Saturday, February 27, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

So easy. So delicious. It even earned that elusive 5th Marks! That's right ladies and gentlemen, my three year old ate it!!!

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Breading- 2 1/2 cups of italian bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)

5 or 6 tilapia fillets
olive oil (can be substituted with veg. oil etc.)
4 eggs beaten

Mix the breading ingredients in a dish. In seperate bowl beat eggs. Warm pan on stove with olive oil. Pat dry the fillets and then coat in eggs. Coat with breadcrumbs and then fry in pan about 4 minutes on each side. Tilapia gets a nice white color when it is done and flakes easily with a fork. Breading will be golden brown. If you want to plan ahead, bread the fillets early and put in the fridge. When you are coating anything like chicken or fish or pork chops, it fries easier and holds its breadcrumb better if it has been chilled. Its as easy as that. I made it with fresh mashed potatoes and frozen peas. LOVED IT!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This recipe comes to you courtesy of It is remarkable because I did not do anything to change it! I know, crazy huh? I always change at least one thing. I do have a suggestion though. You can make it more waistline friendly if you use brown rice instead of white, and leave out the cheese, which I did. Oh, I guess I did alter it slightly then.

As for my review:
Did you ever just have one of "those" days? My baby, who got sick one week ago today became unruly yesterday afternoon, so as I was sitting in the elementary school parking lot waiting for my daughters I decided to call up the Pediatrician and see if I could get him an appointment. They {unbelievably} said come right now and we can see him right away! So of course I did. Driving 30 minutes and all the time thinking, I'm never going to get dinner in the oven on time, before I have to leave for school and the kids need to go to church and make it to the drugstore if he needs a prescription. So, he does have a deep inner ear infection, two molars on the brink of slicing through his tender little gums, and a killer rash on his tush.

The point of my long tale is that I did get the dinner cooked, but not eaten. All I could manage was leftover pizza and tonight we will enjoy my delicious looking casserole. So I will tell you how it tastes tomorrow. Bonus double review, how it tastes and how it tastes reheated!

The Recipe
1 can low cal condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/3 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (use what you like or what you have)
4 chicken breasts (I put in 6)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (use low fat or none at all)

375 degrees for 50 minutes

Stir soup, water, rice, seasons and vegetables in a baking dish. Top with chicken. Cover dish and bake for 50 minutes or chicken is cooked through. Top with cheese and let stand 10 minutes. I would serve it with rolls or biscuits, but since it is really three dishes in one you don't really need anything.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mediterranean Roll

OK, I admit it: I renamed a recipe. Its more fun my way and while I not so patiently endure the American tundra, sitting at my dinner table imagining I am in the south of France enjoying my dinner and stimulating conversation from my 7 and 5, and 3 year old daughters, and a baby who is suddenly refusing to eat by throwing all food options on the floor.... well you get the picture. So without further ado, here's what's for dinner. A modified Pampered Chef recipe. Now, if you are like me and don't really like to be brave in ingredients or try different flavors together, I ask you to take a deep breath, be brave and just make it the way I write it. I promise you won't regret it.

One can of cooked chicken breast or 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 Tb chopped fresh parsley (2 Tb dried parsley)
1/2 cup light mayo
2 Tb honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 egg white lightly beaten

2 pkg. reduced fat crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In mixing bowl combine, chicken, 1 cup of cheese, celery, cranberries, parsley, mayo, mustard and black pepper. Mix well.

On pizza pan or round stone take 8 crescent rolls (unfolded) and place on pan with corners touching, pointed outward in a circle. It should look like a big sun. Then take second roll of crescents and place them pointing inward, bottom part of crescent triangle should be lined up with previous triangles so they are touching.

Take an ice cream scoop or spoon and place filling in circle all the way around. Beginning with the last triangle placed in center of baking stone, bring point of triangle straight across filling. Next, bring point of opposite outside triangle diagonally across filling. Continue doing this all the way around.

Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with garlic salt and 1/4 cup Swiss cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

As always, you may need to double recipe depending on family size. This served 5 people quite nicely and we had it with a spinach leaf salad.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recipe Feedback

I forgot a couple of important requests:
*If you try one of my recipes, please let me know what you thought!
*Share the recipe love with your friends if you find one you like
*Let me know if you find a "must cook" recipe, I love to try new ones obviously
*Link my site so that you can get updates, I will be putting up recipes more frequently and you don't want to miss out!

With that said, stayed tuned because last night I made "Mediterranean Chicken Roll." Oh yeah, you know you want some just from the name. ;) It earned 5 Marks'!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Enchiladas and Apple Crisp

Please excuse the recipe absence. Last week my husband was gone, I was sick, two kids were sick, and I was overloaded with homework. So, needless to say there were a lot of very simple meals and take out that weren't worth blogging about. But last night however... ooh la la. I made healthified Enchiladas!!! And boy were they good. And for dessert, simple and quick Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream.


1 lb of ground turkey
1 onion chopped
1 box of frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup of light sour cream
1 small can of green chilies (I used half so that it wasn't too spicy)
1/2 cup of colby and monterey jack cheese
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp of garlic and pepper mix

Cook onion and turkey
Cook spinach in microwave with lid for 3 minutes then let it cook the rest of the way in with the cooked turkey.
Add in chilies, sour cream, cheese, cumin, garlic and pepper.
Spoon mixture into tortillas and roll up.
Drizzle salsa over the top of enchiladas in pan, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes uncovered or 25 minutes if you cover your pan with foil.

Apple Crisp
6 granny smith apples peeled and sliced
1/2 cup flour
8 graham crackers (2 1/2" x 5") coursely chopped
1 tsp cinnemon
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup butter melted

Place sliced apples in bottom of a deep dish baker.
In mixing bowl combine, crackers, brown sugar, cinnemon, oatmeal, flour and lastly the butter.
Pour over top of the apples and press down.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and smile as you take in the smell and taste. Your stomach will thank you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tonight's Dinner?

Tonight is a family favorite. Sure it super delicious and sure it is super easy, but the best thing.... super healthy!!! You will LOVE this one. Double the recipe, trust me, you will want leftovers, and for sure if your kids are older than 6 years of age you will need to double it.

Black Bean and Corn Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons chili powder ****this is what the recipe calls for, but I reduce it to 1/2 Tb, so that it isn't spicy for my kids.

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock

1 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa

1 tablespoon sugar

1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 bag frozen or can (about 16 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained *** I use a small bag of frozen corn and just toss it in frozen

* Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper and garlic powder. Cook until the turkey is well browned, stirring often to separate meat.
* Stir the stock, salsa, sugar, beans and corn in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

I am going to pair this with some delicious corn bread muffins. Enjoy!!!

photo is courtesy of Campbell's Kitchen

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cranberry Chicken Results

Yummm! This dish earned 4 out of 5 Marks'. My three year old doesn't like anything really, so technically it gets 4/4. I will continue to try and earn that fifth Marks' approval however. And my one year old didn't get any.

My husband and I were literally standing over the pan picking off bites before dinner and couldn't wait for the rest of the dinner to be ready. Also of note, there was plenty of sauce for at least 8 chicken breasts, so if you need to multiply the recipe, just add on chicken but not the rest of the ingredients. For whatever reason my camera cord is not working, so check back later if you want to see a picture of this dish.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Introducing Real Recipes for Real Families

Hello. Let me start by telling you why I am doing this blog. Like many people out there, I love to cook. I love watching cooking shows, reading cook books, magazines, know all of the Food Network chefs and and can whip up a mean lasagna. Here's the problem: I have a limited budget. Many recipes out there require ingredients that either aren't available in my area, or I simply cannot afford. I also however do not like to sacrifice quality, healthy meals for my large family. So I decided that as I make, review, revise and most importantly cook meals for my family of 6, I would like to share them with you. Whoever you may be.

The recipes that I will be putting up are admittedly often taken from what I have at a restaurant and I try to mimic, a cookbook that I find works better with some revisions and substitutions or from Food Network shows that I tried, or sometimes change to fit my family. So without further ado, Real recipes for real moms and dads who really have to cook on a real budget! Feel free to let your friends know about this blog who love to cook too or feel like they are "kitchen challenged!"

Stay tuned for tonight's meal: Cranberry Chicken!
Here's the recipe, I will cook it, take a picture and write a review tonight after dinner. (Taken from Kraft food magazine with my revisions of course)

Cranberry Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 8 oz bottle of catalina dressing
1 envelope onion soup mix

~Heat oven to 350*
~Place chicken in 13x9 baking dish, spray first with non-stick cooking spray
~Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken
~Bake 35 minutes and check for pinkness, add on time in 5 minute increments as needed. If you use bone in chicken breasts cook for 50 min.

*The first time I made this I put all the ingredients into my crockpot and cooked it on high for 4 hours and it turned out amazing! Tonight I will be making it in the oven because a crock pot is only a time saver if you remember to actually put the food into the crockpot early enough for it to cook.
*Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray to help prevent sticking and burning!