Friday, January 20, 2012

Veggie Stir Fry

ARUBA.....JAMAICA....WHOO I WANNA TAKE YA....Yup that's right - we are heading out to Aruba!!  Needed a quick meal while we were packing, so Rossy made up this yummy meal!  We had it with chicken and rice - but you could easily not put meat in it OR add some streak / shrimp!  Super good!!

Serves 4-6: OBB Cookbook

1/4 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen vegetables (like a stir-fry mix or broccoli)
Kosher salt to taste
Sesame seeds

Whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, Sriracha, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and honey. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When very hot, add the onions, ginger, and garlic in that order and stir fry for about 20 seconds. Add the veggies and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until the veggies are dark and bright but still crisp. Add the sauce and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes or until the veggies are tender-crisp. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with another 1/2-1 teaspoon sesame oil and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste and sesame seeds.

*Variation: To make this a meal, add thin slices of steak or chicken breast before you add the onions.  Serve with noodles or rice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup

hmmm beer cheese soup!!  I was so excited when my calendar had this recipe pop up today!!  Ross was nice enough to make this - so it was nice to come home and cuddle up to warm soup on such a cold day ....WINTER IS FINALLY HERE!! (well - the cold is was -12 today !!...just need some snow!)  Anyways - this was super good!!  I would recommend a nice Coors light for your light beer....and some popcorn to throw on top!!  ahhhh soooo good!!!

Recipe/day calendar

12oz can of light beer
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, minced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, minced
10.5oz can condensed chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1 cup half and half coffee creamer
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Open beer and let stand while dicing veggies.  Saute bacon until crisp.  Drain and crumble.  In a large soup kettle, saute veggies in two tablespoons of bacon grease until soft.  Add chicken broth.  Fill chicken can with beer and add to mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

Pour remaining beer into a small mixing bowl and whisk in flour.  Gradually add to broth, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Add half and half, bacon and cheese.  Heat until cheese melts.  Stir in sugar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Citrus-Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

So I've wanted to try something with quinoa in it for some time -and I finally got the guts to buy it and make something.....and, eh ...ick?  haha - This wasn't bad but if my option had been to skip dinner or eat this - it would have been to skip dinner.  Won't be making this again with quinoa, but thought it might be good with brown rice!  I'm going to keep looking for another recipe using quinoa....I'm determined to find something good!!
Makes 6-8 main dish servings and 10-12 side dish servings - OBB

1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro or parsley
1 cup pomegranate arils
1 can garbanzo beans or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or chicken (or vegetable) broth
1-2 avocados, cut into small cubes (depending on how much you love avocado and how big the avocados are)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 medium orange)
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 medium juicy lemon)
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 medium juicy lime)
2-3 teaspoons sugar, honey, agave, or Splenda (just add it to taste)
2 tablespoons pure olive oil
1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
A few cracks of freshly ground black pepper
1 clove minced garlic

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

Combine diced cucumber, minced onion, chopped cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and drained and rinsed beans in a large salad bowl. Toss with quinoa. Drizzle the dressing over the mixture and toss to combine, then chill until ready to serve. Before serving, add diced avocado and eat immediately.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby Shower Ideas

Mo's baby shower was this weekend, and I got creative!!  :)  She isn't finding out the sex of the baby - SOOO our theme was "What's It Gonna Bee"....get it ?!  haha

This was super fun to plan for - cause I just got my new cricut for xmas - so I put my ideas into action!  Figured since our friends are now in the "baby stage" - I would post my ideas and some games!  Check it out!

First things first - remember the Friends episode where they hosted Rachel's baby shower....well - we stole an idea and hung up a bunch of baby stuff on the door!!!  How cute is that?!  (and how small is that!!)

Whoo - before I forget....we got our super cute invitations at the site below.  They went perfectly with out theme!

To continue on....we needed decorations!!  I made up this banner using my cricut - super easy!  Then I just hole punched and tied them together with ribbon....and look how cute it was!!!

Using a similar idea - I made up some name tags!  Ahhh too much fun....I got to use "Grandma to Bee....Great Gma to Bee....Aunt to Bee....Great Aunt to Bee..." = awesome!!

I also created a game using the name tags too....I put a big safety pin to hold the tags in place - but then put 5 little baby safety pins on each.  Then each time anyone used the word "baby" - the person who caught them saying it got to steal a safety pin and put it on theirs.  At the end - whoever had the most won!

The best part about playing games and our theme - is I gave out these gifts to the winners.....ahhhh this theme is just so easy and fun!! 

I ordered all our plates and matching napkins at this site:  Super inexpensive - and just happened to match our theme!!

Another game we played was "Price is Right".  This was also my gift to Mo for the shower.  I bought some fun / little baby stuff that I knew she would need - and then people "Came on Down...." to write down their guesses of cost for each item.  Again - whoever got the most right - WON!

Our last game was Robin's idea - and this was also super cute and fun.  She had bought a bunch of kid books and laid them out on the table.  She had copied a picture from each book and hung it up on the wall.....we each had to guess what picture went with what book (without looking inside the book of course).  Then Mo got to keep all the books - and the winner got a prize!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chicken Picatta

3rd floor bitties night IN!  Miss Linda made Kimmy/I dinner and it was yum yum!!  I got the recipe and figured I would's super healthy, super easy, and super yummy!  We had this with red potatoes - and it was the perfect meal!  Thanks Miss Linda :)

Food Network

1 pound chicken scaloppini (about 4 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, zest reserved for optional garnish, about 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Baby arugula for garnish
Whole-wheat angel hair pasta or roasted potatoes, for serving

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot; cook the cutlets until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a plate. (Reserve the skillet.) Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium.

Add the remaining teaspoon oil and garlic to the same skillet; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk together the broth, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon flour, and add to the pan. Simmer sauce until reduced and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, parsley and capers. Swirl in the butter until sauce is shiny and slightly thickened.

Serve chicken with the sauce. Toss the arugula and freshly grated lemon zest with a light drizzle of olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper, scatter over chicken. Serve with pasta or potatoes as desired.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Caribbean Rubbed Pork Chops with Mango Salsa

 Tropical Sensation Cookbook tonight!!!! 10 days!!!!!  WOOT WOOT!!  This meal was SENSATIONAL....hehe.  But for real - it was so good!  These chops had us all craving for more!!  So so so good!!

Um even the serving dishes were themed for this meal!!!  Oh how cute :)

Check out how awesome our menu was for tonight:
Appetizer: Mango Pico de Gallo

Ross said last night "um - I don't really like mangoes...." and I told him "well, then don't plan on eating at cookbook since it's in EVERYTHING!" and turns out - so is cilantro!!  (good thing Megan got LOTS of it!)  Ross ended up coming up from slaving in the bathroom (remodel in process) and actually came back for seconds he liked it so much!!  I want this meal again now!!  :)

1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
3/4  teaspoon sugar
3/4  teaspoon ground ginger
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon ground allspice
1/8  teaspoon ground red pepper
4 (6 oz) bone-in center cut pork chops (about 1/2 in thick)
1/2 cup diced peeled mango
1/2 cup diced plum tomato
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl.  Rub pork chops with spice mixture.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  (Or heat an outdoor bbq grill and lightly brush grates with vegetable oil)  Add pork to pan; grill 3 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 145° (slightly pink.)

Combine mango, tomato, cilantro, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl; toss gently.  Serve salsa over pork.

Fyi: 1 chop and 1/4 cup salsa chimes in at only 197 calories and 7 grams fat.  Eat up!

Mango Pico de Gallo

Who knew I could find another app that I like as much as quac?!  AND it has fruit in it!!  This was super yummy!!  This lasted about 5 min at cookbook tonight - so I think it's a keeper.....and it was super easy to make - and it was HEALTHY too!!

OBB Cookbook

1 cup small cubes of mango (about 1 medium to large mango)
1/2-1 large jalapeno pepper (1/2 without seeds is a nice, mild-medium heat; go from there)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Combine ingredients. Serve. This will keep for a day or so (like it will last that long), but after that, the mangoes will get mushy.

Fresh Mango Sorbet with Pineapple

Not a fan of dessert....yes, I just said that....BUT  this was actually pretty good!!  I would puree the pineapple next time cause I'm not a fan of chunks in my food - but that works for some people :)  This was also super easy to make - and I thought it would be a good way to grab some bfast in the am too....just thaw it out while you get ready - and breakfast on the way out the door!

Serves 8 - OBB Cookbook

3-4 mangoes, peeled and diced.
2/3 C sugar
3 T fresh lime juice
1 C finely chopped fresh pineapple

In a food processor (or good blender), puree the mangoes until you have about 3 cups. Add the sugar and lime juice and process to combine. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the pineapple. Yup. It’s that easy.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker* and freeze let it go until it looks icy, yummy, and firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.To serve the following day, set out on counter for about 15 minutes to soften.

*If you don’t have an ice cream maker, just place in an airtight container and put it in the freezer. Take it out and stir once an hour for 3 hours, or until it’s too hard to stir.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Italian Grilled Cheese

This time you can judge my recipe by the picture....thumbs down to a burnt grilled cheese!!   We didn't have any more pesto - since I was creative in using up the remaining pesto we had.....and so when someONE left the sandwiches unattended as they ate SPAM!...and they burnt - we had to eat them anyways!!  I could tell that this would have been awesome - and mozzarella cheese is a MUST on grilled cheese.  Still on the search for the perfect "homemade" grilled cheese!!

Basil and oregano pesto (see below)
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Tomato, sliced

Take bread - butter one side on each piece....spread some pesto on that bad boy.  Then cheese - then tomato - then cheese - and top!

Basil & Oregano Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (or just more basil leaves)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup of walnuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor, blend and set aside.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cornbread Breakfast Casserole

Recipe calendar brought a hit!  I wanted to point out all the awesomeness Nicole is missing out by not living here, so I made up some yummy breakfast :)  hehe  This was super good - Ross and I added a little bit more hot sauce to our pieces, but good!!  Wow - I'm going to be eating so good this week :)

Recipe/day Calendar

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 lb ground sausage, browned and crumbled
10oz box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 bunch green onions, diced
4 eggs, whisked
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
8.5oz box cornbread mix
2 (15oz) cans Mexicorn, well drained
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
Garnish: reserved two chopped green onions, chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in butter, sour cream, hot pepper sauce, corn, and 2 cups of the cheese.  Stir in the cornbread mix, sugar, salt and pepper.  Saute spinach in sausage drippings.  Add browned meat, spinach and green onions.  Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.  Pour mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or unit set and golden brown.  Let rest about 10 minutes.  Garnish with reserved green onions and parsley.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Minestrone Soup

Roomie in the house!!!  It was just like old times tonight with Nicole spending the night!  We hung out all day - so this was the perfect meal....threw it together when I woke up - hung out all day - and then BAM...awesomeness when we were ready to eat!!  This was soooo yummy!!  Ahhhh I am so excited for leftovers this week!!

OBB Cookbook

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves minced garlic
4 cups water
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1-2 small zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 can beef broth
10-oz. can bean with bacon soup
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a large soup pot, brown Italian sausage with onions and garlic. Carefully drain, if necessary. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Additionally, you can make this in a slow cooker. Just brown the sausage, onion, and garlic in a frying pan, drain, and then transfer to a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and cook all day on low.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Southwestern Egg Rolls

We had my nephew over tonight to help with the basement remodel - so I thought I would treat the boys to some yummy egg rolls!  Remember over New Years when sir-Ross-a-lot got spring roll wrappers instead of egg roll wrappers.....well I thought I had found a recipe that could use spring roll but not love!  haha  

These were AMAZING (as in - the filling)!  It was a little hard to eat with the spring rolls - and each of those wrappers had like 120 calories!  Who knew....I will for sure be making this again - but I will be using egg roll wrapper for sure!

 Annie's Eats 
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
4 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers (about 24 total)

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers.  Mix well to blend.  Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place ¼ cup of the filling in the center.  Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center.  Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free.  Dip a finger in water or beaten egg and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner.  Finish rolling and press to seal closed.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning halfway through baking.  Serve warm with salsa. ( I used mango salsa)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chicken Lasagna

Miss (soon-to-be MRS) Perrine got me a recipe/day calendar for Christmas - how perfect of a gift - so I thought I would make the January 5th meal tonight :)  I was running a little late this eve, since I worked out with mom at Curves so Ross was nice enough to make the whole thing :)  It was good - but not "awesome", and it was eh - unhealthy!!  haha  It didn't really stay together so it was kinda a big slurp on a plate,  I would make it again - but Ross said I shouldn't!  BUT if I DID - I would put mushrooms in it as well!!  Don't you worry though - you'll be seeing many more meals from my calendar!!

Recipe calendar

2-3 cup cooked chicken, diced
1 small onion, diced
3/4 cup sour cream
2 (10.7 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2.25 oz can sliced black olives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
12 lasagna noodles, prepared
3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl.  In 9x13 dish, layer 4 noodles - then half the chicken mix and 1 cup cheese.  Repeat for 2nd layer.  For final layer, use the remaining 4 noodles and remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Quick meal at the Sodahl household...we had TONS of errands to run - plus the grocery store - so by the time we got home, we needed something quick!  This was super easy - but was a twist on your typical burger.  Then we just whipped up some Grilled Asparagus to go with it - and BAM.....a yummy meal!!  ahhh me likey!!  :)

OBB cookbook
1 ¼ lb ground beef
3 tablespoons A1 sauce
1  tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼  teaspoon pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
¾ teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion 

Combine ingredients. If you want big burgers (and who doesn’t??) shape into 4 patties. If you’re a burger pansy, shape the meat into 6 patties.

Grill for about 7 minutes on each side over medium (or until they’re as non-pink as you want them.)

While the burgers are cooking, you can get your fixins ready. Yes, I just said “fixins.” You're fine.... I like ketchup, mustard, a leaf of Romaine, a couple rings of red onion, a slice or two of tomato, and a few dill pickle slices if I have them. 

If you want cheese on your burger, place it on top of the burger while it’s still cooking (and has about 2-3 minutes left). When the burgers are done and the cheese is melty, place them on your toasted buns and then add whatever you want on top!