinnamon and sugar.
Serve immediately.
(While eating I decided this would be AMAZING over vanilla ice cream. Next time...)

Roasted Garlic



This is an old family staple when I was growing up. I am actually surprised how many people don't know about this one. Its so easy and always seems to make any dish look super fancy.
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees. I usually just end up doing whatever temperature my other food is being cooked at. Its not really an exact number necessary type of dish.
Next, take your foil and make a little bowl with it by folding up the edges. Add a little bit of olive oil to make a thin layer on the bottom. Cut your garlic so that 1/3 of the top is exposed. Place the open garlic side upside down in the oil. Wrap the foil over the garlic to make a seal. Bake for about 40-60 minutes depending on your temperature, until the garlic is soft. Check by sticking a knife into one of the cloves. To serve, place a small butter knife beside the garlic and let your guests pull out each clove and spread on a cracker.

Stuffed Shells



There is nothing fancy to this dinner I made but it looked like there was. It came about when I was digging through the cupboard looking for pasta to put in my soup and realized I had jumbo shells that needed to be used up. I took the recipe from the back of a Ronzoni box and tweaked it a little because of what we had on hand. They turned out to be so wonderful.

Meat-Filled Jumbo Shells
1 Package (12 oz) Ronzoni Jumbo Shells
1 Lb ground beef, pork or turkey (here is where I substituted cooked turkey I had leftover in the freezer and it worked perfectly.)
1/2 Cup finely chopped onion
2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I only had 1 cup of mozzarella so I also used 1 cup of Swiss)
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 Teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3 Cups spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. In large skillet, cook meat and onion until meat is thoroughly cooked and onion is tender; drain. In large bowl, stir together meat mixture, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, Italian seasoning and garlic salt.

In 13x9x2 inch baking dish, spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. Fill each cooked pasta with 1-1/2 level tablespoons meat filling; layer one-half filled pasta in prepared dish. Spread 1-1/4 cups spaghetti sauce evenly over pasta; layer remaining filled pasta over sauce. Spread remaining spaghetti sauce over pasta; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; bake 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. For mine I didn't have enough to do a full second layer with the pasta so I just squeezed it all into one which turned out fine.

Baby Shower



I helped host a baby shower for one of the girls at work yesterday. I have to post about it to show you the stellar dessert bar we made. It had on it homemade chocolate sauce, marshmallows, cookies, brownies, candy, suckers and we topped it all off with ice cream! Lucky for our bellies we ate soup, salad and bread before the sugar overload. What to you think? Does it sound good or what?!?

These were the favors we handed 0ut. I got plain white boxes and made them look like building blocks with candy inside.

These suckers were on the dessert table. I got the suckers at the Dollar Store and made the little stickers to put on the front with clip art from the internet.

Finally two pictures of the decor just because I thought it looked so nice!

Menu Plan Monday



Here is the plan for the week. Last week we did pretty good sticking to the plan but Ranchers Stew got kicked off the list when I realized I didn't have and tomatoes. It will be back on the list as soon as my stash of tomatoes is replenished. As for this week here it goes:

Monday: As usual dinner at Mom and Dad's
Tuesday: Loaded Baked Potato Soup from Cooking During Stolen Moments with fresh pineapple and grilled peppers
Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken since I organized my freezer and realized I have 5 or 6 whole chickens that need to be cooked. I will serve this with Rice-A-Roni from my stockpile and peas.
Thursday: Southwest Chicken & Potato Casserole from Cooking During Stolen Moments (can you tell I am trying to use up a 10 lb bag of potatoes??) with steamed carrots and canned pears compliments of my Grandma.
Friday: Halloween dinner with the family. Dinner in a pumpkin is always a staple recipe. We will probably also have pumpkin muffins and at this point the rest is up in the air.
Saturday: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! A friend and I are going to hang out at my house and pass out candy to Trick or Treaters. We talked about having some type of soup but it is still to be decided.
Sunday: Pasta and pesto, canned fruit, veggie TBD

Apple Cider



We were at a fun Halloween party today and I had to take a couple photos of the food to share with everyone. The thing I was most impressed by was the fresh apple cider they served. We watched as they loaded huge buckets of gorgeous red apples into a cider press and went to work. After some manual labor there were gallons of fresh cider for everyone to enjoy. Fall was in the air!

Baking Saturday with Kelly!


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My friend Kelly and I went to the pumpkin patch today and came back with lots of goodies for plans of a baking day. We started with a list:

1) Steam and mash sugar pumpkins
2) Sugar cookies
3) Brownies
4) Pumpkin Bars
5) Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

My first goal was to steam and mash two sugar pumpkins. I had read a great post at Money Saving Mom about steaming pumpkins in the microwave and making your own pumpkin puree. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea because canned pumpkin is so expensive this year. Kelly was nice enough to go along with my experiment.

We started after lunch at 1:00 with the first pumpkin in the microwave. As it was cooking I mixed up the sugar cookie dough so it could chill. Not a special recipe just something from an old Betty Crocker Cooky book. When that went into the fridge I mixed up the brownies and popped them into the oven. By then my first pumpkin was done so I took it out skinned it and dumped it in the food processor. When I was peeling and food processing Kelly made the Chocoalte Chip Pumpkin Bread. It is a recipie she got from one of her student's mom but it came from Cooking Light magazine. See the link above for the recipie. The only difference was that we used more chocoalte chips than the orginal recipie we used 2 whole eggs instead of 4 egg whites.

I decided after the bread was in the oven that I needed to make the pumpkin bars with the new pumpkin puree to ensure I liked it before I cut into the second pumpkin. When the pumpkin bars went into the oven we took a break and went outside for a walk in the beautiful sun and left my husband to take them out of the oven.

When we came back the house smelled amazing! We sampled the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and the Pumpkin Bars. Both were super and oh so fall like. I decided the pumpkin was totally worth it and put the second one in the microwave to cook. While the microwave was humming away I rolled out the sugar cookies and baked 4 batches.

At 4:30, with everything accomplished, we relaxed by the tv before dividing up the goodies for home. We were very proud of ourselves. The pumpkin turned out wonderful and so did all the treats! I also ended up with 14 cups of pumpkin puree for only $2.70 invested in the pumpkins. I highly recommend making pumpkin puree if you have a little time to devote to the process.

As for the cookies and brownies I now have yummy treats to take to the baby shower I am attending tomorrow.

The day is over, and it was a sucess!

Perfect Red Sauce


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This recipe is straight out of the book Skinny B*tch in the Kitch. If you were ever considering being a vegetarian (or vegan) then this is the book for you. It offers funny facts about the subject and delivers some long lasting impressions. This red sauce is so good, so easy, and has made me never want to buy a jar of sauce again! You can make a big batch and refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.

Basic Red Sauce pg 156

About 7 cups

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil (I used olive oil and it was fine)
1 onion
8 to 10 cloves minced garlic
2 (28 ounce cans) crushed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup fruity red wine (I didn't add this)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano (I used dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce, like tabasco (Didn't add this to mine)
1 tablespoon agave nectar (If you haven't ever bought this you should! Its like honey but lower calories and healthier for you...you can have it on anything you would put honey on)

Heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, for 6 to 8 minutes then the garlic for an additional minute. Stir in tomatoes, and tomato paste and heat on high until boiling. Remove from heat and add wine, basil, oregano, salt, and hot sauce. Taste, and if the sauce is too acidic, add agave.

I used this red sauce for my lasagna night (recipe to come when I have more time). Now when you go for the simple pasta night at least you can add a little extra love by making the sauce.

Cheers to your health!

- Seanna

Homemade Spaetzle


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I saw this recipe in the October 2009 issue of the Food Network Magazine and I knew I had to try it. If you know me, you know I love anything in the carbohydrate family. Thus spaetzle fits perfectly into my preferred food group.

I have to say this recipe sounded so much easier when I was reading it and it was super easy making it until I got to the part where it says "push dough through a colander with a rubber spatula." Easier said than done since I didn't anticipate the boiling hot steam killing my hands as I tried to push it through. So now I have this on my Christmas wish list the Jumbo Stainless Steel Potato Ricer.

After the pain of pushing this dough through my colander we did end up with delicious spaetzle and no leftovers-good sign!

Homemade Spaetzle
3 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Large eggs
Kosher salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter; 2 tablespoons melted
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh parsley

Mix the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then gradually sitr in up to 1 cup water to make a smooth, batter-like dough. Beat with a wooden spoon until bubbles form, then sitr in the melted butter.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place about 1 cup of the dough in a colander with large holes; use a rubber spatula (and a lot of arm muscle with determination!) to push the dough through the holes and into the boiling water. (Or use a spaetzle press they say...good suggestion there.) Cook for about 1 minute after the spaetzle float to the surface, then transfer with a slotted spoon to another colander. Repeat with the remaining dough. Rinse the spaetzle in cold waer if not serving immediately and set aside.

Before serving, saute the spaetzle in a skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until warmed through. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley. Worth the work if you love carbs-oh so yummy!

Finally the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies!


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A while ago I posted a picture of the best chocolate chip cookies and then never had time to post the recipe. So today is your lucky day because I am ready to share. I got this recipe from my mother in law who sells Demarle cookware. It is in the Demarle 2009 Catalog that I was flipping through with her in September. She said it was the best ever and with those words it was on my list of things to make as soon as possible! In this recipie butter is key-do not use margarine! The dough is dry but somehow they turn out amazing! You should print this recipie right now and go give these a try.

Marlene Cain's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup butter at room temperature
1/2 Cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
1 Egg
2 Teaspoons vanilla
1 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocoalte chips

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine butter, butter flavored Crisco, white sugar, and brown sugar on high until well-blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix unitl blended. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed just until dry ingredients are incorporated. It may be necessary for you to mix by hand. Do not over beat. Dough should not be overly creamy, it should have some texture. Add chocoalte chips. Wrap in plastic and chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Make large golf-ball sized balls and place on cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges of cookie just begin to brown. Time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the cookie.

Check out other favorite desserts at The Finer Things in Life, host of the dessert part of the Bloggy Progressive Dinner.

Healthy, Low Calorie Guacamole!



This AMAZING recipe was found through a Rancho La Puerta cookbook. Rancho La Puerta is a world renowned destination spa/health resort located in Tacate, Mexico with focus on organic cooking. The sheer genius of this recipe is that while they do use healthy avocados, they go a step further and add peas to create bulk. You can't even taste the switch and it is unbelievable that this dish is nearly all vegetables! You simply must try this dish. So easy too! Enjoy!

Makes 10 servings (serving size: about 2 tablespoons)

1 cup frozen peas
1 ripe peeled avocado, seeded
1 lemon, juiced
1 chopped, seeded, tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped red or sweet onion
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 to 3 minced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Slightly thaw frozen peas at room temperature.
2. Place peas in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.
3. Mash avocado with a fork or potato masher in a medium bowl. Add in the lemon juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Add prepared peas and mix well.
4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with an array of fresh vegetables such as bell pepper strips, jicama, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes.
Variation: You can also use steamed broccoli florets, asparagus tips, or edamame in place of the peas.

Nutritional Information
Fat:3g (sat 0.0g,mono 2g,poly 0.0g)

Jesús González of Rancho La Puerta, Jesús González of Rancho La Puerta

Cheers to your health!

- Seanna

Menu Plan Monday



This week I actually have to cook since we don't have a trip planned. Here is what I think I am going to do as of now. We will see how the week goes!

Monday: Dinner at Mom and Dad's (this is something we do every Monday and I love it!)
Tuesday: Rancher's Stew, bread, and Rice Krispie treats (this is a recipe from a college friend of mine and a go to meal for us. We love it!)
Wednesday: Taco night, corn bread, canned fruit
Thursday: Meat filled jumbo shells, green beans, canned fruit
Friday: Halloween Party at a friend's house
Saturday: Out to dinner with my Grandparents
Sunday: Simply saucy chicken - I have not made this before but I have a lot of Kraft dressing to use up so I am going to give it a try.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Detox Dinner



We made it back from our weekend trip today both feeling like we needed a detox meal after all the junk we ate on vacation. To start with, our hotel offered free breakfast and free cookies in the evening. Who can pass up warm chocolate chip cookies? Not me that is for sure.

Anyway back to the topic of tonight our detox dinner. What I decided to make was a version of Minestrone soup from a recipe that I tore out of the Oregonian February 27, 2007. I have never made it before which means it has been sitting around waiting to be made for over 2 years! It was time.

All I can say is this is a keeper! So very very good and light.

Minestrone (adapted to what I had in my fridge)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Medium onion
8 Baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 Green pepper, diced
2 Cloves garlic minced
1 Medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch thick pieces
1 Teaspoon dried basil
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
6 Cups beef broth
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 19 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 Ounces small pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, pepper, and garlic. Cook stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in zucchini and basil.

Add tomatoes and their juice and broth to cover vegetables by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender and soup has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in beans and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls. Garnish with cheese and eat!

Healthy Makeover Latkes



I love potato latkes. In August we went out to dinner and had some. Since then I have been wanting to make them at home so when I was digging through my recipes recently and came across this recipe it went in the "to be made" pile.

Tonight was the night for these along with some yummy grilled steak my husband cooked. These are not as good as restaurant style but I am sure they are much much healthier. They are baked instead of fried but still come out with a nice and crispy crust to them. The recipe came from Good Housekeeping December 2008.

Healthy Makeover Latkes
2 Large egg whites
3 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 Pounds baking potatoes, peeled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray very large cookie sheet or 2 smaller ones with nonstick cooking spray. I used a Demarle pan I got from my mother in law which I LOVE! If you do not have one of these you should definitely look into getting one.

In large bowl, with fork, mix egg whites, chives, flour, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In food processor with shredding disk attached or on coarse side of box greater, shred potatoes. Place potatoes in colander in sink; squeeze out liquid. Stir potatoes into egg mixture.

Drop potato mixture by generous 1/3 cups, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet to make 12 mounds (mine only made 6 so I guess I was VERY generous with my 1/3 cup). Press each mound slightly to flatten into a 3-inch round.

Bake latkes 15 minutes. With wide metal spatula, turn latkes over and bake 15 minutes longer or until browned and crisp on both sides. Serve with applesauce.

Easy Meal #1 Pasta



Seanna's Easy Meal #1

As I was planning this week's meals I was still getting over being sick and needed really easy recipes that were comforting as well. Now you don't have to just do the standards when looking for ease.

Easy Meal #1 Cavatappi with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and Feta:

8 cups coarsely chopped spinach
8 cups hot cooked cavatappi (Or any pasta really)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (could use more if you like it)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or other white beans, drained
4 garlic cloves, crushed (I love garlic and added more, I roasted them on the stove first to make it not as bold of a flavor)
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl; toss well. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.
Cooking Light, JUNE 1998 (with my variations)

I Should Get A Prize



No I am not saying I should have a prize because my dinner was so good (but it was). No I think I should get a prize because I COOKED ON A SATURDAY NIGHT! If you know me for a long time weekends have always been my days "off" from cooking. Since I have been couponing though and seeing how much money we can save by eating at home I am trying to break that habit. So last Saturday night I rolled up my sleeves and made Turkey and Pinto Bean Corn Bread Pie.

I wish I could tell you how long this recipe has been filed in my "to make" box but I cut the date off when I tore it out of the paper. It does say it is from a book called "Almost Meatless" by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond. It turned out surprisingly well after I made a mistake and used the wrong yeast. This is another great recipe for using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

Turkey and Pinto Bean Corn Bread Pie

2 Teaspoons vegetable oil
8 Ounces turkey (I used frozen cooked turkey which sped this recipe up but the real recipe calls for ground turkey)
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 Cup cooked pinto beans
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 Teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 Cup water

Corn Bread Crust
3/4 Cup cornmeal
1/2 Cup all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned. I used fresh)
1 Tablespoon seeded and diced jalapeno chile
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons honey
3/4 Cup warm low-fat milk (about 120 degrees)
2 Packets active dry year (NOT INSTANT LIKE I USED-Whoops!)
1 Cup store bought salsa
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese

Sour cream for garnish

Brush a 9-inch pie dish lightly with oil or butter.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the turkey, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes (I skipped this step since I was using cooked turkey). Add the garlic, beans, chili powder, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix ingredients together and saute briefly until the garlic and spices are fragrant. Add the water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until most of the liquid is gone, scrapping the bottom of the pan occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

To Make Crust: In a bowl, mix together the cormeal, flour, salt, corn kernals, jalapeno, egg, oil, honey, milk and yeast. Pour the batter into the pie dish. Top with the meat and bean mixture, slasa and cheese.

Set the dish atop a rimmed baking sheet in a COLD oven. Set the ovent o 375 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the corn bread crust is golden brown. Remove fromt eh oven and let the pie sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving with dallops of sour cream.

Dinner Tonight



Well I messed up my meal plan already for the week and it is only the first day I cooked. At least I did cook I guess. I was planning to make something different but there was a bunch of leftovers in my fridge that I needed to use up so I decided to make Turkey Hash. It is a recipe that has been in my box of things to try since last November when I had a ton of turkey I froze. Since Thanksgiving is quickly approaching again I figured I needed to use up what was left from last year.

This is a recipe I got from Cooking Light November 2008 issue. The real recipe calls for 1 cup of mushrooms but since my husband and I don't like them I left them out. It also says to serve it with cranberry sauce and since it isn't actually Thanksgiving season yet I don't have any. I served them with applesauce which was perfect. The recipe made a lot so I sent four home with my mom. I will have to call her later and see what she thought of them. So this year save some turkey and give these a try.

Turkey Hash Cakes-Sheena's Way

1 Clove garlic
2 Cups chopped cooked turkey breast
2 Cups leftover mashed potatoes
3/4 Cup panko, divided
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 Cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper

Mix garlic, turkey, mashed potatoes, 1/4 cup panko, cheese, green onions, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Once combined divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2 inch-thick patty. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Dredge patties in remaining 1/2 cup panko.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties; cook 2 minutes on each side. Reapeat with remaining patties.

Here is the nutritional information the magazine gives. The version I made above will be a little different because there was no mushrooms in mine.

Calories 263
Fat 10g
Protein 25.1g

Menu Plan Monday



This is a short week for menu planning in our household because we are lucky enough to be going on an extended weekend trip Thursday-Sunday! Woo hoo! So for the few nights I will be cooking here is what we will be eating.

Monday: Dinner at Mom and Dad's
Tuesday: Turkey Hash, Glazed Carrots
Wednesday: Steak and potatoes
Thursday: VACATION !!
Saturday: VACATION!
Sunday: Taco Night

Not too exciting but I am trying to use up stuff I have in my freezer in preparation for my new beef coming this week. We purchase a quarter of steer every fall and the new meat is ready!

Pot Roast Evening



I walked into my mom's house yesterday to steal an onion for my dinner and there was the most amazing smell. She had a pot roast simmering away in her crock pot filling the whole house with the aroma of fall. With that on my mind guess what we had for dinner tonight at our house......Pot Roast! Very original I know. This is a super easy recipe which I make all the time to serve to guests. The meat falls off the bone and has super flavor. Don't judge it on looks alone because the photos do not do it justice. I also love to use the leftovers to make French Dip sandwiches.

Pot Roast
1 Roast (I usually use about one that is about 4-5 lbs)
1 Envelope Onion Soup Mix
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

Optional Items:
Potatoes, quartered
Carrots, cut into 2 inch segments
Onion, sliced

Put everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. That is it! How easy can it get?!? You will be so happy when you walk in the door and the smell of dinner greats you.

Check out other crock pot meals at Life as Mom.