Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Free Offer!

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It's about time I reward all my readers with something besides great recipes! Okay, so you all know that I cook for fun but I also own Hydroheel LLC. Hydroheel is the greatest product in the world for dry feet! I'm not just saying that because I invented it - you'll have to read my story when you visit the website to find out what I'm talking about. This offer is an online offer only (not valid at salons and spas where Hydroheel is sold).

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Your welcome!! I'd love to hear how it works for your feet!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Sweet Onion Vinaigrette Salad

Food is like art for me. A little flavor here and there until you have something spectacular! I whipped this creation together at the last minute to go with my braised apple pork chops. Made it up as I went along and it was super yummy!!

Sweet Onion Vinaigrette Salad
  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce chopped and rinsed
  • 1/2 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
Mix dressing ingredients together in blender, set aside. Heat skillet to medium high and toast walnuts until golden brown continually stirring (about 5 minutes). Toss lettuce, cucumbers, cheese and walnuts together with dressing. Enjoy!

Braised Apple Pork Chops

I made this up as I went along and it turned out to be a winner! It's very mild with the perfect blend of sweet and salty. The apples and grapes compliment pork very well!

Braised Apple Pork Chops
  • 4-6 pork shops, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon divided
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 1-2 red apples, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups apple juice (or orange juice)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
Heat skillet to medium high. Add butter, pork, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, salt and 1/2 tsp dry mustard. Pan sear pork until golden brown. Add 1 cup apple juice, bay leaves, remaining cinnamon, apple slices and grapes. Cover with lid and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine juice and corn starch. Blend well. Remove lid and pour juice into pan. Whisk together on high until sauce begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Serve with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette Salad and sour dough bread.

Philly Cheese Steak Enchiladas

I came up with this idea while writing my grocery list. I love a good beef enchilada but sometimes don't have the patience to roast it and shred it. I thought how fun it would be to buy thick cut roast beef (from the deli) and chop it up. You could use steak as well. That's when the idea came for a Philly Cheese Steak Enchilada. Then I created a pleasing enchilada sauce from beef gravy. I also love to serve this with mole sauce.

Philly Cheese Steak Enchiladas

  • 6-8 wheat tortillas
  • 1- 1 1/2 lbs of thick cut roast beef (or chopped steak, cooked)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican Style cheese
  • 1 jar of beef gravy
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon onions, beef, peppers and beans onto half of each tortilla. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp cheese onto each one then fold in half and line up in a baking dish. In a bowl combine gravy, cumin, chili powder and garlic. Pour over enchiladas and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro. Serve with street corn salad, a lime and fresh salsa!

Mole Sauce

When I was little I hated this stuff (adults who are picky eaters tend not to like this). Now I love it and I find myself craving it a lot! The rich flavors of chocolate, sweet cinnamon, chili powder and cumin are so playful on the pallet and my taste buds sure love to be entertained! I love this with enchiladas but it's also great with soft tacos, burritos and with chips. Here is a recipe I tweaked a bit and made my own.

Mole Sauce
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth (or onion soup)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil (and or oregano)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon ( I like to add more)
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 -4 Tbsp Hershey's chocolate syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon. Cover and cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour, stir for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Increase heat to med. high. Boil until reduced by 1/3, about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

I a small dish, add Hershey's syrup and cocoa. Mix together until yo get a thick cake batter consistency. Gently fold into sauce. If too thick, add a little water to your sauce. It should
be the consistency of gravy. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Street Corn Salad

This is super duper delicious! I love Mexican street corn but it's not always easy to eat on the cob (for kids) nor fun to get stuck in your teeth. So I created an easier way to enjoy it and was able to turn it into a salad! I broiled the corn to get it a little crisp and blackened on the outside and juicy on the inside. You'll love this!

Street Corn Salad
  • 1 large bag frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (do not use Miracle whip)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Place corn in broiler pan and toss in oil until well coated. Add salt and chili powder. Broil for 15-20 minutes (stirring every 7 minutes) or until part of corn begins to blacken a bit. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, fresh squeezed lime (entire lime) pepper, cheese, cilantro and extra chili powder if desired. Serve warm!!

Inside Out Lasagna

One day.....I'll get a nice camera and learn to take fabulous pictures! For now, I hope my very unprofessional pictures get the point across about how delicious these recipes are!

Who doesn't enjoy a good lasagna? My problem is the time involved, waiting for it to bake and then sometimes having dry edges (crisp noodles) or having it too moist and falling apart on your plate. This is a great way to make lasagna in less time, you don't have to worry about it falling apart because it was never put together and you"ll never have the dry problem. It's so delicious! Serve it in a soup platter and garnish it real pretty, and you'll never need to make lasagna the traditional way!

Inside Out Lasagna
  • 1 box oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 100 oz (2 large cans) unsalted tomato sauce
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 container of Ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minces garlic
Heat up large skillet and cook turkey with onions until browned and juicy. Place in a bowl. Leave meat at medium high and pour in sauce. Add garlic, salt, and basil - stir well. Add a layer of noodles horizontal on bottom of pan and then vertical (criss cross pattern). Add 1 cup of meat and Mozzarella. Pat down onto noodles. Continue adding layers (you may need to break some noodles to get them to fit in your round pan) until the top layer surfaces above the sauce. (If your sauce begins to get too thick, add a little water). In a flower petal pattern, add heaping spoonfuls of Ricotta cheese around the pan and then one in the center. Top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover, and allow lasagna to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lasagna noodles are tender. Serve right away and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Srumptious Crumble Cake

This is so moist and delicious!!! It's great for desert on a cold day or for breakfast anytime!

Scrumptious Crumble Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 1/3 cups baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if you used unsalted butter then use 1 tsp salt)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; add alternately with milk. Mix until smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl often. Do not over beat!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 x 13 x 1/2 inch cake pan. Pour in cake batter and smooth out so it fills entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the cake.

Bake 25-30minutes. Cool for one hour. Sprinkle with powder sugar.

Butter Cake Shake

This is inspired by an episode of Man vs. Food that features the “Mother Futcher” shake from the Tradewinds Cafe of Maine. This shake is made with three scoops of butter pecan ice cream, milk, and a slab of Grandmother Futcher’s coffee cake.

Here is my variation of the shake. It's rich, creamy and yummy with the warm crumble cake!

Butter Cake Shake

  • 3-4 scoops butter pecan ice cream
  • 2 slices of crumble cake
  • 1-2 cups milk
Recipe 1 - Parfait Style

In a milkshake glass, place 1/2 piece of crumble cake. Add one scoop of ice cream. Continue with a second layer and top with a slice of crumble cake.

Recipe 2 - Shake Style

Blend ice cream and milk in blender. Pour into glass and top with a slice of crumble cake.

Black Bean Fajitas

Mmmm! This colorful recipe is great for when you are craving Mexican food but don't want all the carbs, calories and cholesterol! It's lite but so filling. Get satisfied without getting a big belly!

I was actually too lazy to thaw out frozen meat to make fajitas so I decided to replace the meat with black beans. Glad I did. This is my own little recipe but it's a winner at our house.

Black Bean Fajitas
  • 6 wheat tortillas
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 medium sized yellow squash, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Marketside (medium) fresh salsa (do not use bottled salsa)
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican Style cheese
Heat frying pan to medium high. Add 1 Tbsp oil. Toss in bell peppers, onion and cilantro. Fry until tender. Stir in salt and spices. Gently stir in black beans and remove from heat and cover. Brush tortillas on both sides with oil. In a separate frying pan, fry until golden on both sides.

On a plate lay tortilla. Add 1 cup of pepper and bean mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Add one more cup of pepper and bean mixture and add more cheese. Top with salsa and sour cream. Garnish with cilantro and serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!