Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sliced round steak w/ peppers, sweet onion, spinach and snow peas!

I love using things I have in my freezer and adding some things I have in my refrigerator.  I think it totally makes me feel like I can create a meal and not waste anything. Does that make sense to you?  It does to me.  Note:  I imagine you could use any seafood mix to compliment this dish instead of steak!  Hmmm!!

I had about a pound of round steak in the freezer, so I took it out and let is thaw in refrigerator overnight.  If you notice I did cut the steak into strips for easier eating and also it stretched it nicely with the veggies.  I didn't cut the steak until after I had browned it!  Notice illustration below!

Happy Cooking from my kitchen to yours,


The snow peas give it and added crisp touch. Wonderful!!!

1 lb. round steak slices (thick)
1 chopped sweet onion
1 large clove garlic chopped
1 red pepper sliced
1 yellow pepper sliced
1 orange pepper sliced
1 can 15 oz. Hunts sauce
1 can water
1/2 bag baby spinach cleaned and stems removed
1/2 bag snow peas
3 T olive oil
90 second Balsmati Rice  or rice of choice

Saute steak in oil oil until it starts to brown.  Add onion and peppers and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic, sauce,1 can water, pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover and allow to cook until meat is tender and peppers soften slightly. Approximately 30 minutes.  Add cleaned spinach and snow peas and allow to cook for several minutes or until spinach has wilted. A great meal while using meat and veggies on hand.  Yum!

Serve over rice!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Copycat recipe Zuppa Toscana

Hi everyone:

This is another copykat recipe I wanted to try.  I adapted it to what I had in my frige and pantry.  It was really good and hubby ate two bowls and raved about it.  It's the Olive Garden copykat recipe.  

I am posting it as is and I'll make note to my changes.


Note:It is a thinner type broth. So good you want to get every spoon of the broth.  I'd suggest making the potato cubes a little smaller than mine and I used Swiss chard instead of kale.  I was concerned it may be too chewy. I didn't want to use spinach for fear it would be to grassy if you can understand.  Swiss chard is very mild and I found it easily at the grocery store. They only had red Swiss chard so it did give it a bit more color.  I also added 1 can rinsed and drained northern beans for texture and more protein.  

I used ground sausage.  I browned it slightly along with onion in the oven for a few minutes until it wasn't red. I added the garlic right into the broth.  Mincing it is a good idea. The finer the better.  Actually the onion and garlic I used the finest grater to grate them both.

I had chicken broth but not enough as the recipe called for so I used Chicken and Beef Broth and I think it added to the awesome flavor of the soup.

The recipe didn't call for cheese but you guys know me and a handful of my favorite Pecorino Romano added at the very end along with the heavy cream made it even better in my opinion.

Hoping your enjoy it as much as we did.  :) 

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 russet potatoes, sliced into wedges then halvedo
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale or Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • cannellini beans(optional)  I added them as to thicken the broth and I was a good choice for protein.
  • Pecorino Romano cheese (optiona)(I love cheese)


  1. Brown Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard fat.
  2. Combine all ingredients except cream and kale in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. 
  3. Add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir, and cook until leaves are wilted and warmed through, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls, serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Somewhat Simple

Happy Cooking,

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stir fry beef in red sauce

It's what was for dinner tonight at our house.

We are a family of two and I do all the when I see a sale that there is a  5 for $19.99 deal on meats or poultry I grab 5 different choice meats and that sometimes saves me a whole 5 days of not concerning myself on what to make for dinner.

I am creative and I know it so it really comes naturally to me to create meals but you can too.  The below meal was thought and created in less than 5 minutes.  Once you get the hang of it it comes naturally.  

A few helpful suggestions.  Look for something that is on sale and if your favorite grocery store has specials for that week consider buying a few.

It's pretty easy for me because there are only two of us but if I think ahead while I'm at the grocery store and I'm having a few more for dinner I'd just buy several of the same items and double up on the ingredients.

Always buy extra quick rice, pasta, canned sauce and broth.

They are handy as onions, celery, carrots and quick frozen vegetables.

  Stir fry meat is what I used in this meal so think stir fry meals.  The meat was super trimmed and cut so small it cooked in no time. Chicken also comes in stir fry pieces or you can cut up a chicken breast or two and make your own.  Plain and Simple meals go a long way to make a healthy and quick meal.  Enjoy!

3/4 lb stir fry beef  or chicken
2T olive oil
1 medium sweet onion diced
1 and 1/2 cup water
1- 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce
2 medium carrots cubed or chopped 

Fry beef in oil with salt, pepper, onion and carrots until meat is browned.  Add water and bring to a boil. Cover slightly and simmer approximately 1/2 hour.

Remove cover and allow sauce to thicken. Approximately another 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

Serve over mashed potatoes or with fresh bread.

NOTE:  add red pepper if you like spicy and peppers too if you like them.  Any cooked vegetables can be added to make it heartier.

Happy Baking and Cooking
 from my kitchen to yours,

Apple Glazed Pork chops

Today was the kind of day I just didn't know what to make for dinner.  I didn't feel like fussing but thought just maybe if I made a few adjustments to this recipe I had come across it could work for us.

I had most of the ingredients but was lacking two things, pork chops and apple cider.  We have a  small grocery store nearby so I sent hubby out for the chops.I didn't want to buy a large container of apple cider so I improvised and used applesauce which I always have handy in my refrigerator.  I figured other than being maybe a little thicker it could work and it sure did.

Tasty with just enough of a glaze to coat the pork chops it wound up being a very good choice.  Improvising can work and today it did for sure.  Yummy!

Recipe as written:  I will note my adjustment for you.  

1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork chops
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 T flour
2 T oil

1 cup apple cider ***(Note) I used 4 oz. applesauce.  You can use 8 oz. if you like extra glaze.
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

In  a small bowl, mix garlic powder, chili powder and flour, pinch salt and pepper

Pat pork chops with paper towel and season both sides with above flour mixture.  Let set for a few minutes to allow pork chop to absorb moisture from pork chops.

In a large skillet over medium heat add oil.  Add as many pork chops as can fit in your pan without overcrowding.  Cook for about 3 minutes until dark golden brown on first side and then flip and cook on other side for about 2 or 3 minutes more or until you feel comfortable that it is cooked.

Transfer to plate and cover with foil.

Return skillet to heat and add apple cider or as I did the 4 oz. of applesauce, vinegar, honey and Dijon to skillet whisking to combine.  Bring mixture to a slow boil, scraping sides and bottom to de-glaze the pan.  Allow to boil rapidly for a few minutes, add pork chops to skillet, turning to coat and serve immediately.  If you have extra glaze spoon on pork chops.  Serve with boiled potatoes and green beans if desired.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Truth be told I saw this recipe on Facebook and it really had me craving chocolate and peanut butter so yep I made it.

I'm a little down but not out today so having a bit of chocolate to boost my moral is a good thing.  Maybe not for the calories but some good chocolate does make me happy.

This recipe was easy...simple and only 3 ingredients were the original recipe.  I decided to mix up the morsels and do half milk chocolate and half semi sweet.  Quite honestly I was concerned it may be too sweet!  LOL  so if you want to do it their way use all milk chocolate morsels.  Also I used smaller peanut butter cups so I had a thicker layer of peanut butter so it may not look as good as theirs but mine was fine for us.

Their peanut butter cups were larger in size and with the larger ones the peanut butter layer is much thinner. You decide.  

1& 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 &1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
40 + small peanut butter cups or 25 large peanut butter cups

Line a baking dish with aluminum foil( my pan was 8 1/2 x 11) Press down and push foil into sides.  Allow some foil to extend over ends.  Note  It will allow you to remove it easily.

In a microwave safe bowl place chocolate chips and can of condensed milk. Stir and then place in microwave. Cook on high in 30 second intervals carefully stirring as not to burn. If not completely melted microwave again for an additional 10 second or until all mixes together. Mine took 40 seconds and they blended perfectly while stirring briskly.

Place on top of foil,  peanut butter cups enough to fill the whole bottom of pan.  Top with melted chocolate and spread on top of peanut butter cups.  Allow to cool completely.  Then refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and allow to set for 5 minutes.  Turn over, remove foil and cut into squares with large knife. Enjoy!