Thursday, February 3, 2011

Potato, Corn, Bacon and Cheese Chowder

Today I made a yummy chowder. It is so cold here.. like 13 degrees. The whole country seems to be in the same freezer I'm in today. Therefore, it called for a delicious soup or chowder. I was going to make fish again tonight, but since we had that last night I wanted to shake things up. This is a fairly easy recipe, it's got a few parts more than normal. But still yummy. I didn't want to dirty too many pans when making this. I made the bacon last, but you could always have mad the bacon a different day, or even used packaged bacon bits so no other pan needs dirtied when making this. Less mess, makes me happy. :)

I have been snitching this since it's been done. almost 2 hours of a bite here and there... so I hope I'm hungry for dinner. This is SO good.

1-1 1/2 cups potato flakes
8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cans corn (DO NOT DRAIN)
2-3 cans Swansons Chicken Broth (or homemade equivalent)
1 medium onion-diced
1 can evaporated milk
3 Tbsp corn starch (disolved in water) to help thicken the soup
1 - 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb bacon diced and browned
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 dried basil
1 dash cumin
salt and pepper to taste

In the slow cooker - set on high. Add 2 Tbsp butter or margarine and onions. Place lid on and cook until onions are translucent aprox 5-10 min. While the onions are cooking, peel and dice potatoes. To keep them from turning brown, once cut place in a bowl with cold water to keep them from oxidizing. Drain the potatoes before you add them to the onions. Once the onions are translucent add the potatoes, corn with water, chicken stock, salt/pepper and crushed thyme, basil and cumin. (Use a mortar and pestle to crush the thyme, basil, and cumin together). Heat on high 4 hours til potatoes are just slightly firm. Then add the evaporated milk, corn starch, potato flakes, 3/4 of the bacon and cheese. Stir well and it will thicken and turn a slight yellow from the cheese. - Serve warm with reserved bacon bits, sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

YUMMINESS and DELICIOUSNESS is all I can say. Try it and become a believer... mmmmm warms ya' all over!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Mushroom Creme Orzo with Sweetened Ranch butter Corn

Tonights dinner was my attempt to try to make a healthy, delicious dinner. My husband LOVES fish/seafood... I mean REALLY LOVES it. So I have been trying to purchase more and more seafood/fish, to help him eat healthier and to help me lose weight... That's my hope anyways. So I have been trying to find ways to make fish taste good. I haven't really made a lot of fish in my life that isn't fried. Which to me makes it lose it's healthiness. Today is my attempt to have a "fake" fried fish. The topping didn't stay on and it was so flaky that it fell apart when I was trying to transfer it from the pan to the serving plate and our plates.

I got HUGE props by my hubby that it was really good and just what he needed when he came home. It came right out of the oven 2 minutes before he got home. Talk about perfect timing. I was going to make brown rice but I didn't really want brown rice. So, I decided orzo would be good with some mushroom sauce. I know I didn't have a lot of color variety on my plate for this picture, but it was all yummy.

Ingredients for Tilapia

6 Tilapia filets
1 bottle lemon pepper 30 min marinade
2 bags of shake and bake parmesan cheese

Directions for Tilapia
In a gallon size ziploc freezer bag, pour the lemon pepper marinade into the bag. Before you add the tilapia filets pierce them with a fork throughout the fillet, then place them in the ziploc bag. Set in the fridge for 30 min or so, (the longer you marinade the more flavorful the fish).
Remove the fish after the allotted time. Next you pour the parmesan shake n bake into another clean gallon size freezer bag. Then one by one toss the tilapia filets and shake to cover with the crust mixture. Then place on a pam sprayed cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes until flaky. Serve Warm

Mushroom Creme Orzo
Orzo pasta - aprox enough for 5 people
1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
1/4 cup of half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Once you cook the orzo pasta to al dente', add the mushroom soup and the half and half, salt and pepper. Season to taste and then warm, and serve.

Sweetened Ranch Butter Corn
2 cans of corn
3 Tbsp sugar
2Tbsp Ranch
3 Tbsp butter

Add the corn, sugar, ranch and butter all at once and cook on the stove stirring frequently until bubbly and heated through... Serve warm.

This was a HIT... all of them. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Lemon p


I have been craving yummy bruschetta for a few days now. I decided that I would try my hand at it with ingredients that I already had at home. This is a concoction that I thought would taste DELISH... I was so right. So yummy! I even invited over a friend to help me eat this. I had like 6 pieces if not more, I still have some left that my mouth is watering for and I'm trying to be good and not eat the rest. I don't know if I can be strong enough to not eat the rest myself. Here's hoping will power will be strong enough. I'm trying to loose weight... I know crazy right. But heck,.. it's worth a try.

I had bought the other day a loaf of sourdough bread at Walmart that was in their discounted bread area and I decided I would use that for bruschetta. It was so yummy! I paid $1.80 for the loaf of sourdough bread, what a steal! Next time I'm gonna try to make my own sourdough bread and see if I like it as much as the store bought. But that's for different post...


1 loaf sourdough bread
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 red and yellow bell pepper (diced)
1/4 or 1/8 of a yellow onion (diced)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3 fresh basil leaves (cut into slices)
2 roma tomatoes

In a small food processor, add the diced bell peppers, onion, garlic and basil. Mince further til small pieces all about the same size. Dice the Roma tomatoes and place in a small-medium bowl. Add the minced veggie mix, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Stir lightly and set aside.

Slice the sourdough bread lay on a cookie sheet, set the oven to broil. Spread olive oil on the bread with a basting brush, and sprinkle with parmeasan cheese. Then broil til brown and crusty on top.

Serve the sourdough bread with the bruschetta mixture on top. MMM so yummy!

I ate til I was almost sick. It is so yummy, and what I call healthy it's a light yet tasty and satisfying lunch. I've even had this as just a dinner. You can mix the tomatoes up with the yellow and orange tomatoes and the bell peppers are so sweet, they add a sweetness along with the tartness of the balsamic vinegar. A winner!

Valentines Sweet Heart Brownies

I was looking for baked tilapia ideas online and came across a video for valentines heart brownies. I watched it and thought "boy that looks WAY too easy"... Well, they looked so good I wanted to try my hand at them. Especially, since I am providing food for a little party with 6 8-9 yr old kids on Friday afternoon. What would be better than cute little chocolate heart brownies. So I decided I would test the idea and see how well it worked. I quickly realized I didn't have any heart cookie cutters, but I had a star. I will be purchasing a heart cookie cutter on Friday so this will work. But for the testing it didn't necessarily need to be a heart. Therefore, I made "Your a STAR, Valentine" brownies instead. You can use what ever you have...

1 box family size brownie mix
egg and oil, required for brownie mix
1 prepackaged chocolate frosting
1 prepackaged white/vanilla frosting mix (strawberry would work as well)
red food coloring(only if using white frosting)
Cookie cutter of choice - heart, star, bell, whatever works
Cooling rack over parchment paper, wax paper or foil

In a 13X9X2 baking dish line with foil, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. Mix brownie mix together, pour brownie mix in the pan and bake according to package directions.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Once cooled completely, pull brownies out of the pan by the foil. Lay flat. Then spray the cookie cutter with cooking spray and cut out shapes in the brownie, using the cookie cutter. Place cut out brownie and place on a cookie cooling rack that is placed on parchment paper to catch the drips from the frosting. (easier cleanup).

In a small bowl, put the chocolate frosting and melt in the microwave at 10 second intervals, to melt it but not boil it.

Once the chocolate frosting is melted, stir and spoon on top of the brownie cutouts which are on the cooling rack. It will create a nice chocolate glaze on the top. (do all brownies in the chocolate first.)

Then just as with the chocolate frosting repeat with the white frosting in a separate bowl, microwave at 10 second intervals to melt the frosting. then add 1-2 drops of red food coloring to make it pink.

With a fork, dip it into the pink frosting and drizzle on top of the brownie cutouts.

You can also add sprinkles or other fancy toppings to this as you desire.

Let set about 5-10 min for the frosting to set, then remove from the cooling rack onto serving platter. Enjoy.