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

Irish Soda Bread

(image taken from here, though the recipe isn't)

St. Pattie's Day is one of my favorite holidays---and one of the foods that the Irish eat is Soda Bread. This is more like a gigantic biscuit type bread as it doesn't use yeast for its leavening.
This bread is great to eat with stew, with ham & potatoes, or with breakfast.
Its easy, its quick, and its delicious! Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, you can use 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 Tbsp lemon juice as substitute)
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
4 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2-1 tsp salt
3 cups flour (I do 2 cups white, 1 cup wheat)

Knead on a floured surface until its a smooth ball
Cut an big "X" on the top of it and place it on a cookie sheet
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (check at about 50 minutes)
Spread warm butter over the top and serve with jam or honey

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Omelet Casserole

Every St. Patrick's Day I like to throw a wildly fun and hugely green breakfast for all of my favorite friends. We serve everything from green pancakes with green butter and green syrup to green coffee cake and green grapes and name it, we got it.

Today I tried a new dish with green---an omelet casserole. I only saw a picture of it in a magazine and decided to try making up a good enough recipe to serve to my friends. I think it was a hit! And since so many people asked what the recipe was (and I didn't HAVE a recipe), I thought I'd write what I did down (here) and hope that would suffice. So, here it is:

(9 x 13 dish)

About 10 russet potatoes baked
About 8 oz ham
About 1 block medium cheddar cheese
About 3 roma tomatoes
About 3 cups baby spinach leaves
About 18 whole eggs
About 1 whole yellow onion
1 cup milk

3 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder

Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and place on bottom of pan
Layer with ham, onions, and tomatoes (all chopped into small cubes), chopped spinach, and shredded cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Layer this way twice more.

In a bowl set aside, combine eggs, milk, flour, and spices and beat until frothy. Pour whole bowl of egg mixture over the potato/onion/tomato/spinach/cheese layers and throw it in the oven.

Bake at 375 for an hour! Serve hot!
Super yummy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 Found this recipe on a blog and it was a HUGE hit.  In fact, this blog is my new favorite for new recipes and ideas . . .  Maybe the most successful I have ever been at cookie making - maybe because her instructions are so detailed.  I don't know that I have ever beat the eggs and sugar for 3 min - but I learned that they actually do turn a lighter color and fluffy when you do.  Sort of sad it took me so long to figure that out, but better late than never.  I changed the recipe just a smidge to fit what I had in my house . . .

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup creamy peanut butter (only had 1/4 cup PB so I used it with 1/4 cup almond butter, you could not tell at all)
½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

½ cup rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.
4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Been meaning to post this forever - got it from a magazine at a doctor's office.  Always a huge hit as something unique at a potluck!!  (actual picture is not this specific salad - but it would delicous with corn too!)


1 rd bell pepper - roasted ( cut in 1/2, remove seeds, skin side up BROIL for 12 min.  take out, ziplock bag for 10 min. peel off skin and chop)

1 c. uncooked quinoa
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 water
1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 c. EVOO
2 TBSP fresh parsley (have used dried - just a little less)
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp gr. red pepper (have used black)
2 large garlic cloves
12 olives

1 can chick peas and/or black beans

Put Quinoa, broth, water & OJ in a pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover - simmer 12 min. or until liquid is absorbed. 

Put all remaining ingredients - EXCEPT roasted red pepper and beans - in food processor/blend and blend to a sauce. 

Combine cooked quinoa with sauce, chopped roasted red pepper and add drained and rinsed beans. 

I LOVE this recipe cause is FULL of flavor and super healthy.  You can't go wrong - substitute things you love if there are ingredients you don't love.  Eat it warm or cold - and is delicious for days as leftovers!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Garlic & Herb Red and Sweet Potatoes

Vday & Preschool 008

10 small red potatoes
1 medium sized sweet potato
1 medium yellow onion

1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp Lawry Salt
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Parsley
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

Cut potatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes into medium size chunks and dump in a bowl
Pour olive oil over potatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes
Pour spices onto p,o,&sp and mix, mix, mix until fully covered

Spread in a roasting pan or baking sheet and bake at 450 for an hour, stirring every so often to that each side of potatoes get cooked. Yummy!

Stuffed Chicken with Chipotle Sauce

Vday & Preschool 011

Here, I took 4 chicken breasts and filleted them to open (but still connected). We then pounded them flat, sprinkled salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley in them, filled them with conventional stuffing (chicken flavored + a handful of craisens + salt, pepper, and garlic), closed them up, and tied them closed with floss.

Then I poured costco's raspberry Chipotle sauce on them and baked them for 10 minutes at 450. I then flipped them over, poured more sauce on them, and baked them for another 10 minutes. I repeated this process two more times before serving them.

Upon serving them, I doused them with lemon juice and a dash of salt.
They were pretty yummy and super easy to make!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Easy Chicken Parmesana

(image off google images)

As with most recipes I post here, I couldn't find a recipe that I loved anywhere, so I kind of made up my own for what I was hoping for. This seemed to be a new favorite for the fam. Yay. It is so simple, I'm almost embarrassed. :)

2 Chicken breasts thawed and cut into fillet halves or thirds (each breast)
2 eggs + 1/3 cup water (beated together in their own bowl)

1 1/2 cups italian bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano

1 can of spaghetti sauce
Spaghetti noodles

Set the oven to BROIL
Soak the cut chicken breasts in the egg mixture while you mix the spices with bread crumbs
Take the soaked chicken breasts and pat the bread crumb mix all over the breast
Bake under the broiler for 1o minutes and then turn the breasts over--bake for another 10 minutes
Take the breasts out and dip them again (with crumbs still on) in the egg wash and then pat more crumbs over each breast until all the egg mixture and bread crumbs are used up over all the chicken pieces.
Bake again for 10 minutes on one side and then 10 minutes on the other.

Meanwhile, after the second coating of bread crumbs, start your boiling water and prepare to boil your pasta. Also heat your spaghetti sauce.

Check to see if the chicken is done and when it is done (along with the sauce and pasta), call everyone to the table.

Place the chicken on the pasta and then sauce over the chicken......Sprinkle parmesan cheese or mozzerella cheese over the sauce if desired......serve with veggies, salad, bread, whatever. Its delicious! Even the next day!