Monday, November 2, 2015

Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 small diced onion
3 stalks diced celery
3 diced carrots
2 minced cloves of garlic
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans- with juice
1 (15oz) can great northern beans- with juice
1 (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 (12oz) V-8 juice
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1-2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 lb. little shell pasta (or any shape)

1. Brown the ground beef and drain the fat.
2. Add the vegetables and garlic, saute medium-low 10 min. or until veggies are soft.
3. Throw it all in the slow cooker.  Give it a stir. Cook on low 6 hours.  (Personally, I cook the pasta and add it in right before I serve it.  If you cook it all day with the soup, you'll probably need to add more water to keep it soupy.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jessie's Brownie Cookies

(image from googleimages)

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a brownie-a-holic. I LOVE brownies, brownie mix, brownie batter, brownie anything.......

Well, the other day I was asked to make something "brownie-ish" but since I knew someone else was going to bring brownies, I decided to come up with a brownie COOKIE. Of course I had to make them a little "healthy" otherwise I wouldn't feel justified in eating them...all.......

Here's what I came up with:

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts/pecans (optional)

Batter should feel much like cookie dough but look like brownie batter

Spoon onto cookie sheets like cookie dough
Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes

Since making them this weekend (its Wednesday today) I've been asked to make these twice again already by my family. They are a hit---at least I know they are when the hubby says, "Write that one down! Its a keeper!" Yay!

Let me know what you think?!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars

(image found from googling PB Bars..though recipe is different)

(we rip through these like they are going out of style every time I make them...)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream Together:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla

Add & mix together until its at a cookie dough consistency :
1/2 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4 tsp salt (depending if you salted butter or not)
1 1/2 cup steel cut oats (I use a mixture of oat, barley, rye, wheat, and kamut flakes)

Lightly grease (I use pam) a 9 x 9 pan
Press peanut butter dough into pan until smooth on top
Poor a thick layer of semi sweet chocolate chips over the dough

Bake for 15-17 minutes
Spread the melted chocolate chips out so they are smooth like frosting
Cool, then cut into bars and EAT UP!

Stroganoff Casserole

I Loooooooove Stroganoff
but sometimes its hard to make in advance
or for a crowd that might be coming and going

So I decided to make it into a casserole.
Here's how I did it:

Saute' 1 yellow onion (chopped) w/ about 1 Tbsp olive oil until clear
add about 2 cups chopped broccoli and/or mushrooms
add 1 whole green bell pepper chopped
add 1/2-1 cup white wine
simmer until vegetables are softened

add about 1 lb ground beef and brown it in same pan as veggies
add 1-2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp season salt
1-2 tsps salt & pepper (or how much taste good to you)
1 Tbsp dried Taragon
1-2 tsp ground Coriander
then add 1-2 cups frozen corn

When all is cooked together, add
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup plain yogurt

Meanwhile, boil water and cook about 3-4 cups egg noodles

Prepare a 9x13 pan by sprinkling about
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs on the bottom
then scoop out and cover crumbs with a thin layer of meat/veggies
followed by a thin layer of noodles
layer back and forth until all of the ingredients have been used
and then cover with a good sheet of italian bread crumbs again
(You can add cheddar cheese on the top if you want, too...we just don't eat cheese here)

Place in the oven (400 degrees)
or cover and place in refridgerator

And cook for 20-30 minutes when you're ready for dinner
Super yummy
Super easy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Curried Carrot Soup

Its getting to be cold out, so of course we're craving SOUP!

With the gazillion carrots we harvested from our little garden, I decided to look into Carrot Soup recipes....

Here's one I liked and tweeked to fit my family's palate! Hope you think its as scrumptious as we did!!!

1 large white onion (chopped) and
2 green onion (chopped) in a pot with either
1-2 Tbsp olive oil or butter

Chop up about
4 lbs of carrots (no need to peel them)

Dump the carrots and
4 cans (14 1/2 oz) of chicken broth
into the pot with the onions and bring to a boil
Once boiling, simmer for about 30-45 minutes until carrots are super soft

Once the carrots/onions/broth are all softened
and puree the mix until beautifully smooth
(about 3 cups at a time--don't fill the blender all the way up, as it will spit out the hot hot hot soup and burn you! I promise!)

Pour all of the pureed soup back into the pot and add
1 more can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2-4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp curry powder*** (more if you like more spice but start with 1/2 and taste it)
2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp pepper and
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice

Serve with yummy bread and
a Dollop of Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

***a variation on this is adding ground ginger instead of curry powder.
If you do this, don't add so much pepper. :)
Also very yummers and not so spicy

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lemon Butter Herb Sauce

I actually wanted a sweet, but rich flavor to go on a seafood medley pasta dish I had in mind, so I'll post the sauce I made and then also the medley ingredients if you feel like making the rest of it with it.

(I'm sure the sauce would be lovely over any other kind of fish with rice, too. I'll try it that way some time this week.....)
Lemon Butter Herb Sauce for Seafood recipes

1/4 cup butter (not margarine---EVER)
1/4 cup lemon juice (from a lemon or jar is fine)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp minced garlic (not powder)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Melt all together in a sauce pan
Pour over seafood or toss into pasta/seafood medley


Spaghetti noodles prepared as usual (enough to feed 4-6 people for this recipe)
4-6 cups raw shrimp, mussels, calamari, and scallops (not each, just mixed together)
2 cups broccoli, carrots, and onions chopped (steaming in separate pan)

When spaghetti noodles have about 5 minutes left until soft, place the seafood into boiling water and cook for the remaining 5 minutes of spaghetti cooking.

Drain spaghetti and toss with vegetables and seafood.
Pour lemon butter herb sauce over the mix of foods and serve hot!
Add more salt and pepper to taste!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grape Nut PB bars

Got this from the back of the box - so I don't get any points for creativity, just points for effort in trying a new recipe - that turned out to be quite delicious!!

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
4 cups GRAPE-NUTs cereal

Microwave PB, corn syrup & sugar in large bowl for 2 min, stirring after each minute.  Add cereal, mix well.  Press cereal firmly into bottom of 13x9 pan sprayed with cooking spray.  cool completely.  cut into bars. 
Add whatever you like!!

I have actually only halved the recipe and put in in a 8x8 pan.  So far its been a hit and its quick, easy, and a little more on the healthy side than the average treat, I think.  :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cilantro Bean Quinoa Salad

This salad feeds lots of people - is easy to make, full of flavor and super healthy.  I pretty take it to most potlucks and always get rave reviews!!

Cilantro Bean Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
Cook quinoa in broth, water & orange juice.  It cooks much like oatmeal or rice. 

1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup evoo (olive oil)
2 tbsp fresh parlsey (I have used 1 tbsp or dried parsley if no fresh on hand)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
2 large garlic cloves
12 olives (I have also used a small can of green chilies when I did not have olives and it was delicious)

Blend all sauce ingredients together - food processor or I just use a blender or my magic bullet.

Once quinoa is cooked you add the sauce and pretty much whatever else you would like.

 The original recipe calls for roasted red peppers (broil skin side up till blackened, put in ziplock bag for 10 min, peel skin off, chop and add).  I have done that - but I usually leave them out and add pretty much whatever I like: tomatoes, spinach, cheese, grilled onions, corn.

The original recipe also calls for 1 can of chick peas or black beans.  I usually do 2 cans of beans cause I love them - one of each - or have used pinto beans as well.  Its always delicious!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This is pretty much the same recipe as I posted before but with a chocolatey twist. Watch for the few with the cinnamon and cocoa....


{cream together}
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup apple sauce

{add in while still mixing}
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup baking cocoa powder

{slowly mix in until smooth}
1 cup white flour
2 cups wheat flour
3 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, pecans (yummy with chocolate but totally optional)

Pour into 2 loaf pans
Place into a preheated oven of 350 degrees
Bake for an hour

Zucchini Bread

So, in true Jessie style, I kind of put this recipe together over the years and seem to have found a great least that's the feedback I always get.

I really hope people are honest when they say my recipes are good. Laughing. I guess I'll never know all truth in all comments.

So, here it is per several requests:


{cream together}
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup apple sauce

{add in while still mixing}
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon

{slowly mix in until smooth}
1 cup white flour
2 cups wheat flour
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup walnuts, pecans, or chocolate chips (totally optional)

Pour into 2 loaf pans
Place into a preheated oven of 350 degrees
Bake for an hour

Spread a tiny layer of button on the top of loaf while its still hot
and eat hot, cold, or however you wish.
It's a great loaf to freeze, too...


Monday, August 15, 2011

Zucchini Bisque

It's Zucchini season here, so its time to find some good recipes to use up all of the massive squashes our summer garden is producing.
I found this soup recipe to be excellent!
photo & recipe from

  • 4 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed (I only used about half as much butter)
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (I use skim milk and its just as good)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Sour cream and additional nutmeg, optional

  • In a large saucepan, saute zucchini and onion in butter for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • Transfer to blender and puree until smooth.
  • Return to the pan & stir in the cream, salt, basil, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
  • Garnish with sour cream (I use plain yogurt) and a pinch of nutmeg if you want.

Friday, May 6, 2011

aunt jan's White Bean & Chicken Hash

My aunt jan used to make this for us when we'd visit her house way back when we were tiny kids.
What's funny is that her own kids don't remember it, but it's the ONLY meal I remember eating at her house.

Anyway, the other day I just had the biggest craving for it, so I made some phone calls and got the recipe.
We made it last night and it was just as I remembered it:

aunt jan's
White Bean & Chicken Hash

2 cans of chicken in water undrained
1 can white navy beans undrained
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp salsa (or more)

Heat all the ingredients together (with juices from canned ingredients) in a saucepan until boiling.
Let simmer about 10-15 minutes to thicken up

Serve hot with tortilla chips
*You can sprinkle cheese over the top (pepperjack is best) if you want

Super easy, super quick, super delicious.
My hubby fell in love with the meal instantly!
That's always a good sign.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creamy Chicken Calzone-ish dish

So, this dish is inspired by Tamara who has a meal that includes bread,chicken, cream cheese, and a sauce. But her recipe calls for a few things that hurt my tummy (dang lactose intolerance!), so I made up something that was somewhere in the ballpark of her meal.
(Except it looks and tastes much different.)

So, here it is:
A Creamy Chicken Calzone-ish Dish

Start by making a basic bread dough. I use half white and half wheat flour just so its a little more fibrous and heart healthy.
Cut the dough in half and let one half rise into rolls or bread or whatever you want.

Roll the other half of the dough into a flat, almost cinnamon roll/pizza crust shape. Slice downward diagonal slices coming from both sides leaving about a 6 inch strip of unsliced dough in the middle where your creamy chicken mix will go. You'll be braiding the connected sliced strips over the middle in a minute. Does that make sense?

Next, gather these ingredients and blend them altogether by hand or by mixer
(While the oven is preheating to 350 degrees):

1 big head of broccoli Florettes (chopped up into tiny pieces)
3 medium carrots (grated)
1 bunch green onions (sliced into small pieces)
1-2 cans of shredded chicken (drained) or 1-2 shredded chicken breasts
1 (8 oz) brick of cream cheese (I use Neuftachel cheese since its lower in fat/calories/lactose)
about 1 tsp salt
about 1 tsp pepper
about 1 Tbsp garlic powder
about 3 Tbsp parsley

Spoon the creamy chicken mixture onto your bread dough and fold the sliced parts over the chicken as if you're braiding hair until the whole chicken mixture is covered.

Brush butter over the top, sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley over the top of it, and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

While it is cooking, make a sauce.
Here's what I did--and it was scrumptious:
In a small sauce pan combine and boil:
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 1/2 cups water

Add a rue of 1 Tbsp butter, 1/2 cup cold water + 1/2 cup flour mixed

Add 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp mustard powder
Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low to thicken sauce

Serve the sauce over the baked chicken-bread thing :)
My boys and hubby love love loved it!
Let me know what you think!?

P.S. Don't forget to bake the leftover bread dough...:)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ANGEL FOOD CAKE from scratch

For my mom's birthday I planned a gorgeous dessert of strawberry shortcakes and whipped cream only to find out that what she REALLY wanted was angel food cake--not shortcakes. So I had to find a recipe from scratch (though the boxed kinds are fairly decent) because I couldn't present my mother with a cake made from a box on her birthday.
I found a great recipe, but altered it a little to the ingredients and tastes we have here at home:

ANGEL FOOD CAKE from scratch

1 cup flour (preferably cake flour)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups egg whites (whites from about 8 eggs)
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated white sugar

Fold in flour/pwdr sugar mixture until well mixed

Pour into a greased bunt pan
Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees

Serve with berries, whipped cream, and/or chocolate fondue