Monday, July 31, 2006

Garbanzo and Tomato Salad
(Adapted from Sunset Magazine, four servings)

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained well
2 T balsamic vinegar
3 cups diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet onion or red onion
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup (or more) finely chopped parsley
salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice

Put garbanzo beans in colander and rinse well, until all foam is gone. Pick over beans and remove any skins, then let drain about 5 minutes (or pat dry with a paper towel if you're short on time). Put beans in plastic container with snap-on lid, add 2 T balsamic vinegar and turn over several times so all beans are coated with vinegar. Let marinate while you prepare other ingredients.

Cut tomatoes in 1 inch pieces and put in colander. Sprinkle with salt, toss, and let drain. Dice onions in 1/4 inch pieces and bell pepper in 1/2 inch pieces. Chop parsley with chef's knife or mini-chopper. Put bell pepper, onion, drained tomatoes, and garbanzos with vinegar into large bowl (not the bowl you will serve the salad in). Drizzle over the olive oil, add lemon juice, and combine ingredients gently. Taste to see if you want to add more balsamic vinegar. Gently mix in parsley, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, put in serving bowl, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

5:4 challenge #2A Stuffed Tuna Packets (p1)

Well its time for the second installment of 5:4 challenge. This time around our ingredients were: Tuna (canned or fresh), pepper (any kind), celery, lime and mushroom. I came up with three idea's but only made 2. Two of the idea's were using tuna steaks and they are pretty expensive here right now and on base I could only get frozen. The one I didnt make was going to be a grilled tuna steak, stuffed with mushrooms and topped with a celery relish...but like I said I went with the other two idea's instead and limited my creativity to two dishes. One is a snack/appetizer and the other is a main meat dish. Both were really easy to make and had loads of flavor! If you try either I hope you enjoy! Heres the link to the Tuna Cream Bites.

Stuffed Tuna Packets (p1)
4 tuna steaks, rinsed and patted dry.

2 to 3 TAB fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper to taste
5 to 6 TAB olive oil
2 TAB lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste

one small can of chopped portabella mushrooms (drained)
1TAB fresh cilantro, chopped
3 TAB roasted red bell pepper, diced (from jar)
approximately 1.5 to 2 TAB feta cheese, crumbled
1 to 1.5 tsp minced garlic
a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: rinse and pat dry 4 Tuna steaks. Mix marinade in small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix filing ingredients with fork or hand mixer until blended but still chunky in texture.

Make a little slit in each raw tuna steak to create a little pocket. Fill the pickets with the filling mixture and place on a heavy duty sheet of foil.If you have left over filling or you don't want to make pockets topping the tuna with the filling mixture would be fine. After all four steaks are stuffed or topped with cheese mixture, drizzle marinade over each steak, equally (using all of it). Roll up foil and create little foil pockets/ pouches. I placed these on the grill but I'm sure you could cook them in a grill pan or oven (350 degrees). Cook approximately 25 to 30 mins til tuna is easy to flake and desired doneness. let cool a tiny bit as the foil will be hot - unwrap and serve!

Monday, July 24, 2006


This is Euro....he is a Yorkie / long haired chihuahua. However, he's fairly short haired (unlike his little brother, Mozes) so he's never gone to a groomer - but still needed to be introduced on the blog. He is my baby boy! We got him when he was only 3lbs and almost fit in our palm. He is now a HUGE 12 lbs :D He will be 3 years old this Oct 4, 2006. He is extremely laid-back and loving. He totally loves peanut butter, cheese, burger king hamburgers (plain) and vanilla ice cream if you feel like sharing. He loves to take naps, soak in the sun and cuddle! he is getting used to his little brother, Mozes, and spends loads of time wrestling with him or playing chase in the yard. Germans totally LOVE dogs - but they really flip when they see Euro. He is such a pretty dog and has an approachable quality about him. His fur is very silky and this, added to his awesome personality, makes him highly loved by all. Oh I should also add that Euro is very smart too. Yes yes he can do tricks but he also knows certain words when we spell them... like when we don't want to get him excited if we are discussing whether we want to go for a W.A.L.K or G.O someplace...he totally knows what we are talking about. Ha ha.

Thursday, July 20, 2006



This is Mozes. He is anywhere from 1.5 to 2 years old. The people we got him from didn't really know and this was the best guess the vet could give us. The people that had him before us had saved him from a very bad home life. The people we got him from ended up not having much time for him and lived in an apt and really didn't want him anymore. My daughter fell in love with him and wanted to "save him". We adopted him and got ride of his 7 ticks, put him back on flea and tick meds, got him his shots, recently got him groomed and have an apt for him to get neutered and a microchip implanted. He is doing really great and is extremely happy and well adjusted. He has some quirks that stem from his MAJOR anxiety when we leave the house or when he is in the car, but he is getting better!!! Mozes is a Yorkie and weighs about 5.6lbs. He is EXTREMELY playful and goes until YOU DROP! He loves attention...the more the better. He loves to cuddle, eat treats and shadow me around the house. He learned to bark after came to live with us (its so funny to hear him too) and he is starting to give kisses. He totally loves to pester his big brother, Euro- and the two enjoy playing chase in the yard or through the house. Mozes is a bit of a toy hog and knows a few tricks but really only wants to preform them if you have a treat in hand. He is very smart and learning very fast how his new family works and he's come to fit rather nicely.

Look who got a trim!
This is the first time he had been taken to a professional groomer. He was a good boy while there and will get more done next time. The groomer, who is also a licensed Dog Psychologist (?).... didn't want to do too much this first visit to overwhelm him. Mozes goes back in a month. But look! We can see his little face now!!!! :D



Hot Sweetened Nighty Night Milk. (p1)

When I was very young my mother would make a milk for me that was sweet with a bit of a nutty/vanilla flavor. She called it Wonder Milk. She'd serve this cold or hot but it was always a special treat for me when she did. When I got older I found out it was an extract called wonder flavor and my mother couldn't find it anymore.
After reading some recipes from the SB forum for Vanilla Steamers
, it brought this childhood drink back to mind and i got the thirst for it. I tried some and loved the results! This is what I did....

Hot Sweetened Nighty Night Milk. (p1)
skim milk (enough for one coffee cup)
vanilla extract
almond extract
2 pkt splenda (per cup)

Directions:In a sauce pan whisk all the ingredients until heated and a little frothy. Add a dash or two of cinnamon, blend and then pour into a coffee cup and ENJOY! Now its not an attempt to remake wonder milk but its sure good! It was delicious before bed! My family and some of my daughters friends really enjoy it and have even made it for their families.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

5:4 challenge #1 Chicken & Veggies 4 ways

Out of my indecisiveness I did it 4 ways!

I'm doing 5:4 with three awesome ladies... 5:4 is a blog we share where we create ne
w dishes with limited ingredients. 5 random ingredients is our only real commonality and then each may pick 2 others ingredients of our choosing. we are to come up with some food dish, take Pict's of it and then report back to one another and post it on our 5:4 blog. We just started this but so far its been fun! Also check out the 5:4 to see what other things my great friends came up with....and stay tuned for more yet to come. I ended up making 4 things - but the one I liked the most is the Fried Chicken (its posted first of all the recipes)

NOTE that my puppy boys sure were interested in what I was


5:4 challenge #1A Fried Chicken with Pepper Eggplant Saute (p2)

Fried Chicken with Pepper Eggplant Saute (p2)

Chicken breasts, bone and skinless
Whole grain bread

Parmesan cheese, shredded (ground should work well too)

Fresh oregano leaves chopped

Olive oil


Salt and pepper (to taste)

What to do:
1.) With scissors or knife cut or chop fresh oregano leaves into bits.

2.) Take approx 3 to 4 slices of whole grain bread and pulsate it in food processor til crumbly. (I left the bread softened this still worked well).

3.) Added salt, pepper, approx 1/2 to 1 cup of parmesan, and about 1/2 to 1 cup fresh chopped oregano... This is where I taste it and added more or less of any thing.

4.) Heat non stick skillet with a few TAB olive oil.
Mix approximately 1 cup of milk and a few table spoons of olive oil in a dish for dipping the chicken in.
5.) Dip chicken in milk/oil mixture (egg mixture is always good but I didn't have that in my ingredient list to use) and then into the bread mixture. Make sure you get a good coating of the bread mixture on the chicken and place in the heated skillet. Cook til chicken is cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel and then place on a serving dish.

6.) While your chicken is frying clean and chop red bell peppers. Skin the egg plant and dice into small chunks and place in non stick sauce pan or skillet. cook on med heat with a few Table spoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and a few table spoons of fresh chopped oregano. When its finished place in food processor or blender (I reserved about 1/4 cup for garnish but this is optional) and puree for a few seconds. blend til desired consistency. Pour over cooked chicken, top with reserved pepper and eggplant chunks and sprinkle with a little bread crumb and serve.

5:4 challenge #1B Alfredo Stuffed Bell Peppers (p2)

Alfredo Stuffed Bell Peppers (p2 unless you leave off the breadcrumbs)

Bone and skinless chicken thighs or breasts (approx 1 per person)
Red bell peppers (1 pepper per person with a few extra for chopping)
Parmesan cheese (shredded or ground)
Olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste
Whole wheat or whole grain bread crumbs.

1.) Clean and dice up one to two bell peppers and clean and halve some red bell peppers for stuffing.

2.) Boil chicken (approx 1 chicken breast per pepper) and shred it when its cool enough to handle (i used two forks to shred with).

3.) Season bread crumbs with Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

4.) Cook parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and milk in sauce pan til thick... saute bell peppers and diced egg plant in a little olive oil til tender and add to thicken parmesan cheese sauce. mix in the shredded chicken to this sauce mixture along with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste. place this mixture in each halved bell peppers.

5.) Place each stuffed pepper on a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 20 mins. pull them out and sprinkle with shredded cheese (mozzarella and Colby or mild cheddar) and seasoned bread crumbs. bake for another 10 mins. let them cool slightly and then enjoy.

5:4 challenge #1C Veg Chicken Noodle Cheese Gravy (p2)

Veg Chicken Noodle Cheese Gravy (p2)

Whole wheat pasta, like fettuccine
3 to 4 chicken breasts (skinless and boneless) cooked and diced
Red bell pepper, approx 1 to 1 1/2 cups
One small or 1/2 large eggplant skinned and diced
1/2 small Velveeta cheese light
Whole wheat bread crumbs, 1/2 to 1 cup
Milk, 1 to 2 cups
Oilve oil, pepper and salt

1.) Boil noodles, drain and place in slightly greased baking dish.

2.) Boil 3 to 4 chicken breasts (skin and boneless). When cooked dice up chicken into chunks. Toss chicken chuncks in a skillet and saute in olive oil til lightly golden and all of it ontop of the noodles. (personally I think if ya sauted the chicken with a little chopped garlic it would be even better...but I already used up my two extra food choices)

3.) Dice up red bell pepper and egg plant. Saute in the same skillet as the chicken. Add a little more olive oil til tender. Add salt and pepper (to taste)

4.) In a sauce pan melt 1/3 to 1/2 small chunk of Velveeta light cheese with approx 1 to 2 cups of milk. this should be the consistency of a thick soup or thin cheese gravy.

5.) Place diced chicken and sauteed veggies onto of the cooked noodles. and pour cheese mixture over the entire thing. you may need to move the noodles around so the cheese mixture can really get down into the casserole dish and not spill over. sprinkle bread crumbs on top of casserole and place in a pre-heated oven (350) for 20 to 25 mins til the bread crumbs are golden brown. let it cool slightly and enjoy.

5:4 challenge #1D Sauteed Veggie Soup with Chicken and Breadcrumb Garnish (p2 )

Sauteed Veggie Soup with Chicken and Breadcrumb Garnish
(p2, unless you not top w/ the breadcrumbs)
Serving size: 3 to 4

Red bell pepper, 1 to 2 cups
Garlic (I like chopped)
A few cubes of Velveeta cheese light
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
salt and pepper.

1.) Clean and dice up approx 1 to 2 cups of red bell pepper

de-skin and dice up 1 eggplant

2.) Saute both in a skillet or non stick sauce pan over med heat with a few table spoons for olive oil and salt to taste. (add a bit of garlic if ya like...I'm sure this would be good in it)

3.) Boil a few skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, with salt and a little garlic (or use rotisserie) and shred.

4.) When veggies are tender process or blend them til smooth or desired texture with some milk (and olive oil if needed or desired) be careful not to make too thin.
reheat soup in sauce pan and add a few cubes of Velveeta cheese til melted. if soup is too thin add a few more cubes of cheese and if its too thick add some more milk SLOWLY so its well incorporated and or a few TAB of bread crumbs.

5.) Pour soup in serving bowls, garnish with shredded chicken and some bread crumbs and serve

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Welcome to My where you step

Hello Hello Hello....... and more to come!