Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's a peachy kind a day

Don't you wish sometimes that there was smell-a-vision? Some foods look downright amazing and you wish you could capture the experience for all of the senses. Taste it on your tongue, smell it with your soul, eat it with your eyes, touch it on your lips, and hear the yums coming out of everyone's mouths. Well, if anything you can always eat it with your eyes and its calorie free. lol:)

I am actually baking a peach crisp and it smells amazing. If I could find a way to share it with you I would. I'm just that kinda girl. Hee hee!

I did kind of cheat with this peach crisp because it is not quite peach season so I used canned. I won't be as good but it still will be tasty. It looks fantastic. I  cannot wait to take a bite, I even bought ice cream for the occasion.
Just took a bite. All I want to say is mmmm..hmmm. I love the contrast of textures and temperature. Smooth and crumbly, warm and cold. It works.

Peach Crisp                                                                                


1 20oz can peach pie filling
1 14oz can sugar free peach slices drained
2 c flour
1 1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 butter sliced

Preheat oven to 350F
spray 9 inch pie dish with butter cooking spray
mix peach pie filling and peach slices together. In separate bowl mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cut butter into mixture until it looks like small peas. Place flour mixture on top of peaches and press it down. Place on top of cooking sheet just in case it spills while baking.  Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. Top with your favorite ice cream and enjoy a treat for your senses.

I hope you have had a wonderful day!

Friday, April 29, 2011


I know. I have been slacking. I have a good excuse. These are the last couple of weeks for school. The professors are really piling the work on. Anyway, its good to be back. I am very happy today. I have finished my last speech for my communications class. Woo hoo! and to top that off I don't have to go next week! Since I gave my speech today, I don't have to go next week. I get to sleep in. ....Hooray!:) That is unless I hear back from that job and get my interview next week. That would be awesome. How are things with you? Are you ready for Summer? Me, not so much yet because I really do not have anything to wear yet, but I digress.

I did however have time to play in the kitchen and make some good food. I had to work on Easter  so I missed out on delicious dinner with my family.They made me a plate but it was not the same. I know. It sucked for me but I decided that since I missed dinner I would make Easter dinner on Monday for me and the hubby. Since his family made ham I decided to make Prime Rib for us. I made it salt encrusted. First time for me it was delicious. What I want to share is how tasty my side dish was. I made a Sweet Potato Casserole. Let's just say, ah-----Yum!

Look how pretty!!!
I want to share the recipe with you.

Sweet Potato Casserole
adapted from the Neely's


3 Sweet Potatoes peeled and diced
1/2 c soy milk
1/2 c brown sugar
4 T butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 c mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 F
spray a 2 Qt baking dish with cooking spray
Boil the sweet potatoes in water until fork tender. Remove from heat and drain. Smash them with a potato masher and stir in the butter, soy milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Bake for about 15 -20 minutes. Top with marshmallows and bake for 10 minutes more.

It is so good! I urge you if you like sweet potatoes you should try this.

After these next two weeks of school. I should be stress free for a while and hopefully(fingers crossed) I will be starting my new job. I will continue to send good, positive thoughts out in the universe.(smile) I hope you are also having a great day:)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Saturday

Good morning all! I passed the first phase of the hiring process for the job. I am so excited!! I feel things are starting to go my way. Holla! Positive thinking does work. I believe I will move on to the next stage....The interview. I am going to have to start practicing because I want to make a good impression. On  another note I am going to the AZ Rattlers game with the hubby tonight. It promises to be a good time. I'm so happy! I hope everyone has a Great Easter and I'm peacing out!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Today is a beautiful day! It's about 80* and breezy. It is also the last Friday in Lent. In honor of this day and the fact we cannot have meat on Friday until after Easter I decided I was in the mood for a delicious vegetable soup. I watched Food Network recently and saw one of my fave chefs Claire Robinson make a broccoli soup and it looked awesome. I then decided that is what I would make for lunch today but slightly different. I did not add any kind of broth. All I had was chicken broth and again no meat today. I also used tofutti instead of her version of creme freche. Too much dairy does not agree with me.
The result was beyond my imagination wonderful. I mean seriously delicious!!!! You have to try this.:)

Melissa's Vegetable Soup
(adapted from Claire Robinson's Broccoli Soup, I'm not really sure of her exact recipe as I never looked it up)

2 cups of broccoli
2 cups of cauliflower
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 T tofutti
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
little bit of garlic salt

Cut vegetables into similar size and put in soup pot. Cover vegetables with water and add the 2T of butter. Add salt and pepper. Boil vegetables until tender. Put in blender and puree with the 2T of tofutti.
Serve and enjoy!
*add a little dollop of tofutti to top of soup if desired.
It is so creamy and luxurious you would swear you used heavy cream but didn't. I know I'm gushing but it was so good!! And the best part was it was so easy and fast. What a way to add flavor to your day.

On a different note. I went and took an exam for a potential job today. I think it went well but some of the questions tripped me up. I think I made the questions harder than they actually were. I am going to be positive and say I passed and will be on to the next stage of the process before I know it. I had a good day. My hubby has assured my I did well and I will be on to the interview before I know it! Woo hoo! So excited. I am glad I am out of my rut. I hope every one has a good weekend:)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Hump Day!

Well, I'm not sure if I'm going to get the first job I applied for. I won't find out for a couple of weeks but I am still sending positive thoughts out into the  universe. I have one of my besties to thank for getting me out of my rut. I am glad she did. It's time for a change. Even though  I am disappointed that I did not get hired on the spot I know I am destined for other things. I bought myself a pretty bouquet of flowers and played in the kitchen and cheered myself right up.

Now, on to better things. My niece came to dinner tonight and requested lasagna. Who am I to disappoint her? I love lasagna and think its even better when you make the sauce from scratch.

My tomato sauce

1 - 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
3 T of tomato paste
4- cloves of garlic
1/2 c red wine
2 T oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion diced
8 oz mushrooms
2 T olive oil

Puree tomatoes with garlic cloves in the blender. Set aside. Heat up sauce pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add diced onion and saute until it begins to soften, then add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper with each addition of onion and mushrooms. Add the tomato paste and saute for a minute, then add the red wine. Let it boil for a minute and then add the pureed tomato and garlic. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for at least 10 minutes.
*if you are adding meat to the sauce I would add it after the onion and mushrooms but before the tomato paste.

Look how pretty it is this lasagna....

I think making your own sauce brings a little something extra to the meal. It is also therapeutic to me to be in the kitchen while trying to make decisions. I believe my time will come soon. I just have to be patient. I am grateful I have a supportive husband who is encouraging me to seek my happiness. It has been a good Wednesday. Easter is right around the corner. I have to work on Sunday so I don't get to spend the day with my family but I think we well have our special dinner on Monday. I'm thinking about making a ham. It will be a little bit of a challenge since I have never done so before. But hey..that's how I'm rolling these days. I can almost taste it. Yum!!

Hope you had a fantastic day!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Tax Day!

Happy Tax Day!!

So, today I played hooky from school because I was tired from doing our taxes until the wee hours of the morning. When I say wee, I mean wee! But they are done and I don't have that dark cloud hanging over my head anymore. Yeah for me! I also started sending out applications for a new job. I figure if I want a change in my life I need to make it for myself. I'm in charge of my own destiny and if I have any prayer of accomplishing my dreams before I'm too old to enjoy it I need to do something now. Coming to this conclusion even though it is very simplistic in nature took me many years. So, today is a new day. I am going to send out good vibes in the universe and will receive some in return. In a way I have this blog to thank. It makes me think everyday what I want to accomplish and set the goals to achieve them. Every one I fulfill is one step closer to me making my dreams come true. I am getting excited again about everything!!!
In celebration of this momentous occasion I figured something good to eat was in order. I thought how about something cheesy yet filling. I did not think it was time to count calories so it definitely wasn't low fat. We'll, talk more about that later. I decided to make chicken breast stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheese topped with you guessed it....more cheese. Muenster to be exact.

Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Chicken Breasts
1/2 c fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 c shredded mozzarella
6 slices of muenster cheese
bread crumbs
2 eggs (for dredging)

I started by taking chicken breast and slitting them down the middle but not all the way through. Like making a pocket. I dipped the chicken breast in egg and dredged it in bread crumbs then filled it with the cheese mixture. I then took kitchen twine and twirled it around the chicken closing the pocket. I put about 3T of olive oil in the pan and heated it up. When the pan was heated I placed the chicken breasts in the pan and browned the outside of them for about 10 minutes and then placed them in the oven at 400F for about 40mins. During the last 10 mins I topped the chicken with cheese. I also roasted potatoes in the oven for about an hour to go with the meal. Broccoli and cauliflower rounded out the meal. All I can say is...yummy :0. Today, I accomplished a lot and embarked in a new direction. Yeah, for me. Now hopefully I will get some good news in a few days. Keep your fingers crossed. Happy eating  I mean dreaming.

Happy Saturday!!

Today was another beautiful spring day! The sun was shining, dogs were barking and all I kept thinking about was how great it would be to have a taste of the season in the form of a muffin. I bet you thought I was going in a different direction. HeeHee:) I decided I would try and  capture a taste of Spring in a zucchini muffin. My coworkers were asking for a good muffin and I figured Iwould try and deliver one.
I experimented a little with a recipe I had on hand. This post is a little late because my headache came back.:(

White chocolate chip zucchini muffins with cranberries

3 cups of grated zucchini
1/2 c unsalted melted butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 c of AP flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 c dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini, then melted butter and oil. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Stir in the cranberries. Line muffin tin with liners or spray with cooking spray. Fill the cups all the way to the top. Top each muffin with white chocolate chips. Bake muffins on middle rack for 25-30mins until golden brown on top and when you insert a skewer in the middle of a muffin it comes bake with only minimal crumbs. Let cool on wire rack for about 30 mins. Eat and enjoy.

Note: I found them to be a little dense but nevertheless they were delicious. I need to continue to tweak this recipe before I can call it a total success.

They tasted like spring to me! Sweet,fruity, and delicious.

Spring time in every bite!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What a beautiful day!!!

Yesterday I was not feeling my best due to a migraine. I have been getting migraines since I was a child and know when I get one I am pretty much out of condition for at least a day maybe two. But today I feel much better. It is a beautiful day outside. The birds are chirping, the trees and flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. What more could you ask for? Well, I wish I didn't have to work but you can't have it all. I can however have a little taste of spring in a bowl. Due to it being Lent I cannot have anything with meat in it.My solution you ask.....Pasta salad!!! Yum! Spring time in a bowl:)

Pasta Salad
1/2 lb tricolor spiral pasta
1 cucumber seeded and diced
1 carrot diced
1 celery diced
whole black olives

citrus vinaigrette
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I was going to use Italian dressing but as I looked in my cupboards I realized I did not have any. I then decided to try and make my own dressing. I am glad i did. It was easy and delicious. If you were wondering why I did not put tomatoes in my salad, I have a taste aversion to raw tomatoes. They make me cringe. Yuk! You can add whatever you like. It is up to decide what makes you feel like spring. Now that I have had a little taste of spring I am ready to face the world. I hope everyone is having a great day!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's eating Melissa?

Do you ever have those days when you have an important decision to make and you are not sure what to do? I am facing one of these today. So, in order to gain some perspective I decided to think it over while, you guessed it, playing in the kitchen. I thought I would experiment with an chocolate ice cream recipe and to go in the opposite direction I also made some granola bars. I have never made granola bars before but I love them so I figured what the hay?

Granola Bars
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

2 cups  old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried papaya
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
3 T Butter
3/4 cup honey
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Directions: Preheat oven 350 F, prepare a 8 by 13 pan - line it with parchment paper and grease it
toast oats and almonds for 12 minutes
In the mean time, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and salt in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the oats are done toasting place them in a large mixing bowl and stir in the flax seed. Then pour the heated honey and sugar combination over the oats and stir. Add the cranberries and papaya. Let the mixture cool for a minute then add the white chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into a prepared 8 by 13 pan. Use the back of a spatula to press it down into a pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden.
Wait a couple hours before cutting them.


I think next time I will decrease the amount of brown sugar or use agave nectar. These were good but I'm sure I can make them better.

Being in the kitchen helped me feel better but I still need to make a decision. I'll keep you posted. I hope everyone is having a great day!
If you are having one of those days I urge you to go play in the kitchen:) It will make you feel better.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's a new day and beginning

I decided to start a blog for a myriad of reasons. Just for starters I love food!! I did not always know how to cook. My mother tried to teach me when I was younger but I was very opposed to the idea. As I got older I realized the folly of my decision. Who was going to cook for me and feed me when my mom's not around? I soon realized after I got married to my wonderful husband someone better learn or we were going to starve. This began my culinary adventure. I started with easy things like hamburger helper and everyone's go to dish, spaghetti and soon graduated to more complex things. I am not any kind of expert of cooking, in fact I am still an amateur in many ways but I love to cook and try new things. This blog will be about my adventures in the kitchen with a little humor and tidbits about my life. I am also trying to pay off some debt and hopefully this blog will hold me somewhat accountable for my actions. It will help to motivate me to not only improve in the kitchen but also in different aspects of my life. So, enough about me for now. More soon to come.:)