Monday, October 13, 2014

Mexi-Peppers and Witch Fingers!

Wow!  My blog is at an all-time low this year for the number of posts I've written!  That means two things:

1.  Life is CRAZY busy.
2.  I may have gotten a better handle on cooking.  

So, it's weird to think that my initial reason for starting a blog had nothing to do with cooking.  See?
I really just wanted to start a blog to get out my thoughts... and somehow that turned into this lovely collection of yummy recipes.  

I also can't believe that I started this blog 5 years ago.  FIVE?!  That's nuts.

I've come a long way.  Like... instead of following an exact recipe, I can concoct!  Ah, how much better is now that I can concoct!  Okay, don't get me wrong.  I still have a lot to learn.  For example, I've still never made a pot roast.  Or cooked Thanksgiving dinner (not that I want to, my uncle makes the best everything for Thanksgiving <3).  I don't know how to use Swiss chard.  Or bake bread.  Oh, the list could go on and on...

...but I got some free green peppers from a friend with a garden today and thought, 'Oh!  Those would be perfect stuffed with my chicken concoction from last night!'  Voila.  Dinner done.  Aren't they pretty?

Alissa's Mexi-Peppers

 ...and here's what it looks like cut open!  Not so pretty anymore, but delish.  Though, I think I've decided that, in general, I like other colors of peppers better than the green ones.  They seem more subtle in flavor, I think.

So, for my Mexi-Peppers, I just cooked ground chicken and added taco seasoning, chopped onion, tomatoes, diced green chiles, reduced fat cream cheese, and a bit of garlic.  Two nights ago we used the mix in soft taco shells... or you could make enchiladas... or put it over a baked potato... or make a quesadilla... or put it in a salad... whatever you like!

OR... add the mess to a pepper of your choice and bake it.  I did 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Top with fresh salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, or whatever else you like and enjoy!  :-)


On a completely different topic, I have to tell you about my friend, the cotton candy grape.

For those of you who don't know the story, I became addicted to these last summer (2013) when I was pregnant.  This is bad news when these grapes are only available for a few weeks a year.  And you don't know that.  And you're pregnant.  Yeah.

Well, my lovely hubby found them this year and stocked up!  I actually still have a bag in my freezer that I've been slowly eating.  :-)

...and that same smart man found these today... witch fingers!!!  They are fabulously weird, juicy, and sweet.  I like them!

So strange!

What will they think of next?  ;-)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cuts Through Chicken Flesh!

Recently, I got some awesome Pampered Chef stuff and have been having all sorts of fun playing in my kitchen with new toys.  :-)

*This post is not in any way an advertisement for Pampered Chef, but here's how I used some of my items to make a pretty tasty Buffalo Chicken Lasagna!  (I'm all about lasagna and Mexican food right now.)

Salad Chopper?  Not just for salad.

Thankfully, I didn't even have to touch the chicken.  My hubby cooked it up for me and then dumped it into the bowl and I went at it with my salad chopper aka super sharp scissors that cut through chicken flesh!  ;-)

Spice it up!

Spread it into a dish.  I tried out a new baking dish.

Noodles, cheese mixture, then more meat...

Baked deliciousness!

Sprinkle blue cheese on top if you want!

We ate this as leftovers for most of the week and were both pretty excited about it every time we went to the fridge and saw it there.  I'd call that a success!  :-)

The below picture is of fresh salsa I attempted to make using a little manual food processor.  I didn't really follow a recipe, just threw some stuff in and hoped for the best.  Not generally the best way to go, but it sort of worked in this case.  I didn't enjoy the salsa just on chips, but it was AMAZING when added to tacos.

There is a Pampered Chef recipe for this recipe... I just didn't follow it.  I threw in onion, grape tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice, and some cilantro.  You can throw in jalapeno, but I don't touch jalapeno peppers while pregnant.  See this post.

PS.  Six more weeks of winter coming our way... Happy Groundhog Day!  :-)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pregnancy and Cooking

...are just two things that don't always mix!

I'm sorry for my absence, but I sure do hope that makes your heart fonder.  <3

Here's the skinny on what's been happening...

1.  I have had NO time to blog.  I started a crochet business called Made by Magissa and it boomed during the Fall.  A wonderful thing!  Just didn't leave much time for anything but crocheting and being a momma during what "free time" I have.  (I'm kinda okay with that.)

2.  I'm pregnant with Baby #2, a BOY this time!  He is due on May 16th and is currently the size of an ear of corn, to give you some perspective:

3.  This pregnancy has been tougher sickness-wise and cooking-wise, if you thought the last one was bad!  Though, that was mainly in the first trimester.  I'm happily sailing through the second trimester and have been doing lots of cooking to try to keep some of those inevitable pounds away (one of my New Year's resolutions).  I'm currently determined to add spinach back into my diet in the form of lots of yummy salads.  Stay tuned.

4.  I haven't forgotten about the blogging world!  I've been taking pictures of some things I've been making, just haven't posted.  Feast your eyes on these... can you guess which are pregnant cravings and which are attempts to be healthy?

I'll be honest, I don't remember what this is...

Seriously.  I've been sitting here looking at the picture and thinking about what it could have been.  Maybe a meatball sub?  Perhaps a cheeseburger attempt on a hot dog bun?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Pretty sure that's meat, cheese, and tomato at least... so... yeah.

Crockpot Maple Ham

This was sooooo easy to make.  Good, because I didn't want to be smelling everything!  Basically, you put a layer of carrots and sweet potato in the bottom of your crockpot... put a 1-1 1/2 pound ham on top of it... and pour some maple syrup over the whole thing.  It ends up cooking for about 6-8 hours, depending on whether you put it on low or high.  Yummy!

Yes, I know that wasn't pictured in the crockpot.  At least I remembered to take a picture as I portioned it out for my lovely hubby's lunches!

Mac & Cheese on a Stick

I did not make this.  I bought it at a Renn Faire.  It was A-MAZING.  Jealous?

Egg Salad Wrap

Just like it sounds... there are tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and spinach on there, too.  Maybe avocado?  I love all things avocado.  Guacamole, especially.  Mmmm... guacamole...

Enjoying my favorite!

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

You've seen the Oat Pancakes before.  Still an all-time favorite in our house.  We added blueberries because my daughter had been obsessed with "Curious George makes Pancakes" and wanted to add blueberries to them like he did in the book.  *heart melts*

My lovely helper!

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Mine were topped with peppermint marshmallows... just because it's what was in the pantry!  These were tasty, but got a little moist when covered up for too long.  I will say that I didn't add all the butter, but substituted applesauce for some of it instead.  That tends to make cookies a little more cake-y.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Recipe came DIRECTLY off the bag of Hershey's kisses.  Yum.  Yep, just yum.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were good, but also a little cake-y because of my butter substitution.  Don't worry, they still got eaten.

Soft Pudding Monster Cookies

BEST.  COOKIES.  EVER.  Pregnant me ate most of them.

Eggplant Parmesan

I cannot divulge my recipe, as it is from my wonderful uncle!  Come on over sometime, I'm itching for a reason to make this again.  Mmmm...

My helper, at it again!

Egg Salad on a Waffle

Haha, had to throw it in here... oh so good.  If there's hard-boiled eggs and waffles in my house, this is my go to lunch.  :-)

Okay, so I can explain all of the cookies like this... if you can't eat cookies when you're pregnant, when can you?

Happy Cooking, folks!  Hopefully I'll be back again before baby comes.  No promises.  ;-)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"I Need That Zucchini!" what my 21 month old daughter says when she sees them now.  She also runs over to pick them up and hand them to me.  I may have created a monster!

So, people have been giving me extra zucchini that they've grown!  I like free yummy things!  :-)

To put it into perspective, I took these pictures...


...and now to show you some of the things I've made with all of this zucchini!  First, I went onto Pinterest, as anyone should do, and I searched for "zucchini".  You sure can make a lot of things with zucchini!

Zucchini Tots

Zucchini Tots

I give these two thumbs up.  They don't really taste like tator tots, which is fine... but more like little quiches.  I love quiche.  These are tasty.  I also did not feel the need for any dipping sauce, but you could certainly do that!

This next one was my own little experimental recipe... I chopped up 2 medium-sized zucchini and put them in a bowl.

Like so.

I then cooked them in a pan with some EVOO, pepper, garlic, pearl onions, and a bit of salt.

Then I added that mixture to whole wheat noodles and a light basil pesto sauce that I found at Wegmans.
Mmm... yum.

Very tasty!  We like anything that makes a lot of leftovers, too.  I shall call it... "Alissa's Zucchini Pesto"!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats


Stuffed Zucchini Boats

As you can see, I did not use chicken because I had lean ground beef in my fridge.  I also didn't add corn.  You can really make these by putting any sort of mixture into them.  They were pretty good, but the zucchini was still pretty watery after baking.  I'm not really sure how to eliminate all of the moisture!  Any suggestions?

Zucchini Coconut Raisin Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Zucchini Cookies

My name for these is way better, I think.  ;-)  I mostly followed the recipe... although I used greek yogurt instead of shortening and added raisins, white chocolate chips, and coconuts.  No nuts.  

I will say that I had the same moisture problem with these and I'm fairly certain it's the zucchini factor!  They were AMAZING right out of the oven, but then when I put them into an air-tight container, the moisture got trapped.  What do I do about this?

Alissa's Zucchini Smoothie

It kind of looks like a green, bubbly mess... but here's what's in it:
2 bananas, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt, vanilla almond milk, about a cup of spinach, and a whole mess of zucchini

Both baby and husband approved.  It was delicious!

Zucchini Chips

I'm pretty sure I just flat out did these wrong.  Hehe.  First of all, when you look at the picture, it gives you an idea of how much zucchini we were trying to fit on one pan.  They didn't come out like chips, but more like warm zucchini rounds seasoned with Old Bay and garlic salt.  Not bad, but not what we were going for here!  

Ah well. 

...I think that's about it so far.  We've done lots of zucchini grilling on our grill, too.  Keep those zucchini coming!  Well, after I've used what's in my fridge.  ;-)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day! all those dads out there.  *claps enthusiastically*

For my hubby, I made these:

You know you want one.

He's a good dad and deserved something tasty.

If I'm giving my honest opinion, I think the Cinnamon Toast Crunch muffins I made for his birthday were way better.  It could be because we both almost burned our mouths eating these fresh from the oven, though.  Hard to say.  ;-)

Hubby saw the muffin tin soaking in the sink today and said, "Mmmm... what delicious thing came from that?"  So, I couldn't very well break his heart and tell him I was soaking it because I made muffins out of macaroni the other day and the gunk still wouldn't come out if it (despite being scrubbed, dishwashed, and scrubbed again).  Okay, maybe I did tell him that.  BUT... then, I proceeded to thoroughly clean it again and made delicious muffins.  So that's okay, right?

Macaroni muffins, you ask?  Well... I will tell you all about them!  

I was watching Noodle and Doodle with my little lovey.  That link will take you to some recipes that they make on the show.  We watched the episode "A Trip to the Lake" apparently and it included directions on how to make Frittata Boats.  As we were watching, I was thinking to myself that we had all of the ingredients in our kitchen and nothing in particular for lunch... so away we went.

Cook the noodles.

Add other ingredients and mix in a bowl.

SPRAY the pan before scooping ingredients.  

I think that's where we went wrong.
Definitely forgot to spray the pan before baking.

Scrape unsprayed remnants out of muffin tin.

Struggle with muffin tin until you have a pile of stuff.

Haha, so they were okay.  Obviously, we didn't make the sail part since we had trouble with the muffins staying together after I had to forcibly remove them from the pan.  Oh well!  

I used the rest of the macaroni I cooked to make a somewhat healthy version of mac & cheese... which we then gobbled up for lunch.  

All that was left!

If you're a dad, I hope someone did something nice for you today!  :-)
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