Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I have moved on...

Due to my photos in my blog getting screwed up and (more importantly) some life changes I have abandoned this blog and started a new one. So please visit me at Lemons & Love.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pizza Pasta


1 lb pasta
52 oz spaghetti sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped pepperoni
2 links Italian chicken sausage, cut into pieces
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
3 wedges Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
seasonings of your choice - I used garlic powder, Italian blend, garlic and basil blend, salt and pepper


Boil pasta until almost done.
Cook hamburger meat, add seasonings, pepperoni and chicken sausage.
Add 26 oz of spaghetti sauce to meat mixture and let it simmer.
Drain pasta, add meat mixture to it and add the other 26 oz of spaghetti sauce.
Stir in pecornio romano and laughing cow cheese.
Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish, top with mozzarella cheese and bake on 350 for about 20 minutes.

Green Olive Tapenade

Sorry I didn't get an after picture...but this was SO good. I got the recipe from Katie at Good Things Catered.


1 1/2 cups pitted mild brine-cured green olives, rinsed thoroughly and patted dry
1 1/2 Tbs. coarsely chopped freshflat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor, combine the olives, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and white pepper.
Pulse a few times to combine roughly.
Add the olive oil and pulse briefly, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The texture should be chunky, rather than a smooth puree.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes


1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line miniature muffin tins (tassie pans) with miniature paper liners.
Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool. Top with a teaspoonful of cherry pie filling.

My Notes: I would let the cream cheese soften before you use it so you don't end up with lumpy batter. I did not need a full box of vanilla may want to start out with grinding up half. This recipe is from Allrecipes.

My First Risotto


1 cup arborio rice
2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
ground white pepper


In a heavy sauce pan, saute rice in butter stirring constantly.
Add garlic powder.
Slowly add 1 cup of stock, stirring frequently.
As the liquid cooks down continue to add the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture is very creamy.
Stir in white wine.
Fold in cheese.
Serve immediately and top with fresh ground pepper.

This recipe was adapted from the "S&W Italian Arborio" rice bag.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fabulous Fruit Salad

This is a simple fruit salad with a wonderful sweetness. I got the idea from Jason's Grandma.


8 oz can pineapple tidbits
11 oz can mandarin oranges
15.25 oz can Bartlett pears
15 oz can peaches
10 strawberries
2 kiwis
1 banana (I didn't add this because the store was out)
1/4 cup reserved fruit juice
1/3 to 1/2 package of pudding mix (i usually use french vanilla, but they were out, so I tried cheesecake and it was can always use other flavors, such as banana cream)


Drain (but reserve some of the juice) all the canned fruits and chop all the fruit. Combine fruit in a bowl with about 1/4 cup reserved fruit juice (I used some of the pineapple juice). Mix in the pudding and mix until well combined. Add more fruit juice if you feel it needs more. Let is hang out in the frig a few hours before serving. If you want to make it even better you can serve the fruit salad with some whipped cream on top!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Moistest Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This was seriously the moistest pot roast I have ever made...and probably least healthy. It was good though!


Roast (mine was about 2.5 lbs)
1 can of Roasted Garlic Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 pkg of Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1.5 to 2 cups of water


Combine the last five ingredients in the slow cooker and mix until well combined. Place your roast in and cook on low. I cooked mine while I was at work...about 11 hours, but it does not have to cook that long. If you want to use the juice as a gravy you can coat the roast in flour before you place it in the slow cooker and that will help make the juice more like a gravy.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

I had some leftover fried cabbage (cabbage sauteed in oil and bacon bad for you, but oh so good) and had this great idea to use it in stuffed peppers. Since I do not like green peppers I also made a stuffed tomato version.


ground beef, cooked and spiced how you like it
cook cabbage, chopped up
cooked rice
can of tomato sauce
tomatoes/green peppers for stuffing
cheese (optional)


Combine the first four ingredients and set aside (keep warm). Cut the tops off the tomatoes and green peppers and scoop out the insides. Place your tomatoes and green peppers open side up in a baking dish. Sprinkle some shredded cheese in the bottom of each, fill with the meat mixture, and top with more shredded cheese. Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes. For a softer pepper and quicker cook time try blanching your pepper before stuffing it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eat to the Beat -Be My Guest for Beef Ragout

This was my first blog event...Eat to the Beat from Elly's Blog. I went with my favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast. There is a song titled "Be Our Guest" and it mentions many dishes. Here are part of the lyrics:

Be our guest! Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we'll provide the rest
Soup du jourHot hors d'oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
It's delicious
Don't believe me? Ask the dishes
They can sing, they can dance
After all, Miss, this is France
And a dinner here is never second best
Go on, unfold your menu
Take a glance and then you'll
Be our guest! Be our guest!
Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"
We'll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret!
You're alone
And you're scared
But the banquet's all prepared
No one's gloomy or complaining
While the flatware's entertaining
We tell jokes!
I do tricks
With my fellow candlesticks

I know nothing about Beef Ragout so I did some searching on the Internet and found this Beef Ragout - Country Style recipe. I really enjoyed the recipe and next time I plan to add some tomato paste and something with more salt.


2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut in 1 1/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions,each cut in 8 pieces
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
28 ounces tomatoes, canned, drained, quartered
5 tablespoons parsley leaves fresh chopped, divided
1 teaspoon thyme leaves dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup red wine burgundy
1 cup beef broth
1/2 pound mushrooms quartered
6 ounces olives pitted, ripe, drained


Trim excess fat from beef cubes.
Brown cubes in hot oil in Dutch oven over high heat (in 2 batches, if necessary).
Add onions; brown lightly; add garlic.
Stir in tomatoes,3 tbsp. parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.
Add wine and beef broth to just cover; bring to boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour.
Add mushrooms;cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.
If desired,simmer, uncovered, last 10 minutes to reduce liquid.
Add olives; heat through; stir in remaining parsley.
Serve ragout with hot cooked noodles, rice or mashed potatoes
Garnish with parsley.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

This recipe has a long story....but let me just say that my oven stopped producing heat while I was making this dinner, and because of that I learned you can cook pasta in the microwave! I am not sure where I found this recipe....but I am pretty sure it was adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe. It was SO good. This was also the first time I had ever made meatballs.


1 lb hamburger
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp parsley
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 in cubes
Italian blend seasoning


Mix milk with bread crumbs set aside to soak up milk. Add hamburger, egg, parsley, parmesan, salt. Mix all together until well blended. Scoop 2 tsp of meat mixture into your hand, add a cube of cheese in the middle, roll a ball around cheese cube. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 25-30 min.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Peanut Butter Bars

I believe I saw these on Amber's blog and they were fantastic! It was like eating a big 'ol Reese's!


1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (very finely crushed)
2 cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ cups chocolate chips (I used half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet)


Mix the crumbs and sugar until completely combined.
Add the melted butter and peanut butter to the mixture above.
Mix well and press into a 9x13 inch pan.
Melt the chocolate chips in microwave
Spread chocolate over the bars.
Refrigerate until hard.
Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cutting.

My Notes: Next time I want to try them out in an 8X8 or 9X9 dish so they are nice and thick!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sausage Gravy


1 lb bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half and half


Crumble and cook sausage, sprinkle in some sage, cook until browned. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in half and half. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot over biscuits, I used store bought.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shrimp and Pasta in Parmesan Cream Sauce

This really isn't a "recipe"...but it was a great was to use up some leftover Parmesan Cream Sauce from the blog entry below.

On the stove top I reheated my leftover cream sauce and added some white wine to thin it out. Then I simply added some cooked pasta and steamed shrimp...viola! I topped it with some grated parmesan and parsley. It was really good!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Parmesan Cream Sauce

This was very good! It could of used a little something more to flavor the chicken meat. I think next time I will either marinate the chicken or well season both sides of the chicken before stuffed and rolling.


boneless skinless chicken breasts
sliced pepperoni
cheese (I used tomato basil sharp white cheddar....SO good)
extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning

For the Parmesan cream sauce I made a basic bechamel sauce and added some Parmesan cheese, garlic and pepper. (I cut the linked recipe in half).


Between wax paper pound out your chicken breasts.

Layer down your sliced pepperoni (I used 11 small slices per chicken breast).

Layer on your cheese (I used 2 quarter inch slices per chicken breast).
Secure with toothpicks.

Place in oven safe dish, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to your liking.

Bake on 325 until done.

If you choose to make the Parmesan Cream Sauce you can do that will the chicken it baking.

Photo without the Parmesan Cream Sauce:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lemon Curd and Raspberry Filled Cupcakes

This recipe was very "Sandra Lee".....but it was good!! I had some lemon curd and wanted to do something fun with it.


Lemon Cake Mix (and ingredients required to make the mix)
Lemon Frosting
Lemon Curd
Raspberry Preserves


Baked your lemon cake mix in cupcake form as directed by the box.

While they are baking, mix together the lemon curd and raspberry preserves to suit your taste. You are going to need more raspberry preserves than lemon curd since the lemon curd is very powerful.

One the cupcakes have cooled use the cone method (cut out a cone shape from the top, cut off the point of the cone, stuff the hole with filling, then put the top back on) fill them with the mixture of lemon curd and raspberry preserves.

Frost the cupcakes (this will also cover up and "uglies" from the coning).

**You need to keep these in the refrigerator because of the lemon curd.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Melissa's Three Bean Beef Chili

I had a craving for Chili that would not go away. There are so many chili recipes out there and I could not choose! So, I made up my own and it came out GREAT. I did use a package of chili seasoning mix since this was my first time....but you will see I added my own spices to it as well. I'm ready for another bowl right now!


1 lb ground chuck
1 lb stew meat
1 - 29 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 - 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can red chili beans
4 stalks of celery
Texas Pete hot sauce
hot chili sauce
mild jalapeno hot sauce
1 pkg McCormick's chili seasoning
my own seasonings - garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning, cumin, thyme, oregano and brown sugar

sour cream
shredded cheese (I used Chipotle Cheddar)


Cook the ground chuck on the stove top with some garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning, cumin, thyme and oregano.

In your slow cooker combine all the above ingredients (including all the spices you cooked the meat in).

I cooked mine on low while I was at work...which was over 10 hours.

Please note: I put my stew meat in the slow cooker raw so it would cook slowly and be nice and tender...and it was!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sweet, Salty Frito Candy

Since chocolate pretzels are a great thing, I thought I would try this recipe out. I am always up for a no-bake sweet recipe! This was very good and everyone liked it!


2 cups pretzels
1 cup Fritos
8 mini peanut butter cups
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or however many you want)
Optional: Some peanuts for the top


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper or no-stick (Release) foil.

Place pretzels in food processor and pulse to break - don’t pulverize. Add Fritos to processor and break them up with pretzels.

Dump into pan.

Unwrap peanut butter cups and throw them in the mix.

Place butter in a non-stick saucepan and melt over medium heat. When butter is melted, stir in brown sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring once or twice. Pour over Frito mixture and bake for 8 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over hot candy. Return to oven for 1 minute to soften chips. Spread softened chocolate chips over bars.

Cool at room temperature until you feel the pan is cool enough to be transferred to your refrigerator, then transfer to refrigerator to set the chocolate. When chocolate is set, lift from pan and break the candy up as you would almond toffee. You can eat it cold or let it come back down to room temp. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated, really.

My Notes: I crushed the pretzels (sticks) and Fritos in a bag with a rolling pin. I also cut the mini Reese's into quarters. Since I had mini chocolate chips on had, so I used they melted faster =).

Caramelized Baked Chicken

I thought I would try this recipe from Allrecipes since I had everything on hand and the ratings were so high.


3 pounds chicken wings (I used chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup honey
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix together the oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken.
Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until sauce is caramelized.

My Notes: As stated above I used chicken breasts for this. I also cut the recipe down to accommodate two pieces of chicken. It was just "ok". If I make it again I plan to brown it in the sauce mixture on the stove top, then transfer it to the oven. I also spooned the mixture over the chicken while it was baking so it had a nice coating.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

On my favorite board on The Nest, Katie was nice enough to put together a recipe exchange. We all decided on desserts for the exchange due to some peoples dietary restrictions. I am not sure who submitted the recipe I made (yet)...but I am pretty sure they got it from the Kraft website.


20 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream
4 eggs
6 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted, cooled


PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1 cup of the batter; set aside. Stir melted chocolate into remaining batter in large bowl; pour over crust. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining 1 cup plain batter; cut through batters with knife several times for swirled effect.

BAKE 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve. Store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

I wanted to make a burger that had a buffalo chicken wing taste. Jason thought it was too salty...but I love salt and thought it was perfect. Since I did not added any salt I guess it was the cheese or wing sauce that had a high sodium content. Nonetheless - I LOVED it!


Ground Chicken
Wing Sauce (I used Budweiser brand - SO good)
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Bread Crumbs (you may not need this depending on how "loose" your meat mixture is)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Combine the ground chicken, wing sauce, blue cheese and bread crumbs (feel free to add an egg if you need the meat to bind more). Shape into patties and cook on your stove top, flip as needed. I added some more wing sauce and extra virgin olive oil to the pan to keep the burger from sticking.