Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Italian Pot Roast

Easy and delicious!

Italian Pot Roast
Source: Southern Living Cookbook


1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
large  onion, sliced 
1 (2 1/2 to 3-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed 
1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons
olive oil
(1-oz.) envelope dry onion soup mix
(14-oz.) can beef broth
(8-oz.) can tomato sauce
 3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon
dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons


  1. Place mushrooms and onions in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle roast with pepper. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned on each side.
  3. Place roast on top of mushrooms and onion in slow cooker. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast; pour beef broth and tomato sauce over roast. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Transfer roast to a cutting board; cut into large chunks, removing any large pieces of fat. Keep roast warm.
  5. Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; stir in tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Stir together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to juices in slow cooker, stirring until blended. Cover and cook 20 minutes on HIGH or until mixture is thickened. Stir in roast. Serve over egg noodles.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Being healthy doesn't have to be boring or bland. In fact, it can be downright tasty as was last night's dinner. Well, except for all that cheese. I suppose that wasn't so healthy but who's counting? Instead of traditional elbow pasta, I tried a quinoa version. I didn't even miss the extra carbs. And this version had the extra protein, iron, and fiber. Win! This is what I used:

I also made a new brussels sprouts recipe. I love them these days! Here are both recipes:

Mac n Cheese with Roasted Chiles
Adapted from Southern Living
makes 8 servings

4 poblano chile peppers
1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni or quinoa pasta
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
3 1/2 cups (14 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cu  shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Broil chile peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat about 5 minutes on each side or until chiles look blistered.
  2. Place chiles in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel chiles; remove and discard seeds, and cut chiles into strips. Set aside.
  3. Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  4. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in cream and milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  5. Stir in 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese, crumbled goat cheese, and salt until smooth. Stir in roasted chiles and macaroni.
  6. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top evenly with Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle evenly with remaining Monterey Jack cheese.
  8. Broil 5 inches from heat about 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Source: Southern Living
Serves 8


2 pounds brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, cut into slivers (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Rinse brussels sprouts; remove discolored leaves. Cut off stem ends and thinly slice brussels sprouts. (They should look shredded.)
  2. Heat butter and oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add shredded brussels sprouts, garlic, and onion slivers. Saute 10 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender and onion is lightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a serving bowl. Add vinegar and brown sugar to skillet. Simmer over medium heat 30 seconds; pour over brussels sprouts, and toss gently. Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tangy and Spicy Shrimp

Here's another fairly easy recipe especially if you buy your shrimp already peeled and de-veined:

Tangy and Spicy Shrimp
serves 2

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup chili or garlic chili sauce
1 lemon, sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1- 1 1/2 lb. shrimp (peeled and de-veined)

In a medium saucepan, cook all ingredients except for shrimp over low heat until butter is melted and combined.

Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Lay shrimp flat and pour sauce over the top. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours turning the shrimp halfway through.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 15 minute or until shrimp is cooked through but not overcooked! I served this with a quinoa/brown rice pilaf. (One of the boxed varieties from the store.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spinach Mushroom Goat Cheese Flat

Weeknight meal alert! This flatbread is easy enough to throw together on a weeknight and is pretty good. It's lighter than pizza and a good way to sneak some veggies in. But with the addition of the crust and cheese, I'm sure the calories catch up with you. The recipe was kind of a make up as you go sort of thing. If you don't like something (the cheese for example) you can always substitute with other ingredients. Feta would work well on this as well.

Spinach Mushroom Goat Cheese Flat

1 package of refrigerated pizza crust (the roll out kind in a can)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 package of sliced mushrooms (8 oz)
1 package of sliced shiitake mushrooms (aprox. 8 oz)
10 oz. fresh baby spinach
2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper to season


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape. You might need to put some flour down beforehand. Using a fork or dull knife, lightly make a 1 inch border. Place dough on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.

While dough is baking, heat half the oil over medium heat, cook onions, covered, until browned about 5-10 minutes and season with salt. Stir frequently.

In another pan, cook mushrooms in remaining oil over medium heat, covered, until they are tender and most of the moisture has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Then, add in the spinach and cook covered until wilted. (Just a few minutes).

Drain mushrooms and spinach well. Spread over the pizza crust. Then, spread the onions on the top. Top with the goat cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I know my blog posts have been far and few between lately but I promise to get better...maybe. This post is about wine and not a recipe for once. In the beginning, I intended to review wines that I tried along with recipes. While I continued to get emails about the recipes, I didn't really get any feedback on the wine part. I refuse to believe that the people visiting my site are not wine drinkers :) so I am giving it a try once more. And these are two wines that were fabulous and deserve to be blogged!

Francis Ford Coppola Winery Director's Cut Pinot Noir 2008

I've actually been to the FFC winery. It's a really fun one to visit because they have a lot of memorabilia from his movies. It's also quite beautiful. The wines I tasted were good but not good enough for me to order a case to be shipped here. But this bottle was a gift and I was very pleasantly surprised. It was a really nice pinot...light, fruity, and vibrant. If I can find it in stores, I will purchase on my own.

Hawkes 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 Love, love, love this one. I also visited this winery and didn't meet a cab that I didn't love. So, I knew this one would be especially good. It's a nice rich cab with chocolate undertones throughout.

Drink up!