Monday, May 30, 2011

Chicken and Jack Taquitos


Being focused, or maybe I should say obsessed, with Philly for the past 7 weeks, I haven't really been trying any new recipes. One night, after filming, editing and submitting a recipe for the contest, I realized that I still needed to make dinner. I had remembered seeing these, on Cooking for your Family and quickly looked them up. I was pleased to see how simple they were to make, since I was mentally exhausted from working on the video all day.


The taquitos were delicious. A bit bland, since I only used Monterey Jack cheese, instead of Pepper Jack. The kids are still very picky about spicy foods. But, that was nothing a little chipotle sour cream couldn't fix, LOL. I used leftover roast chicken, that I had in the fridge. I simmered it with a bit of lime juice, cumin and half a tsp of liquid smoke. Then I threw in the roast red peppers and filled the whole wheat tortillas with chicken and cheese. I served the adult portions with a generous dollop of spicy sour cream. The flavors were really delicious and the cheese made everything nice and creamy. This is a great quick weeknight dinner!

Chicken and Pepper Jack Taquitos Submitted by Michelle adapted from Robin Miller/FoodNetwork
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers, drained (from water-packed jar) --I used a preroasted pepper I had in the freezer
1 teaspoon liquid smoke --thought 1 tsp was slightly too much
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas --I used flour, corn tortillas usually crack for me
1 1/3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and saute 5 minutes, until browned on all sides. Add roasted red peppers and liquid smoke and cook 1 minute to heat through. Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of chicken mixture, to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Top chicken mixture with cheese. Roll up tortillas and place on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray (I skipped this) and bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese melts.

Cindy's notes: Since I did not use Pepper Jack cheese, I served the taquitos with a spicy sour cream which consisted of, sour cream, adobo sauce ( from canned Chipotles) and fresh chopped cilantro.

Meal Plan Monday~ May 30th

Wow, it's June already. 29 more days of school, then B will be off for the summer. It's a bitter sweet moment for us. Mr.B is graduating from Kindergarten! On one hand I'm happy he will be at school full time, but on the other hand, I hate to see my first baby grow up so fast. This month is sure to just fly by. Hubby has taken a week off, and the plan is to do a few stay-cations. We still need to figure out the details. Then we have the Fun Fair at Mr.B's school, where I am volunteering as the BBQ Pit Boss. And let's not forget my sweet boy's graduation!


With the consistenly gloomy weather, I've been less than motivated in the kitchen. I'm hoping the weather improves this week and we can get more grilling in. Here is what I have planned, but it's subject to change due to weather conditions.

  • Spaghetti and meatballs (in crock) with a salad
  • Grilled chicken sandwiches with homemade coleslaw
  • BBQ dogs and burgers at the Fun Fair
  • Gluten and soy free waffles with Apple Pear Compote (new recipe)
  • Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza (new recipe) with cucumber tomato salad
  • Grilled Chops with grilled veggie kabobs (zucchini, peppers, onion)
  • leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com for more great meal plans, for the week.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Homemade Tartar Sauce

Dill flavoured cream cheese brings this homemade Tartar Sauce to a new level.

Homemade Tartar Sauce- Hun... What's for Dinner?

First I'd like to apologize for my lack of posting lately. With my Mom visiting and this whole RWOP contest, life has been pretty hectic. You never think it would take as much time as it does, to shoot a cooking video. Next week is the last week, so I'm hoping to get back on track with recipes.

While my parents were visiting, this past week, we decided to have a fish fry. We fried up some wonderful Beer Battered Haddock and made some homemade fries and sauteed  veggies. It was one of the best meals I've ever had, and I'm sure sharing it with my parents had a big part in making it so great.

For many, a fish dinner is not complete without Tartar Sauce. We usually buy ours, but on occasion I make it. Over the years my recipe has been altered, getting better and better. I think I may have mastered it, with the help of Dill PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. The tangy dill just brings the tartar sauce to a whole new level. It's creamy, savory and sweet all in one. Perfect for fish!

Homemade Tartar Sauce- Hun... What's for Dinner?

Homemade Tartar Sauce

4 oz Dill PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 C mayonnaise
4 sweet pickles, finely grated
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp capers, chopped

 Thoroughly mix everything into a bowl and refrigerate 1 hr, before using. Serve with your favorite fried fish.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Update: My Journey to Becoming a Real Woman

The two last finalists for the appetizer round were announced yesterday afternoon. Alas, I was not picked, yet again. I'm still very hopeful though. I'm becoming more comfortable in front of the camera. I last left off with my dessert entries from round 1, so I guess I will post my appetizers from round 2.

My first entry was some wonderful Southwestern Potato Skins. Sweet BBQ sauce topped tangy Philadelphia Cream Cheese, mixed with green onion. Add in some BBQ chicken, cheddar cheese and bacon and you're in heaven.

Next was a wonderful Chickpea Dip, inspired by one of Hubby's favorite snack. Wonderful hummus made with Herb and Garlic Philadelphia Cream Cheese, topped with a Philadelphia Cream Cheese/goat cheese topping, studded with roast red pepper and fresh thyme. Served with homemade pita chips, it's sure to be a hit.

And lastly, the Petit Pates au Saumon, which I posted last week. This week is entrée week and entries are flying in. With my parents here and appts, I haven't had the time to get into the kitchen filming.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ May 23

Happy Monday! I hope all of you are enjoying your long weekend! We are having a great one so far. My Mother has come to stay for a few days and as always, I'm enjoying her company. The weather is just beautiful and the kids have been enjoying a few late nights of watching the fireworks in the neighbourhood.


This week is entrée week at the Real Women of Philadelphia, so many of my entrées will include that wonderful Philly, in some way. With Mom being here, we are trying to make some of her favorites, that she doesn't get to eat all that much. We do have a somewhat busy week, with a trip to Toronto with Queenie, for a dermatology appt and dinner out at Boston Pizza, to support Mr.B's school fundraiser. So here is what I have planned

  • Philly Baked Sole with Parmesan Rice and broccoli
  • Firehouse Stuffed chicken (Philly-fied) with spinach fettuccine and a tomato cucumber salad
  • Italian sausages and hot dogs on the grill, with homemade coleslaw
  • Ratatouille with chickpeas and Naan bread
  • Tuna Melts with a salad
  • Deep fried grilled cheese with Potato salad
  • Leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for more great Meal Plans!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Honey

In my quest to find more sweet potato recipes that I would enjoy, I stumbled upon this one. One afternoon, while Queenie was sleeping, Mr.B was at school, and I had the rare occasion to sit and watch an adult TV show; I chose to watch Racheal Ray. Wouldn't you know that on that particular day, she made a simple sweet potato mash that sounded divine.


Now I've mentioned before that I just really can't wrap my head around sweet potatoes. I almost want them to be sweeter, than they actually are. The addition of the honey in these helped boost the sweetness factor to my liking. I decided to use some fresh orange juice, since I didn't have any lemons on hand. The citrus added a night bright flavor to the potatoes. The kids still aren't into sweet potatoes as much as I'd like them to be.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Honey
Adapted from The Rachael Ray Show

1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Boil the potatoes until tender; drain and return them to the hot pot. Mash with the chicken stock, honey and lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Petit Pates au Saumon~ Salmon Tartlets

This wonderful appetizer was inspired by the Pate au Saumon, that I grew up eating. I decided to re invent these into an appetizer featuring Philadelphia cream cheese, to submit to the Real Woman of Philadelphia. I really must say that it was one of my more brilliant ideas, LOL.


The 2 bite tartlets were brought to a new level with some dill flavored Philly cream cheese and caramelized onion. They were creamy and the sweet onion paired perfectly with the tangy dill cream cheese and salty salmon. So, easy to make, yet they look so elegant. Even Hubby was impressed with the presentation and taste of these.

Petit Pates au Saumon
printable version

  • 1/3 cup(s) of lard
  • 1 cup(s) of flour
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder
  • egg
  • 1 tsp. of white vinegar
  • water
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. of brown sugar
  • medium potatoes, cooked
  • 4 ounce(s) of Dill PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. of milk
  • -213g can of salmon, juices reserved and boned
  • 2 tbsp. of cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. of water
  • 2 pinch of dried parsley
  1. In a bowl combine flour and baking powder. Cut in lard, until mixture resembles coarse meal. In same measuring cup used to measure the flour, break egg; adding vinegar and just enough water to fill the cup. Whisk together and add bit by bit, until a dough forms (not all liquid will be needed). Let dough rest in the fridge.
  2. To a small skillet with olive oil, add onion and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over med low heat, until nice and golden brown.
  3. In a small pot add reserved salmon juices, salmon and 1/4 C water. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the larger pieces, for 3 minutes.Slowly add in cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs of water; until salmon mixture thickens slightly.
  4. In a bowl mash potatoes with Dill PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. Season with salt and pepper and add 2 Tbs of milk, to loosen them up a bit. Mix in thickened salmon mixture, until thoroughly combined.
  5. Roll out chilled dough, to 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into 24 circles and press each circle into a mini muffin tin.
  6. Place salmon filling into a large zip top bag, or pipping bag. Fill each tartlet, to the top, with salmon filling. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for 15-20 minutes; until dough around the edges begin to brown.
  7. Remove slightly cooled tartlets to a serving platter. Top with a few pieces of caramelized onion and a small sprinkle of parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. Serves 12 people, at 2 tartlets per person.


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Monday, May 16, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ May 16

Happy Monday! I sure hope this week is better than this past weekend. First the hot water tap in the tub busted, so we are unable to turn it off. Rather than pay double for the plumber to come on the weekend, the landlord decided it could wait until this morning. So we've been functioning without hot water, all weekend. We turn it on for showers, but otherwise it's off. Then I messed up our computer somehow. DH still hasn't been able to fix it.... so I'm stealing my nephews laptop, any chance I get. So if I don't post as often this week, you'll know why.

Other than that it was on OK weekend. It rained Friday and yesterday, so we spent the days watching movies and trying not to drive each other crazy. Though is was cooler, on Sunday, the rain held off, so we enjoyed a few hours outside with the neighbours.


This week should be somewhat quiet. My Mom is suppose to come for a visit, though I'm not sure of the date of her arrival. I have an appt on Wed morning and MrB. has a long school week. I don't have anything fancy planned on the menu, but the sides will be featuring Philly cream cheese, since it's side dish week over at RWOP. So here is the plan

  • Grilled chicken breast with pasta (Philly side) and a salad
  • Saucy mozzarella patties with pasta and peas
  • Chickpea Ratatouille with Naan bread
  • Tuna Melts with tomato cucumber salad
  • Crab Cakes (new recipe) with asparagus (Philly side) 
  • Grilled sausage with coleslaw
  • leftovers
Head over to OrgJunkie.com for more great meal plans!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Shrimp Fried Rice

What do you do when your children ask to go to the Chinese Buffet, almost every night? You try your hand at making some wonderful foods found on the Chinese Buffet. Which is exactly what has been going on in this house. We've had the opportunity to treat our families to a wonderful Chinese Buffet near by, called the Mandarin. Let me tell you, it's quite a place! 5 islands of hot foods, 1 huge salad bar and a fantastic dessert station. They serve everything from pizza, to dumplings; wonton soup, to sushi. No wonder the kids love the place! It's even excites me when we go, LOL.


So, after MANY requests to go to the beloved Mandarin, I decided to make something the kids enjoy; here at home. Since we always have shrimp in the freezer, I knew fried rice was the way to go. I wanted something that wasn't too fussy and that was close to what the kids were use to eating. This recipe did not disappoint!


Slightly salty, studded with sweet shrimp. It really was wonderful. And since I was using leftover brown rice, from a previous meal, it came together in the matter of minutes. The only changes I made was use a Zen blend of frozen vegetables (bean sprouts, carrots, red pepper, snow peas, baby corn and water chestnuts), instead of the bean sprouts. I think the added veggies brought a bit more life to the dish. The kids devoured this, especially the shrimp. So now we have a great alternative, when we're in the mood for some Chinese Buffet.

Shrimp Fried Rice II
Adapted from Allrecipes
printable version

1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
3 cups water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups cooked medium shrimp, peeled
and deveined without tail
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and allow rice to cool.
2. Heat a large skillet or wok for 2 minutes. When the skillet or wok is hot, pour in vegetable oil, bean sprouts and onions. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Mix in cooled rice and shrimp and cook for another 3 minutes. Stirring constantly.
4. Mix in green onions, eggs, salt, pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until eggs are cooked and everything is blended evenly.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just Desserts....

Last week was dessert week, at the Real Woman of Philadelphia contest. I was super excited, since I LOVE dessert! If I could eat dessert all day and not gain a pound, I would. Dessert in my house, can be a very BAD thing..... even if it tastes SO good.

I went ahead and submitted 3 videos, of some wonderful desserts. The first is of a Pouding Chomeur (Poor Man's Pudding). It's a wonderful cake floating on top of a nice sweet syrup. I was able to incorporate some Philadelphia cream cheese into a childhood favorite.

My second video featured an original recipe that I created. One of my favorite breakfasts is stuffed french toast, so why not turn that into a dessert. My Stuffed French Toast Sundaes are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

And lastly, a wonderful light and airy Coconut Cream Pie Mousse. So elegant, yet so reminisant of coconut cream pie.

This week, we've started from the begining again, so I've been thinking of yummy appetizers. I hope the judges will enjoy the last few tricks I have up my sleeve!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Corn Fritters

I've had this recipe for ever, so long I don't even remember where I picked it up from. Last Thursday was Cinqo de Mayo. I had totally forgot about it and addly enough, when preparing a marinade for my chicken, that morning, I went with a tex mex flavor combination. I threw my chicken in a ziptop bag with lime juice, chipotle chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I had planned on making these corn cakes/fritters to go along with our grilled chicken. So, I guess subconciously, I did remember it was Cinqo de Mayo.


These corn cakes/fritters are so easy to whip up. Think corn pancakes. The original recipe was a little blah, so I jazzed our up a bit, by substituting some of the flour, for corn meal and adding some roast red pepper to them. I served them with some tomatillo salsa and sour cream.


I would have loved more corn in these, so next time I'll add more. The red pepper added a much needed spicy/sweet touch to them, that went perfectly with the tart tomatillo salsa and creamy sour cream. The kids really loved these and I have to confess that we ate the whole batch, LOL. The recipe made about 10, so we didn't have to worry about leftovers.

Easy Corn Fritters
printable version

1/3 cup frozen or canned corn
2 medium eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
oil for frying

In a medium sized bowl combine milk and the eggs. Use a whisk to beat them smooth. Add the salt, corn meal, flour, baking powder and sugar. Mix really well, until there are no lumps. Add the drained corn and roasted red pepper; mix again. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large iron skillet over medium high heat. When hot, it's time to drop in the fritters. I drop about 1/4 of a cup of batter for each fritter, cooking about 3 or 4 together in the same pan. Fry them just like pancakes, turning them, after the under side is crispy brown. They cook a little slower than pancakes, because they are thicker. After they have browned on both sides, transfer them to a plate to keep warm. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. This recipe makes about 8 or 9 fritters.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ May 9

Happy Monday! Hope all you wonderful Mothers had a great weekend. Mine was pretty much perfect! First Hubby was off this weekend. I think it's the first Mother's Day in 8 yrs, that he hasn't had to work. That alone made it a great weekend. Second, was that the weather was magnificent and we ventured out to explore some bluffs near by. Add breakfast in bed and the sweetest card made by Mr.B, at school, and it's been one of the best Mother's Day ever! Hope everyone else had as great of a weekend as we did.


This week will be a quiet one. Hubby is back to work and Mr.B has a short week at school. It's appetizer week over at the Real Women of Philly contest, so we'll be snacking on appetizers for lunch all week, LOL. Other than that, the menu should be simple, since we're on the 2nd half of our groceries.


  • Spaghetti and meatballs, salad and garlic bread
  • Firehouse Stuffed Chicken with brown rice and broccoli
  • Chicken Jack Taquitos(new recipe) with mexican rice
  • Pierogies with bacon, caramelized onion and cheese, potato skins(Philly appetizer)
  • Spaghetti alla Ceci(new recipe) with salad and cheese bread
  • Hot dogs, potato wedges and corn
  • leftovers
Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for tons of other great meal plans for the week.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken

When I saw the picture for this recipe, in Rachael Ray's Look & Cook cookbook, I immediately marked the page. The sticky glaze looked so wonderfully inviting; even mouth watering. I took me a while to make this, since life has been so hectic lately and I must say that I'm sorry I waited this long. This recipe is phenomenal! It only uses a few ingredients, which is one reason this has to be my favorite RR cookbook. In the past her recipes were so long and often included many ingredients I don't normally cook with. But this book is a whole different ball game.


The chicken ends up so juicy and succulent. The wonderful glaze thickens and coats the chicken with a wonderful bitter sweet sauce. The slight onion flavor, from the green onion, just adds a nice bright flavor to the sweet glaze. And the presentation is so pretty! This would really be perfect for a Mother's Day lunch, since it's nice and light.


The kids also loved this dish. Although I did serve their arugula topped with their favorite dressing and the chicken on the side. But, whenever Queenie inhales the meat portion on her plate, I know I have a winner on my hands. After the first bite, I decided to drizzle some of the remaining glaze over the arugula. I found it too bitter on it's own, but paired with the chicken, it was perfect! So, treat your Mom to something totally wonderful, this weekend!

Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken
Adapted from Rachael Ray Look & Cook
printable version

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts or any combination of light and dark meat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
4 cups baby arugula

In a large pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high to high heat. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. When the oil is hot and ripples, add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes, then turn and sprinkle with rosemary. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

In a small bowl, stir together the marmalade, vinegar and stock and pour over the chicken. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and becomes a thin glaze. Add the scallions during the last minute of cooking time. Arrange on a serving platter and serve topped with arugula greens.


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pork Teriyaki

I'm always on the look out for recipes that are out of the norm, for our family. I like trying new flavors from different cultures and knew this one would be a hit, since we love Asian food. Plus, any new pork tenderloin recipe I can find, makes me happy. I loved how simple this recipe was and how it gave the option for freezing. This would be a great freezer meal, for a busy week night.


The flavors were wonderful. There was a hint of lime, in the pork and a nice kick of heat, near the end of each bite. I didn't measure the Sriracha sauce that I used, so it was a bit spicier than I anticipated. I made sure to shake off all the sauce, so the kids could enjoy this as well. And the surely did!! I used a combination of carrot, red pepper, onion, green beans and scallion for the veggies. As I mentioned above, I also used Asian hot sauce, for a more authentic taste.

Pork Teriyaki
Adapted from Family Circle Magazine
printable version

2 tablespoons light teriyaki sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 can (14.5 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons light teriyaki sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bag (12 ounces) microwave-ready green beans, cooked following package instructions
3 cups cups cooked brown rice

1. Pork. In a large ziptop bag, combine teriyaki sauce, garlic, lime juice and zest. Add pork and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

2. Sauce. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, teriyaki sauce, cornstarch, sugar and hot sauce. Set aside.

3. Vegetables. Remove pork from marinade and discard marinade. Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry pork for 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

4. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion and cook 4 minutes; stir in red pepper, mushrooms and scallions. Cook 3 minutes. Stir in the green beans, broth mixture and pork. Simmer for 2 minutes, until thickened.

5. Serve the pork over cooked brown rice.

TO FREEZE: In a large ziptop bag, combine teriyaki sauce, garlic, lime juice and zest. Add pork and place bag in freezer, until ready to use. Pull out and let thaw overnight in the fridge and continue on with step 2.


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Make a Food"e" Friend Monday
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Delicious Dishes
What's Cooking Wednesday

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meal Plan Monday~ May 2, 2011

Wow, we are almost halfway through the year! I can't believe how fast time is flying. I just wish the weather would make up it's mind, as to it being Spring already. We get teased with a few nice days, then wake up to dismal dreary cold temperatures. It's getting pretty tiring! Mr.B was able to enjoy the one beautiful day we had on Saturday. He was invited to a classmates birthday party, and the weather was perfect for it. He had a ton of fun. Since Queenie was feeling left out, we did a mommy/daughter park outing and came home to enjoy some freezee pops.


This week will be a nice quiet one. It's dessert week, for the Philly competition, so I'll be baking up a storm, trying to impress the judges. Other than that, not much is on the agenda. Hubby is off this weekend ( yay he will be home for Mother's Day), so I'm hoping to maybe talk him into exploring the bluffs nearby, with me and the kids. I'm not sure if he has anything planned for this weekend, so I'll just treat this week like any other. Here's what is on the menu

Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, for other great weekly meal plans!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

From sides to entrees.....

Well, the Journey to becoming a Real Woman still continues. The first 2 finalists from the first appetizer round were announced this past Wed. Although I was pretty sure I would not see my name, I was not disappointed. I knew that my side dish and entree recipes were way more exciting than my appetizer video. So, I just took the announcement of the winners, as inspiration to come up with a phenomenal dessert. Which I think I may have accomplished, LOL. You'll have to come back and see for yourself in a few week.

For my entrees, I went with 2 types of dishes that my family loves. The first was a fun twist on lasagna, or pasta noodle bake. The addition of Garlic and Herb Philadelphia Cream Cheese, to the noodles, just brought this dish to a drool worthy level. A great way to hide veggies, I added some carrot and zucchini to my meat sauce, to bump up the nutritional value of this decadent Philly Noodle Bake.

For my 2nd recipe, I decided to take our regular Calzone to heights it's never seen before. The creamy Garden Vegetable Philadelphia Cream Cheese, just added such wonderful flavor to the goat cheese and paired perfectly with our Prosciutto, spinach and sweet caramelized onion. I think this recipe for Creamy Philly Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Calzone, is my best recipe yet!

Next week is dessert week and I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Although I'm a little stressed about having so much yummy dessert in my house, all week!