Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sweet Peach Frozen Yogurt

Fall has officially begun but you wouldn't think so where I live.  It feels like summer!  I made this delicious frozen yogurt before I went on vacation and was surprised to see a bit left when I returned.  The recipe is almost identical to the Caramel Pear Frozen Yogurt.

Sweet Peach Frozen Yogurt
adapted from The Do It Yourself Mom

1 large or 2 small peaches, chopped
1/2 cup sugar (divided)
3 cups plain yogurt (homemade works great!)

After you chop the peaches, put them in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of sugar. Saute over low heat to caramelize the sugar. It may take a while to cook out the excess liquid from the peach to allow the sugar to thicken and caramelize.
 Remove from heat, and allow the caramelized peach to cool.
Stir 1/4 cup of sugar into the yogurt.
Add the cooled peach pieces and stir to distribute evenly.
Freeze in an ice cream freezer, or follow these instructions to freeze in your regular freezer.

*Don't forget, October 4th at Back to the Basics!  The Salsa Garden Giveaway!

Linking up HERE!

Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm working on it!

I really am working on it but I'm a bit uninspired lately.  Since I got back from visiting family I've fixed a few boring meals and nuked freezer leftovers.  Last night, we ordered chinese food! {gasp}  I feel icky this morning since we never eat that much salt at one time.
Nieces and nephew jumping!  I love those kids!

Today is a brand new day and I really do my best work in the kitchen on the weekends.
Mom made me a birthday cake while I was back home.

Stop by Back to the Basics if you have a moment.  I'm joining the Aloha Blog Hop again this Friday.  I also announced a new giveaway happening October 4th.  Check it out!
Grandpa (dad) with the kids.  So cute!
More sharing later!  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homemade Chicken Calzone

Hi again!  I found this recipe for DIY "hot pockets" when I was looking for something I used to make called a "chicken packet."   My old recipe is basically a chicken and cheese mixture stuffed inside pre-made dough.  I used to use cresent roll dough, rolled out and folded over.  Check out the recipe here.

The original directions for the calzone were terrible.  There was no mention of when to use the salt and sugar.  They go in the dough! I used slow-cooker shredded chicken and added a few goodies.  They turned out excellent!!!

Homemade Chicken Calzone
adapted from TLC

1/2 packet of dry yeast (approx 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup and 1 tbsp warm water
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp raw sugar
1/2 cup-1 cup chicken
1 cup spinach, chopped and sauteed
2 cups mozzarella, shredded

Optional additions:
1/2 cup Riccotta cheese
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
*Saute all veggies*


Dissolve the yeast in warm water for about five minutes.

Gradually add water to flour and knead by hand or using the dough hook on your mixer. Add salt and sugar.  Set the mixer to medium. The process should take about ten minutes.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl, coated in olive oil. Cover with a clean towel and place in the oven (turned off). Let rise until doubled in size about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or use a pizza stone.

Divide the dough into four balls and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Roll out each dough into 6-inch rounds. Combine chicken (sausage), spinach, garlic and cheese(s) in a bowl.
*Add any additional veggies here*

Add a generous scoop of filling, about 1 cup, onto each and form into calzones.  

Paint with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meatless On Monday #10

You may have noticed that I've been missing for a week.  I forgot to schedule a few delicious recipes for you when I went out of town last week to visit family.  Now I'm trying to get back to work and blogging, cleaning and cooking...Yeah right...I'm lounging around taking a vacation from my vacation.

Enjoy my meatless recipe!

Tortellini Muffins

Quantity depends on size of muffin pan

1 package of Spinach Tortellini, prepared (cooked)
1 egg
1 cup Riccotta cheese
1 cup Mozarrella cheese
1/4 chopped onion
1 cup spinach, chopped and sauteed
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine egg cheese, onion, spinach, basil and garlic in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add cooked Tortellini and mix gently.

Spray or line cupcake pan.  Add a generous amount of pasta mixture to each cup.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until browned.  Remove and serve warm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Easy Chicken Snacks

I used to make these "chicken packets" when I first moved out of my Gran's house.  Granny was an amazing cook (there were no pre-made doughs or sauces in her house).  I searched google for DIY hot pockets and hit the mother load!  

I thought I'd make a fun snack for the hubby for when I'm gone.  I had a coupon for crescent rolls so I kinda just took a little info from several recipes.  These are definitely not the healthiest meal I've made but they were super easy.  Here goes!

Crescent Roll Chicken Packets
makes 8 packets

2 tubes of crescent rolls (I used reduced fat) 
1 cup shredded chicken
1 cup shredded mozarrella cheese
1 cup riccotta cheese (also reduced fat)
1/2 cup bell pepper (seeded, chopped and sauteed)
1 cup spinach, chopped and sauteed
1/2 cup onion, chopped and sauteed
1 tablespoon crushed garlic


Preheat oven to 375.  Combine all ingredients except for the rolls into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. 

Open crescent roll tubes.  Used 2 crescent rolls (a large rectangle) and lay it our on a floured or non-stick surface.

Add filling to one half.  Fold dough over filling and seal the edges.

Place filled dough packets on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes before biting into chicken packets.  They are hot!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another Pesto Recipe perfect for Meatless on Monday!

While I've been away from my virtual kitchen I've been enjoying all things "Herby."  Yes, herby is a real word!  I missed Meatless on Monday last week so this is #9.

I had another basil plant that was so full it was falling over.  This one is a Purple Opal Basil.

I've made pesto several ways so far.  Once the traditional way and once detox-friendly.  This weekend I made a delicious pesto with sunflower seeds! To make things a bit more interesting, my food processor bit the dust.  I improvised by using my blender.  Check it out!

Sunflower Pesto

Fresh pesto with whole wheat past

3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup garlic cloves
(or less if you don't love garlic like we do)
cracked black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except for the parmesan cheese into the blender.  
 Blend until mostly smooth.  Add parmesan cheese and blend for 10-20 seconds.

Serve over pasta, with crackers or even on an eggplant sandwich.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I just wanted a Cheeseburger!

I had a wonderful birthday this past week!  I decided I didn't want to go out for dinner.

All I wanted was a Cheeseburger!

It's so easy to make but we rarely eat red meat.  The last time we had red meat was in January.

Birthday Cheeseburgers

1 pound 93/7 ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 packet Liptons Onion soup
dash of pepper 

Grilled onions
Tomatoes, sliced
Onions, sliced and grilled
Jalapeno Jack cheese, sliced
ketsup and spicy mustard

Onion Poppy seed buns

Add all patty ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Warm up the George Forman grill.  Form your patties and cook.

I like my bread toasted so while my burger was cooking I put the buns in the toaster.  Once they pop up, add your desired condiments.  Place your burger on the buns and add your toppings.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Winning! "In the Kitchen" Giveaway winner

The winner of the "In the Kitchen" Garden pack is Pamela at Pamela's Heavenly Treats!  Woohoo!  Enjoy your heirloom, organic herb seed packs from Mary's Heirloom Seeds!

I decided to add a runner-up to receive an herb seed pack of their choice.  Joyce at Education Jump-Off, You are the runner-up!  
I love homegrown herbs!

I also have a SUPER announcement.

I've decided to offer a SUPER Seed Sale.  More than half of the Heirloom seed varieties at Mary's Heirloom Seeds are on sale.

-Shipping is FREE
-Orders over $25 are upgraded to Priority shipping

-Orders over $35 will also receive 10 FREE Peat Pellets 

-10 Free Peat pellets with purchase of the Family Garden Pack

Peat Pellets (dry)
*We will be unavailable to fill seed orders between Sept 19-23
All order placed between those dates will be shipped on Tuesday, September 25th* 
Amana's Orange Tomatoes

If 10-50% off wasn't enough,  Refer a friend and receive a free seed pack of your choice once their order is complete!

For all of you Homeschoolers, we have 2 variety packs available which include detailed growing instructions and educational information.

Both the Education Pack and the Mini-Education Pack also include plant markers and 2 free Flower packs for a very reasonable price!
Purple Beauty Bell Pepper

Please check out the SUPER selection of Heirloom garden seeds and Organic sprouting seeds at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  The SUPER sale goes through September while supplies last!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Zucchini Carrot "Cakes"

These are a nice "tweak" from my regular zucchini cakes.  I had a bunch of carrots left over so I figured I'd try a little something different.  This is another item that does well in the freezer so I make a bunch at once (I doubled the recipe) and freeze them for later.

Zucchini Carrot Cakes (patties)

1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
2 eggs, beaten 
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
½ small onion, chopped
dash of pepper
dash of nutmeg
dash of paprika 
Olive oil


Let your shredded zucchini sit for about 10 minutes then squeeze out excess moisture.

Combine Bisquick, cheese, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, eggs, zucchini and onion in a mixing bowl. Blend well. 

Turn on your pan or skillet on high.  Add olive oil.

Spoon heaping tablespoons of zucchini mixture into skillet.  Fry for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Place browned patties on a plate or paper towel.  Serve hot with marinara sauce or ketsup.

Last day to enter Mary's "In the Kitchen" Garden Pack Giveaway

Linking up HERE.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pineapple Zucchini Muffins (tweaked)

I've said it before but it's worth repeating.  I find so many useful recipes at and I love giving them a little "tweak" to make them a bit healthier.  This time I am giving you the original ingredients below so you can see the changes I've made.

*There is still time to enter Mary's "In the Kitchen" Giveaway*

My most common tweaks are:
-Apple sauce instead of oil
-Less sugar and/or substitute Agave or Honey
-Use half whole wheat flour

Pineapple Zucchini Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose, un-bleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour 
1 1/2 cups Honey (or 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup apple sauce 
1 cup grapeseed oil
6 eggs
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour 4 muffin pans, or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine flour, honey, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the oil, apple sauce, eggs, zucchini, pineapple and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

I ended up with about 48 muffins.  The recipe is so big I should have used a much bigger bowl.  Next time I make this I'll make 2 - 1/2 batches and experiment with each.

**This is a perfect recipe to freeze for later since I'm making up food ahead for my hubby for when I go out of town**  

*Additional "tweaks" -add 1 cup of shredded carrots and/or slivered almonds. 

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups vegetable oil
6 eggs
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Have a GREAT week!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meatless on Monday #8 Appetizer!

I've been baking for 2 days straight!  I'm going out of town soon so I'm preparing meals for the hubby for when I'm away.  Plus, the next 2 weeks will be very busy for us AND I have a birthday in a week!

So here's the rundown and I'll be sharing most of these recipes with you soon.
-Pear Preserves (Holy Moly Delicious)
-Pineapple Zucchini Muffins (Scrumptious)
-Slow-Cooker Wings with homemade sauce
-Zucchini Carrot "cakes" (more like patties)
-Egg and Veggie Bake with Riccotta Cheese
-Pasta and Sauce ( I won't bore you with the recipe)

And now for the recipe of the day...Guacamole Cucumber Bites!  These are so light and fresh.  I serve them on reduced-fat triscuits but any cracker would work.

Guacamole Cucumber Bites

1 large Florida Avocado
(or 3 small Hoss Avocados)
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced

Remover the skin and seed from the avocado and gently mash.  I like to leave it a little chunky.  Add tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, cilantro salt and pepper and gently stir until mixed.  Chill for an hour.

Place a cucumber slice over your cracker and add a spoonful of guacamole.  Serve.  Enjoy!

*There is still time to enter Mary's "In the Kitchen" Giveaway*
Please, if you are new follower, leave a comment with your blog/website info so I can stop by. 

Happy Monday!

Linking up HERE.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pear Preserves

My husband has mentioned about 100 times that his mom used to make pear preserves.  A hint maybe?  I think so!  With all of the canning and preserving I've done in the past year or so I've never made Pear Preserves so it's about time.

I searched far and wide for a simple recipe that did not require much prep.  While I had the entire weekend off, I also wanted to be able to take it easy.  I found what I was looking for at  The recipe doesn't say anything about peeling the pears so I left the skins on and just removed the cores and a few bruises.

Adapted from COOKS.COM

12 c. sliced pears (approx 12 pears)
9 c. sugar
1 fresh lemon, sliced thin

Core and slice pears.
Cover pear slices with sugar and let stand overnight. Enough liquid will be produced to allow cooking without adding water.

Stir to mix pears, sugar, and juice. Add lemon slices. Bring to simmer and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until pears are tender, clear, and caramel colored and liquid is consistency of honey. This will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I actually simmered for 2 1/2 hours.

Pour preserves into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom and seal with sterilized lids.

The original directions did not specify how many pints or half pints in this recipe.  I ended up with 9 half-pints, 1 pint and an additional jar for the fridge because I ran out of new lids.The directions also did not state how long to process in the water bather canner.  I chose to use 15 minutes for the half-pints and 20 for the pints.  I live at sea-level so you will need to adjust for altitude.

*There is still time to enter Mary's "In the Kitchen" Giveaway*
Please, if you are new follower, leave a comment with your blog/website info so I can stop by.  Thank you!

Linking up HERE.