Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Fantastic Black Bean Chili July 31, 2008

Filed under: Entrees — lindsayrose @ 3:00 am

One of our gifts from my shower in NY this past weekend was a Dutch oven.  I’ve seen lots of recipes that say to use a Dutch oven, and seen lots of them used on the Food Network, but never had one myself.  I was so excited to receive this gift.  While I was making the drive home from NY, I gave Ross the task of searching for recipes that we could make to test it out.  It’s been a hectic few days, but he decided to put it to use tonight.  I had to be in Raleigh after work, so being the great guy that he is, he had dinner waiting for me when I got home.  Fantastic Black Bean Chili was just that… pretty fantastic.  The Dutch oven proved to be everything that we thought it would be.  I can’t wait to experiment with it more!


Ross made a few changes to the recipe, adding some extra Italian seasonings and about 1/2 bottle of beer (which makes any chili a whole lot better).  We served it with cheddar cheese and sour cream on top.  I was a little distraught because one of the most disgusting things in the world to me is the liquid that canned beans come in.  This recipe called for the cans of beans to be undrained.  Ross was smart and didn’t tell me this until after I had taken my first bite, knowing that I would be turned off by the bean juice.  However, it was so tasty that it didn’t even matter to me.


I’m Back! July 30, 2008

Filed under: Desserts — lindsayrose @ 12:27 am

After lots of driving and a hectic weekend, I’m back home.  I had tons of fun in NY, including one of my very best friend’s wedding and a shower for me!  Being at her wedding and at my shower made it seem VERY real that I am actually getting married in about 2 months.  Crazy!


We made pizza pockets for dinner tonight.  They were pretty good, and fun to make.  This would be a fun meal to make with kids.  There are of course, a million different ways you could make these, adding any fillings that you wanted.  It was very easy, too.


We are having another celebration at work tomorrow (see, I told you we celebrate a lot), this time saying goodbye to one of our part time employees.  I am making a cheesecake that I made for the first time on Mother’s Day.  It is very tasty and I can’t wait to eat it again.  Ross is pretty upset with me that I am making it for work and not here. He suggested making it into an 80’s party and having a pac man cheesecake with a slice missing.  While that idea didn’t quite fly, I am making a pan of brownies (in some of my new bakeware!) for the house.  While plain ol’ brownies don’t really compare to Brownie Caramel Cheesecake, it is a start.  Maybe I’ll have to make another cheesecake for the house soon…


An Accidental Repeat July 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 12:11 am

We wanted to have chicken for dinner tonight.  We thought we’d look for a new recipe.  We both decided we’d search around and one of us would come up with something.  Ross sent me a link to a few recipes, and I chose one that sounded really good to me.  He bought the ingredients, brought them home and I started to cook.  About halfway through cooking, Ross commented that it was kind of similar to “that chicken dish we made for our parents”.  Yeah, I thought, it kind of is.  The more I cooked, the more similar it seemed.  I got out my recipe box and sure enough, it was the exact same recipe.


I guess when you know what you like, you know what you like.  I just didn’t know our memories were so bad.


Here is the link to the post from May 8 when we made Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic for the first time.  It was just as good this time.  I just wish I had the dessert to go along with it that I made in the other post!


Tomorrow I head to Raleigh and will stay at my sister’s.  From her house, I will head out at 6 am on Thursday to start my drive home to Rochester, NY.  When you are making a 12 hour trip North, it helps to start out in Raleigh instead of Sanford.  That hour makes a big difference.  On Saturday I will be in my best friend from high school’s wedding.  Sunday, my Mom is having a bridal shower for me with my family and hometown friends.  It should be a fun weekend, and I am sure I’ll be exhausted when I make the trip back on Monday. 


Enjoy the rest of your week!


Canneloni…or is it manicotti? July 21, 2008

Filed under: Entrees — lindsayrose @ 12:24 am

I had ground chicken that I wanted to use tonight so I searched for ground chicken on several different sites.  On one, I found a recipe for canneloni.  Although I didn’t really like that recipe, I decided that I did want to find a canneloni recipe to make.  I searched and searched, and I just couldn’t find the perfect one.  I finally found one that was close, so I decided to go with it and make some of my own changes.  By the time I was mid way through preparing it, I got to thinking… what is canneloni?  Is this still going to be canneloni the way I am making it, or have I turned it into manicotti or a stuffed shell?   I kept going, but when we finished eating what ended up being a delicious meal, I had to find the definition of canneloni to see exactly what made it that.  Here is what wikipedia says about it: 

Cannelloni is often confused with manicotti, the major difference being that manicotti are preshaped tubes.[1] In Italian, cannelloni literally means “large reeds” , while manicotti means “sleeve”. Although both terms are plural nouns in Italian, the English term is often construed as singular, particularly when used as the name of the dish. The term manicotti is more common in the United States, so the two terms have been used interchangeably.

So I guess we had manicotti?  Who knows.  Either way it was good.  Here is the recipe I used to start with, and below is what I did.



1/4 c butter (1/2 stick)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 c flour

1 1/2 t instant chicken boullion

pepper to taste

2 c half and half

1/2 c parmesan cheese


Melt butter in medium saucepan.  Add minced garlic and flour, whisk until lumps are out.  Add boullion and pepper.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1/2 and 1/2 slowly, whisking out lumps while doing so.  Return to medium high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Boil and stir one minute.  Reduce heat to low.  Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.  Set aside.



1 box manicotti (or you can make your own canneloni, but I was too lazy for that tonight!)

2 T butter

1 lb ground chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bunch green onion, chopped

10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained (I wrap it in an old dish towel to wring out all of the liquid)

1/2 c parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

small container ricotta cheese

2 eggs, beaten

Italian seasoning to taste, about a teaspoon

salt and pepper to taste

1 jar spaghetti saue of your choice


Boil water, add manicotti and boil for 7 minutes.  Rinse with cold water, set aside.

Melt butter, add garlic and green onion.  Add ground chicken, cook completely.  Combine with remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stuff manicotti with mixture.

Coat bottom of 9×13 pan with red sauce.  Place pasta tubes on top of sauce, top those with the white sauce.  Drizzle red sauce on top of that.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Broil for 2 minutes or so, until white sauce on top is golden brown and bubbly.  Serve with extra red sauce if you prefer.


Grilled Chicken along with Zucchini Casserole July 18, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Side Dishes,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 12:38 am

We are having a luncheon at work tomorrow and I wanted to make something that I hadn’t taken to work before.  This is a challenge, because like me, many of my co-workers love to eat.  We sometimes joke that we all feel like we put on 10 pounds when we started working there!  We find any excuse to have a luncheon… baby showers, new homes, teacher appreciation week, weddings, birthdays, and sometimes we have one just because we haven’t had one in awhile.  What better reason is there than that?  It’s always fun because everyone has a different style of cooking or baking and brings a different type of food.  I love to try other people’s recipes and have a huge plate with a sampling of a lot of different stuff.


Tomorrow we are celebrating a co-workers new home.  I am making a zucchini casserole, and decided to make one for Ross and I to have for dinner tonight as well.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite gifts of all time.  One year for Christmas, my sister made me a special cookbook just for me.  She used a photo album and put 4×6 index cards in each slot with a different recipe on each one.  The reason that this is a perfect gift is because my sister knows me so well.  Therefore, there is no need to weed through it as there are with other cookbooks.  They all sound great to me, because my sister chose them for me and she knows just what I like!  I am sure it took her forever to make it, but if you ever need a good gift idea that is very personal and inexpensive, I recommend it!


So, along with our grilled chicken marinated in our favorite Asian Toasted Sesame salad dressing, we will have this zucchini casserole.  And, I get to have it again tomorrow, along with lots of other great dishes made by my friends and co-workers.  It will definitely be something to look forward to at the end of a long and hectic week.


Zucchini Casserole

1/2 c margarine

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

4 c chunked zucchini

2 carrots, diced (I used a huge handful of matchsticks because it was easier)

1/2 c sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of celery or mushroom to make it vegetarian)

1/4 c milk

1/2 onion, chopped


Melt margarine and stir bread crumbs into margarine, set aside.  Boil zucchini chunks for 5 minutes, drain.  Stir in carrots, onion, sour cream, chicken soup, and milk.  Mix well, then add 1/2 of the breadcrumb mixture.  Mix well.  Pour into greased 9×13 pan (I always use an 8×8 pan or a round baking pan) and top with remaining breadcrumb mixture.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.


Tonight I added parmesan cheese in and mixed it around, then sprinkled a little on top.  I have also topped it with shredded cheddar in the past and that was good as well.  I’ve also added chunks of chicken into this and made it into a main meal.


In honor of my great cookbook gift, here is a picture of my sister and I taken a few summers ago.


Pasta Primavera with Italian Turkey Sausage July 16, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 12:16 am

I made this for dinner tonight and loved it.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I could eat pasta pretty much every night.  I love it.  Any dish that is remotely Italian or includes pasta is always high on my list of cravings.  We had some Italian turkey sausage and needed to find a recipe, so I went to my favorite site and searched.  This is what I found.


All of the fresh veggies in here make it a great summer meal!  I was afraid that all of the fresh stuff was going to make for a high grocery bill, but it wasn’t bad at all.  I made a few changes while cooking.  First, I added mushrooms to the veggies.  I can’t have a pasta primavera without mushrooms!  Also, instead of adding 1/4 c of olive oil after taking the sausage out, I added about 1/4 c of white wine to deglaze the pan and then about 1/8 c of olive oil.  Also, at the end of cooking the veggies, I added about 1/8 c of wine and 1/8 c of olive oil.  It gave it a good wine flavor and cut back on the oil at the same time.  Ross had bought some sort of tomato basil pasta nests and we used that instead of bowties.


We both liked it and plan to make it again!


Pork Chops O’Brien July 15, 2008

Filed under: Entrees — lindsayrose @ 10:54 am

Pork chops are oneof those foods that I either hate or love.  I like to have pork chops every now and then to get a different kind of meat in, but sometimes they can just be blah, or too tough, or just not all that great.  We’ve tried to find some pork chop recipes that are really good, so that we can look forward to having something different now and then.  I think it was Ross that found this recipe a few months back.  It is absolutely delicious.  He made it last night and made a bunch of changes, and it was even more delicious!  Here is the basic recipe:


Basically, take some frozen (but thawed, if that makes sense) hash browns and mix together with cream of celery soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, french fried onions and some salt and pepper.  Brown the pork chops, put on top of the potato mixture in a 9×13 pan, top with more cheese and french fried onions and bake.  The pork comes out really tender and flavorful and the potatoes are delicious.  Ok, so it’s probably not the healthiest meal in the world, but it is worth it!


We’ve made it with southwestern hashbrowns, which give it a kick and taste really good.  Last night Ross was using a little of every cheese we had in the fridge and put a dollop of cream cheese on top of each pork chop before topping with the cheddar cheese.  That was reallygood.  We also didn’t have any french fried onions, so he caramelized some onions in some balsamic vinegar and included those.  It gave it a hint of sweetness, which I wouldn’t have thought belonged, but it tasted good as well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and have fun playing with it to meet your liking!