Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I made my first batch of homemade chicken noodle soup when one of our good friends and her daughter was sick recently. There really is nothing better than a steaming hot bowl of good old fashioned chicken noodle soup when you aren't feeling well. This recipe made a huge batch so hubby and I also enjoyed it even though we weren't sick! And like most soup recipes, this soup tasted even better the next day. It will be hard to eat  chicken noodle soup from a can after discovering how easy and delicious it is to make myself!
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Printable Version
Modified From Food
Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch thick clices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups of cooked chicken, shredded
1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for five minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. 
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley before serving. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf

I made this yummy turkey meatloaf with an Italian twist last week. Tomato sauce and parmesan cheese cover this meatloaf and bring meatloaf to a new level. I made mine completely with ground turkey but it was still moist. It was even tasty as leftovers straight from the fridge. 
Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf
Modified from Mommy? I'm Hungry!
2 pounds ground turkey
2 eggs
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup marinara pasta sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, spices, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 
Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce. Bake for 45 minutes and remove the meatloaf from the oven. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on the top and bake another ten minutes. 
Remove the meatloaf fro the oven and allow to rest for ten minutes before serving.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Just in time for Halloween here are the easiest pumpkins muffins in the world. They are moist, flavorful and adaptable to your flavor preferences as you can use whatever cake mix you prefer. I added in some mini chocolate chips so mine are technically three ingredients. :)

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
From Duncan Hines
Printable Version
1 box of cake mix - chocolate, vanilla, or spice work best
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
Optional: 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (white chips are better for spice or yellow cake mixes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two muffin tins or place in muffin papers. Mix the can of pumpkin and cake mix together until combines. Stir in chips if using them. Fill muffin cups to almost full as these muffins don't rise very much. 
Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Butter Pecan Cupcakes

I was on the hunt for butter pecan cupcakes for my husband's birthday because that is one of his favorite ice cream flavors. There are tons of recipes for layered butter pecan cake, but since I wanted to take them into work for his coworkers to enjoy I really thought cupcakes were the way to go. I finally came across this recipe from A Cuppy Cake Life and spent the majority of the day whipping them up. Making cupcakes with a three month old is no easy task but a couple of hours later they were in the hands of hubby and his coworkers being gobbled up. Although this a great cake recipe and the toasted pecans were a tasty touch, I was not a fan of the frosting. I think there was too much powdered sugar and modified the recipe below. Honestly I suggest using a different frosting, perhaps your favorite buttercream! 
Butter Pecan Cupcakes
From A Cuppy Cake Life
Makes about 30 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups butter, softened and divided
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside. In a large skillet melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Add the chopped pecans and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream the sugar and remaining cup of butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix throughly after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry mixture in thirds alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition. Stir in 1 cup of the toasted pecans. The remainder will be used to top the cupcakes.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each liner. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 3 minutes before removing to a write rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together the butter, vanilla, and 3 cups of the powdered sugar. Once well incorporated add the evaporated milk alternating with a cup of sugar at a time until all ingredients have been added. Beat on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Spread on cupcakes and top with remaining toasted pecans.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Banana Cashew Balls

One thing that I was most surprised about after giving birth to my daughter is how ravenously hungry I was during the first few weeks. I think it was from all the breastfeeding and energy I was expending caring for my little baby. I was always looking for a quick, healthy, and filling snack. So when I offered to bring our friends who just had a baby a meal, I also took them some of these Banana Cashew Balls. I actually found the recipe from looking at my friend's Pinterest page, as she is a super healthy eater. I wanted to make something I knew she would like and she mentioned on Pinterest that bananas and cashews were two of her favorite flavors. I happen to love both flavors too so was eager to try these myself. With no refined sugar, flour, or oil, these little balls are an excellent source of potassium, protein and carbs. They keep best in the fridge and were really great cold. 
Banana Cashew Balls
From FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Printable Version
Makes about 15 balls
2 overripe bananas
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons oatmeal
4 dates, pitted
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (didn't have these)

Cut the bananas into about 3/4 inch thick slices and place them on a microwave safe dish. Microwave at 60% power for about ten minutes (may need to be more) or until most of the moisture has boiled out of the banana. 
Pulse the cashews in the food processor until coarsely ground. Add the flax seed and oatmeal and pulse a few more times. Add the banana and dates and seeds from the vanilla bean. 
Blend into a thick paste. Moisten your hands and scoop up the paste in about one tablespoon portions. Form into balls. Cover and keep refrigerated. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Greek Quinoa Salad

Please forgive the poor lighting in these photos - they were taken during a typhoon! I made this yummy, healthy and very filling salad for hubby and I to enjoy during our last typhoon - we've had four in Okinawa this year and let me tell you, it's getting old. But this Greek Quinoa Salad made being stuck indoors listening to the howling wind and watching the torrential rain a whole lot better. I love the traditional Greek flavors in this dish - feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon, and olive oil. I wanted this to be a meal in itself so added in grilled chicken breasts. 
Greek Quinoa Salad
From With Style & Grace
Printable Version
1 1/2 cups quinoa 
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 heaping cup of cucumbers, quartered
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup Kalamata olives (I completely forgot these!)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese
In a medium pot bring water or chicken broth and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover for about 17 minutes. When all the water is absorbed remove and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool. 
In a large bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and onions. 
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to make the dressing. 
Stir the vegetable combination into the quinoa then pour the dressing over everything and stir to combine. Add in feta and stir lightly. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Egg Muffins

I found these little gems on Pinterest (and Kalyn's Kitchen) a while back and decided to make them for our friends who just had a baby so that they could have a quick, healthy breakfast on hand. I love that these are carb free "muffins" as they only contain eggs, cheese, and whatever veggies you like. They keep in the fridge for a week and can even be frozen! My husband ate them as a snack after work one day and all of the sudden mine were gone. These would be great to serve at a brunch or if you are having a crowd for breakfast because they are quick and a different spin on breakfast!
Egg Muffins
From Kalyn's Kitchen
Printable Version
Makes 12 muffins
15 eggs for silicone muffin tins, for metal use 12
1/2 cup milk or half and half
Whatever seasoning you like in your eggs (I always use seasoning salt, garlic salt, ground mustard and pepper)
1 cup grated low fat cheese
3 green onions, diced (optional)
Chopped veggies (I used red pepper but suggest broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes)
Optional: diced Canadian bacon, lean ham, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage
Preheat oven to 374. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In the bottom of each muffin tin layer diced meat (if using), cheese, and green onions. In a large bowl break the eggs and add in milk and seasoning. Whisk to combine. Pour eggs into the muffin tin until it is 3/4 full. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set. 

Muffins will keep for a week in the refrigerator. Can be frozen but for best results than in the refrigerator first, then reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cream of Potato Soup

Here in Okinawa we've had a pretty crazy typhoon season. There have been three pretty large typhoons that swept across our small island in the past couple months and we are very thankful that no one we know sustained any damage from them. For some reason typhoons make me want to cook! I guess it's because we are stuck inside for a couple days while we wait out the storm. During Typhoon Bolaven I woke up wanting comfort food so set about making cream of potato soup. I browsed a couple different recipes before settling on this one from It was an excellent recipe that I tweaked a little and made even better by adding in bacon crumbles! It's a filling, belly warming one pot meal that is perfect for any dreary day!
Cream of Potato Soup
Modified from 
Printable Version 
Makes 6 servings
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half and half (I used fat free half and half)
3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used six small potatoes)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven saute onion, carrots and garlic in the butter until soft but not browned. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add broth slowly, stirring as you add. Add milk, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, celery seed, seasoning salt, pepper, parsley, and chicken bouillon.
Allow to simmer and thicken, stirring frequently until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 25 minutes. Serve warm with bacon crumbles and shredded cheese. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Freezer to Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers

After the birth of my daughter my parents came to stay with us for ten days and during that time my Mom and I set about to making several freezer to crock pot meals that I could just throw in the crock pot and use for a quick, easy dinner. This sausage, peppers, and onion recipe was for my husband as it contains ingredients that he loves. It had really great flavor and was excellent over pasta. I loved this recipe because it made six servings so I froze it into two separate batches and we enjoyed it twice. 
Freezer to Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
From Ring Around the Rosies
Makes two freezer bags, about three servings each
Printable Version
6 Italian sausages or chicken sausage
2 green peppers
1 red pepper
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
 2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Slice peppers and onions into thins slices. Mince the garlic. Split all ingredients into two gallon size freezer bags. Mix, lay flat, and freeze. Write on the bag: Add drizzle of olive oil and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over pasta or fresh french bread with mozzarella cheese.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

I made this Cilantro Lime Quinoa as a side dish with tacos while my parents were visiting and everyone raved about it. It's bursting with flavor and couldn't be easier to make. My husband, who isn't a huge fan on quinoa, even liked this. Rice could also be substituted if you don't like quinoa or don't have it on hand.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa
From Two Peas & Their Pod
Printable Version
Serves 4
2 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot bring the 2 cups of broth to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and cook until the broth is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together garlic, lime juice, cilantro and sugar. Pour quinoa into a medium bowl and fluff with a fork. Pour the lime cilantro mixture over the quinoa and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coconut Flour Brownie Cake (Gluten Free)

I bought a packet of coconut flour to make low carb pancakes and then wasn't sure what do to with the rest of it, so I searched for recipes that used coconut flour. I am so happy I came across this one. A rich chocolate cake with the flavor of coconut makes this a decadent dessert. It was a tad dry and so I added a dollop of cool whip but regular whipped cream or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be delicious on top. 
Coconut Flour Brownie Cake
From The Nourishing Home
Printable Version
1 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup 
1 cup warm filtered water
1 tablespoon vanilla
Optional: Additional chocolate chips to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X9 inch baking dish with coconut oil. In a small bowl combine the coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cut the butter into chunks then place the butter and coconut oil into a small saucepan and melt over medium head. Add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips; stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined. Set aside to cool. 
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs, maple syrup, warm water, and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined. Then whisk in the cooled chocolate-butter mixture. Next slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet while whisking vigorously. Continue whisking until no lumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with an additional 1/4 cup chocolate chips. (I also sprinkled a little more sea salt on top) 
Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the baking dish. When ready to serve, slice and top with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Easy Shredded Crock Pot Chicken

Here is a wonderfully easy and super yummy chicken recipe for the crock pot. Most likely you have almost all of these ingredients already in your kitchen too! I served this over rice but it would also be good on buns. It was great warmed up as leftovers the next day too!
Easy Shredded Crock Pot Chicken
From Fake Ginger
Printable Version

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger (I used fresh but ground would work too!)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
Place chicken into the bottom of a crockpot. Cover with all the other ingredients. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours then remove and shred chicken or cut into chunks.
Return to crockpot and stir to combine and warm through. Serve over rice. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookies so when I saw this recipe for Snickerdoodle Muffins I was really excited to try them. They taste JUST like the cookies, but in muffin form, making them the best muffins I've ever made! Not the healthiest or most diet friendly, but they are so yummy! Cinnamon sugar coating on top of these soft fluffy muffin bottoms made these little babies disappear in a flash when I brought them into hubby's office for his co-workers. They will be a huge hit when you make them too!
Snickerdoodle Muffins
From Sweat Pea's Kitchen
Printable Version
Makes 16 muffins
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream (greek yogurt would also work)
1/4 cup buttermilk

For the topping
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with muffin paper (do not use cooking spray). In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tarter, nutmeg and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Beat in half of dry ingredients then add in sour cream and buttermilk. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients until just incorporated (batter will be soft). To make the topping combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using an ice cream or large cookie scooper drop the scoop of batter into the bowl with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the dough with the mixture and roll it around until it is covered completely. 
Place the ball into the muffin paper and repeat with remaining batter. Sprinkle the leftover cinnamon and sugar on the top of the batter. 
Bake until the muffin tops are golden brown, 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Set on wire rack to cool at least 5 minutes. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails