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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Busy Busy Week ... Hubby requested Chicken And Dumplings with Dessert

OMG!  It has been such a crazy, busy week that I so forgot to post this.  Sometimes I think I'd forget my arms if I didn't use them so much.  

So last week we went shopping and I said to hubby, "what do you want for Sunday dinner?"  We've gotten back to the routine of eating at home now that things are somewhat settled and I have a working, stocked kitchen.  He didn't have an answer right away and with fall and chillier days appearing I wanted something comforting, hearty, and warm.  Beef Stew! (hint hint as it is only supposed to be 64 here in Chicago today)  Then out of the blue, hubby says, "what about chicken and dumplings?"  I thought great!  He finally requests something!  Very excited I start looking for the ingredients and try to remember what I might already have so as not to over buy.  I KNOW I need chicken.  WOW!  4 huge breasts, bone in, skin on, and just over $5 bucks.  That I can do.  The only other thing I know I need is cream of chicken soup.  So now I have everything I need so make Sunday dinner but it's Tuesday.  So in the freezer the chicken goes. LOL  So while trying to save time I roasted the chicken on Saturday while hubby was at work.  

Preheated oven to 350, placed chicken in pan skin side up.
Here's what I like to do.  Since I don't use the skin but want the chicken seasoned, have you guessed where I'm going here?  I pulled the skin back and seasoned the chicken.  You can use what you like but I used my Tastefully Simple spices Garlic Garlic and Onion Onion.  A sprinkle of dried thyme AND a couple grates of fresh nutmeg. Covered the chicken back up with the skin and popped it in the oven for 1 hr or until done.  I can't stress enough to always check doneness with a meat thermometer, especially chicken.  Temperature should be 165 when done.  Once done, take out and let cool to touch.  Now here is a trick for those of you with a stand mixer.  You know the one, the one that sits in the corner until you're ready to bake.  Well I pulled the chicken meat off bone, threw it in the mixer bowl, turn that puppy on and watched it shred my chicken.  Woo Hoo!!!!  Put it in the fridge for Sunday.  I only used 2 of the breasts so depending on the size of your chicken you can use them all or just 2.  Since mine were all frozen and defrosted together I cooked them all but refroze the 2 for a later time.

So here it is Sunday.  We were supposed to do this Saturday but hubby changed his mind and decided to rewire his speakers.  So this project got put off until Sunday.  And oh boy it was a project.  See we collect movies.  Hubby collects swords/knives and cool toys.  Well his words. LOL  I on the other hand ... read and collect shot glasses.  I think I get this from my great grandfather, especially since I don't drink. LOL  So after the 2011 flood we created a "media wall" to house some of his swords, toys, movies, and my books.  After the 2013 flood the "media wall" was destroyed ... but was it?  As we were throwing out the bookcases that made up the media wall I had an epiphany.  Let's re-purpose the shelves and even if it floods again we won't loose anything.  So Sunday we were putting up the "media wall" I was so thankful that dinner was a one pot meal.  LOL  Here was the result of all our work:

Not too bad.  Yes the collection has grown and his stuff isn't all out yet but 3 bins emptied.  Woo Hoo!  OK back to the meal!  Somewhat following the recipe here and making my changes of course.  

2 Chicken Breasts, shredded
1 16oz Chicken Stock
1 16oz Vegetable Broth
1 10oz Can Cream of Chicken Soup
3 Ribs of Celery, chopped
1 12oz Bag of Peas and Carrots
1 Medium Onion, chopped
Poultry seasoning and nutmeg to taste
1 Can of refrigerated biscuits
2 Tablespoons Flour

In a large pot or dutch oven, combined both stocks and cream of chicken soup.  Whisk together.  Add chicken, medium onion, celery, and seasoning.  Stir it up and let it simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes.  While that's working taking the biscuits, on a lightly floured surface, pat each  biscuit to about 1/8" thick.  Cut in 1/2" strips.  Drop each strip in individually stopping to stir.  Cover and let cook for 20 or until dumplings are done.

This was stick to your ribs so good!                                     Love to see a job well done!

And I even had time to make dessert, while making breakfast and hubby slept. ;0)  My BFF sent me pictures of her dessert.  They both were SO yummy.  This TS product can be made SO many different ways, even though just making it as directed is absolutely delicious.
Tastefully Simple's Absolutely Almond Pound Cake
Meet Tam, the BFF.  LOL  She did a blueberry almond pound cake by adding in 1 cup of fresh blueberries and adding 10 - 15 minutes to the bake time.  Of course the cake normally only requires 1 Cup Water and 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted.  I did a orange almond pound cake.  Tasted like a non-alcoholic version of an amaretto stone sour.  So good topped with a light orange glaze of powered sugar and orange juice.  Of course, you could use amaretto here instead of orange juice for the glaze.  I also replaced 2oz of the cup of water with orange juice and added 1 Tablespoon of orange peel.  It was the perfect ending to the perfect, productive day!

Remember to try and recycle/re-purpose things before throwing them away.  Sometimes it can come out better than you imagined.  As for dinner and dessert, try them all!  There is nothing like ending a productive day with a delicious, hearty, simple dinner and dessert. Whether you try the, what I like to call, Roasted Chicken and Dumplings AND/OR the Absolutely Almond Pound cake, your way, do try them.  Make them your own.  What better accomplishment is there to a delicious meal or dessert.  But remember whatever you make, whatever you change, the best ingredient to any recipe is you ... Enjoy!!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Working date night? French Bread Pizza!

OK can I tell you that, in my honest opinion, my BFF Tammy makes THE BEST french bread pizza I ever had!  Now being Italian that's saying something.  And lately I have been CRAVING it!  Since we don't live just a couple houses down anymore, it's not easy to beg her to make it for me. :0)  On top of the fact that I think secretly my husband is a pizza junkie.  I swear EVERY weekend he mentions pizza.  Problem is none of the pizza places around us thrill me.  I guess I spoiled myself with my homemade pizza and nothing else will do.  Add to it we HAVE to finish getting organized here.  We still have stuff in boxes from moving back in the house after the flood repairs.  And have stuff to consolidate since we got rid of our storage unit.  Yes I KNOW it sounds like a lot and sometimes seems very overwhelming.  So our plan was to put up our shelves to empty 3 more bins.  But we have to eat.  So why not calm the craving with something quick?  Oh yeah!  You guessed it!  French Bread Pizza!!!

The thing about it is that it's YOUR pizza so make it YOUR way!  Hubby's never made it so he watched and then made his.  LOL  It all starts with the ingredients.  Check your pantry, check the fridge, and run out and get what you don't have.  
Here's what we used:

 I know, I know!  People say there isn't much difference between regular marinara sauce and pizza sauce.  I say for me I like a pizza sauce.  It's thicker than regular marinara but use what you like and what you have.  I love this sauce and use it whenever I make my homemade pizza.  Pretty simple ingredients.  I forgot to pick up bacon, so bacon pieces would have to do in a pinch. ;0)  So what do you do?  Load it on!  However you like it!  Pretty simple right?  Though I do recommend if you are going to put on onions, peppers, or mushrooms you give them a quick sautee.  I did mine separately but you can do them all together.  I love garlic, and thankfully so does hubby so I sprinkled the peppers and mushrooms with a little TS Garlic Garlic while they were cooking.  I also used my TS Roasted Garlic Infused Oil and lightly basted the bread before piling on the ingredients.  My last ingredient was a sprinkle of TS Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto seasoning.  Gave it a little something.  Hubby likes it pretty simple.  So while he used most of the ingredients, he skipped the sprinkling of seasoning, which is fine by me.  LOL

Then pop it on a baking sheet and bake in 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Once you see the cheese is melted, which won't take long and since everything else is already cooked you're just looking to melt the cheese and warm it all up.  You can take it out now OR do what I did and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to get that nice brown, crispy cheese.  
Like I said ... quick, easy and we were putting our shelves up in no time!  It wasn't my BFF's french bread pizza but it was VERY tasty and calmed the craving!  I'm hoping she makes it soon ... otherwise I will have to resort to making this again!  Of course I don't think hubby will be complaining.  So raid the fridge and pantry!  Pile on what you want!  Pizza is only limited by your imagination and this definitely is not a budget buster!  So make what you like, however you like as for this pizza there really isn't a recipe.  But the best ingredient to ANY dish is you ... Enjoy!!!!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mushrooms and Farro? You heard right ....

First let me give props where props are due!  THANK YOU SO MUCH Anne from Webicurean for the recipe for Farrotto (Farro Risotto) with Mushroom Medley.  Well not just for the recipe but for answering my questions too. :0)

So it starts like this.  I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across a pin for this and thought "OK there's a recipe I could try."  See I used to watch Food Network RELIGIOUSLY!  And I would see Giada De Laurentiis cook with farro so many times but could NEVER find it at my local market.  So I TOTALLY gave up any thought of being able to not only TRY this wonderful grain, er uh well the definition is still not clear, but to be able to cook with it.  Then while at this neighborhood market, the light shown down, and there it was.  OK it wasn't as dramatic as all that but I was at a neighborhood market and while strolling down the international aisle there it was.  Italian Peralized Farro!  YAY!!!!  Now what do I make with it.  So for the last couple weeks this has sat in my pantry while I tried to figure out what to make with it.  Then when all hope was lost, while scrolling through Pinterest I spied this recipe.  It seemed the perfect side to go with the pork end chops and roasted carrots I was making.  BUT, you KNEW that was coming right?  While reviewing the recipe, I of course had to make some tweaks, and noticed that it called for white wine.  My small problem?  I don't drink so I don't have nor know how to pick out wine.  *sighs*  Maybe I will just have to go back to the drawing board.  Nope!  I WANT to make this!  I have all the ingredients, even with my tweaks, darn it!  So I messaged Anne, can I replace the wine with stock I ask.  Yes was the answer.  Woo Hoo!  So here is what mine looked like!

I KNOW!  Looks darn good right?!  I didn't deviate much from the original recipe.  But I did make some changes.
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1/2 Small Onion, minced
1 Teaspoon of TS Garlic Garlic
6 oz Crimini mushrooms, sliced (These are also called Baby Bellas)
4 oz Button mushtooms, sliced
6 oz Shiitake , sliced 
Sprinkle of salt, this draws out the wonderful juices of the mushrooms and onions.
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 Cup Farro,soaked overnight*
2 Cups Each Chicken and Vegetable stock, heated
½ Cup Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, melt the butter and EVOO. 
Add the shallots, sprinkle with TS Garlic Garlic and saute until soft. 
Stir in the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and cook until tender. 
Add in thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat the EVOO in a medium saucepan, and stir in the farro, tossing until well coated and slightly toasted. It will release a nutty sent when it's toasted.
Add the 1/2 cup of stock, and simmer, stirring, until absorbed. 
Add the stock about ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition and simmering until the liquid is absorbed.
When there’s only about 1 cup of the stock remaining, stir in the mushroom mixture, add another ½ cup of the stock, stir, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until done. 
Add the remaining stock if necessary. 
Stir in the Parmesan cheese, and serve.

*Note: If using pearled or pre-cooked farro, soaking overnight can be skipped. 

If you find or order this grain this is definitely one to try.  I have twin sisters, one would NEVER try this dish.  She doesn't like mushrooms!  WHAT!  Who doesn't like mushrooms?  *sighs* One of the questions for the universe. LOL  And another said the house smelled really good!  Of course the smell was really good but the taste was DELICIOUS!  Hubby had 2 helpings and asked if he could have the left overs for Saturday's work lunch.  Love when compliments are in abundance!  Try Anne's recipe or mine, or better yet make it your own!  You are only limited by your imagination!  Use a different combination of mushrooms, use fresh herbs instead of dried, but no matter what you change or which recipe you use remember the best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spaghetti Squash not just for marinara!

Wow!  I am getting so excited being back here and being able to blog again!  I so missed it.  Writing, cooking, baking, and researching are such an outlet for me!  Mom always said I should be a writer. LOL  Now I know that men go right for the recipe, they don't want all the fluff.  Well the fluff is funny, or serious. Anyone can post a recipe, my fluff isn't just about me but can be very useful information. ;0)

So here's my fluff for today!  We were shopping the other day and I saw that they had the spaghetti squash on sale.  Now last time we had it I think the only reason hubby ate it was because I cooked it.  Nice reason but I wanted him to like it!  I want him to skip the carbs sometimes or at the very least lessen them.  So I got the look when I picked one up but figured I would try again and hopefully get a better result.  I just didn't want to do the same old "throw some marinara on it, it's just like spaghetti".  Umm not!  Well you can but I wanted hubby to want to try it again.  So researching options I found a wonderful recipe that I thought I would just have to try.  Prevention's Spaghetti Squash Casserole!  Looked and sound good but I wanted great!  So with my few little changes I made the recipe my own and made it DELICIOUS!  MY health nut brother tried it and said it was " Really Good", talk about compliment.  Now I can't wait for hubby to try it!
A lot of my changes are more to layering flavors.  I LOVE when you carry a flavor throughout the food, especially when doing a casserole or one pot meal.  To me it is very important while others might think that layering of different flavors is better.  This is wear YOUR tastes should be asserted. :0)

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
Sprinkle of Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic
Couple grinds of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400
Coat baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Season squash and place cut side down on the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife or fork.
Let cool until you can handle.
Using a fork, scrape and separate the squash strands into a large bowl.

1/2 lb Lean Ground Chuck
1/4 lb Decased Italian Sausage
In a medium skillet, fry up meat until done.
Strain and set aside in large bowl you will be putting squash into.

Here I used the grease that was created by the meat since there wasn't that much or you can use 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium carrot, peeled cut in half and sliced.
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped  (I didn't have garlic so I used 2 teaspoons of my TS's Garlic Garlic)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup medium diced baby bella mushrooms
2 baby or 1 small pepper of your choice (I used 1 yellow and 1 red baby peppers)
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) 1% cottage cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
3 Tablesppons dried parsley
3 tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs (I ground up some cheesy garlic croutons and used those)

While the squash is cooking, warm the oil or use left over grease from meat in a medium skillet set over medium heat. 
Add the carrots and sautee for a few minutes (3 - 4 as they don't have to be totally cooked because it will go back in the oven.)
Add the onion, garlic, and basil. 
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. 
Add the tomatoes and cook for and additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is dry.
Remove from heat and let cool down.

To the bowl with the squash, add the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parsley, and the onion mixture. 

Stir to mix. Pour into the prepared 13 X 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  (I used the shell of the squash to bake it in.)

Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

It not only tasted delicious but smelled REALLY good while cooking.  It definitely has less carbs and more vegetable in it.  And with the cheese the kids will never know they're not eating real spaghetti.  Please give it a try and let me know what you think.  I'm thinking maybe next time to try a tex-mex version.  Well off to get more squash! ;0)  Try it at home, change what you will but remember the best ingredient to any recipe is you!  Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm Back! And there's nothing like updating a favorite!

Hi Everyone!  So sorry I haven't been on in a while!  Life has been VERY chaotic!  Less than 3 years ago our town flooded, April 18th of this year it flooded yet again!  Our poor house had 12 - 14 inches of water in our living space.  Thankful for insurance but oh the work.  First clean up, then deal with the insurance company, then pack up what you have left that could be salvaged, add to it getting the repairs done, and FINALLY unpacking and buying new stuff to make everything livable.  Moving in back into your family home was fun at first but when you realize you really have no space to call your own, you get very depressed.  Plus you have to work around people that already have a pattern and live there.  Not easy or fun!  Oh but let's add to the chaos!  I know I mentioned about starting a business in one of my last posts.  Well I did!  I am not an Independent Consultant for TASTEFULLY SIMPLE!  Yes I started it while I had no home to speak of.  ;0)  So you will see some recipes added with products from their line, like this one!  I will also include my website if you're interested in ordering any of their products.  Let me tell you I had my Grand Opening and it took longer to shop for the stuff to make the samples from the party kit, bake or refrigerate them, or even clean the house.  The products make it SIMPLE!  Plus the website has 100's of their own recipes that you can browse for ideas!  I know I know!  I preach making it from scratch but when you don't have time these are so worth it.  The products themselves taste like their made from scratch but add your own tweaks and no one would EVER be able to tell. 

So that being said ... during this chaotic time a lot of quick, easy dinners or take out was done.  Trying to cook in someone else's is so hard!  So finally kitchen back together, with a stocked pantry and refrigerator.  Woo Hoo!  It's go time!

With it being hot the last couple days and trying to eat healthier I was trying to make something that was yummy and healthy.  Of course it decided to get cooler today but that so did not change my plan.  Actually make a slight change and still got the yummy!!!!

Who doesn't love a BLT?  What's not to love?  But let's update it a little!

Above is my updated version of a BLT!  It's a Chicken, bacon, tomato, lettuce wrap!

I roasted the chicken using Tastefully Simple spices of Garlic Garlic, Onion Onion, and Bacon Bacon.  See they're so good you have to double the name. LOL  Since the spices have salt already in them I just added some fresh ground black pepper and roasted at 350 for 45 min to 1 hour.  Make sure chicken is done by using a meat thermometer.  The chicken's internal temperature should be 165.  Once done remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Once cooled, grab a fork and start shredding.  I used 2 chicken breasts for us since I wanted some left overs.

Lemon Basil dressing
1/3 Cup Olive Oil Mayo
2 Tablespoons of Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/2 Teaspoon of TS Garlic Garlic
Whisk all of the above ingredients together and chill for 1/2 an hour.  You can add more lemon or lemon zest, fresh basil, or garlic to taste.

Fry and chop up some bacon or you can take the easy route and just buy real bacon pieces.  This is all to taste of course but about 3 - 4 slices should do it!

Mix the chicken, bacon, and 1/2 to 3/4 of the lemon basil dressing together and set aside.

I chopped and seeded the tomato and used Boston or Bib lettuce for the wrap.  I love the texture and this lettuce makes it easy to use as a wrap.

I served the extra dressing on the side because I don't like my salads heavy or soupy with any kind of dressing.

We had a side of broccoli, cauliflower, and orzo pasta.  Lite, healthy, and SO yummy!  It really is a must try.  Hubby liked it so much he asked what other kinds of lettuce wraps I could make.  NICE!   

Please try this even if you don't follow the recipe exactly.  It will definitely be one that everyone can enjoy!  But no matter what you change, whether you use a different dressing or just straight mayo the best ingredient to any recipe is YOU!  Enjoy!!!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Banana Bread .... And breakfast for the Sunday

It's funny how much hubby and my Dad have in common.  There other day my Dad requested banana bread no nuts, he is so not a nut lover.  Now hubby LOVES my banana bread with nuts, pecans to be precise.  So bought some bananas, then some extra at hubby's pout for bread as well.  Since I was making it and all.  Then set them out and let them get "old" because that is when they make the yummiest bread.  As I made the bread I thought what are we going to have for breakfast tomorrow.  Oh yeah, not just banana bread but french toast orange banana bread.  Yes you read that right ... though I can't provide you with a picture right now I just know that it will be awesome!!!!!

Banana bread is just one of those things that I love to make.  Hubby puts butter on his slice, I like mine plain.  Of course I try to change it up a little and see what works best.  Here is the banana bread that stayed home.  Hubby's with pecans and then tomorrow's french toast banana bread.  For Dad's, you can just imagine it without nuts. LOL

This bread is so moist it doesn't need the butter, but hubby won't part with it.  I think it's a comfort thing.  I've had this recipe so long and have changed it so many ways I don't even remember where I got it from originally.  
Banana Bread
3 - 4 Medium Bananas, a little over ripe makes the tastiest bread.
1/3 Cup Unsalted butter, melted
1/2 Cup Brown sugar, dark of course
1/2 Cup Granulated sugar, if you don't want to use brown sugar you can use 1 cup of white.
1 Large egg, beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch or 1/8 of a Teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Nuts, chopped (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease loaf pan, can use spray.
Mash bananas.
Add butter and sugar, mix well.
Add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
Stir in nuts.
Pour in loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Pretty easy and I didn't even use my Kitchen Aid for this one.  What I call the regular one, the one with pecans as it is the standard, was made using pecans and followed the recipe exactly as listed. If you've read any of my other posts you know I just can't leave it at that.  :0)  So for our french toast bread I used 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  I also added in a 1/2 teaspoon of orange peel since I will be adding orange extract to the egg mixture for the french toast tomorrow.  I also did 1/4 cup each of sunflower seeds and pecan pieces.  Gotta make sure hubby has his pecans.  Oh and I also added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Yum cinnamon!  

The bread is always good by itself but I SO can't wait to try it tomorrow with the added orange flavor.  Oh and I will be baking it so I won't have to use butter or oil to make it.  Now to have ham or sausage?  LOL!!!  Please try this recipe.  If you have kids, get them into the kitchen with you.  If you don't have kids you can get your best friend, sister, nephew or nieces, hubby just get someone to come and make some memories with you.  This is definitely an easy one to share and for remembering the fun as time goes on.  Change the recipe to include your favorite nut(s), try it using whole wheat flour, but remember no matter what you change or how you change it the best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Need to find something different .....

Hey everyone!!!!  Life has been a little nuts lately.  Lots going on.  But life does not stop but it does become chaotic.  That's what happened today.  Haven't been sleeping well lately so went to bed early last night and got up late this morning, but feel no more rested.  But guess what I forgot to do???  That's right take something out for lunch. EESH!  So open up the freezer and go OK I have polish kielbasa in the freezer.  *sighs*  Don't get me wrong I love polish sausage but get tired of eating it the same way all the time.  Boiled, grilled, or fried.  Add to that the same old traditional sides *yawns*.  

Then I jump online and Google Recipe Generators.  You plug in something in that you have and it gives you a bunch of recipe options.  So I go through two different sites and nothing that made me sit up and go that sounds good.  

Tried the third site.  So I started paging through the recipes.  Quite a few pages.  Just as I'm about to give up, YES!  This is what I want!  But will hubby like it? Hmmmm....  the recipe's pretty simple and shouldn't take long but I need to make some changes.

1 lb. Sausage cut into chunks
1 cup Rice
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup Water
4 Medium Carrots, cut in bite sized pieces
1/3 Cup Broccoli Florets
1 Tablespoon Celery Flakes
1 Teaspoon Tastefully Simple's Bacon Bacon
Salt and Pepper to taste
(Note:  I omitted using salt.)

In skillet place all ingredients listed, stir together, cover and bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until rice and veggies are done. 
Let sit 5 minutes, serve.

See simple, quick, and in hubby's own words "You can make this again."  What better recommendation can you get, especially after his comment after seeing it being made he said "you expect me to eat that?"  It was just the twist I needed to the same old same old.

Try this for a quick, fulfilling dinner.  Change up the veggies as you or your family like.  Pair it with a salad for added veggies and balanced meal.  Nut no matter what recipe you use, no matter what you change, the best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!!!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finding inspiration in wonderful places!

I got an invitation to try something and since there is a way around the major obstacle I had, I'm going to give it a try.  Rosemarie, a wonderful friend of mine, suggested I come to a meeting with her for Tastefully Simple.  I had been to an online meeting, and won a gift I might add, to become a consultant but still couldn't commit.  I am SO glad that I went, so I am going to try something new.  There's nothing wrong with it and I'm pretty sure I can be successful at it.  I KNOW I can be successful at trying new things with their products.  And would it shock you to know that I already have some ideas? LOL

Now I was out most of the evening yesterday and came home to a share post on Facebook from a friend showing a recipe that I know I definitely wanted to try.  Since I just received my prize the other day in the mail, what better way to combined things?  So the recipe was for Honey Garlic Pork Chops by Blog Chef and thought YES!  Then I went searching for a side.  I just bought some sweet potatoes and what better side to go with pork chops???  I found what I was looking for on Lady O's blog.  Baked sweet potato pancakes.  Can't forget the veggie so made hubby's favorite!  I wish I had known before I married him that he preferred peas to corn, *sighs*.  LOL

The result was a delicious lunch!  I of course had to make it my own, and there was nothing wrong with that!

For the Pork Chops:
1/4 Cup Chili Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar, sweet and smoky flavor
1 Tablesppon + 1 Teaspoon Honey
1/8 cup Light Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Granulated Garlic
I used 2 Pork Chops BUT now have left over sauce.

Combined chili sauce, ketchup, dark brown sugar, honey, and granulated garlic.

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a shallow pan season pork chops.  I used a couple shakes of Tastefully Simple's Bacon Bacon, pepper, and basted the pork chop with sauce.  
*Hint: Spoon the sauce on and brush it over the chop.  If you contaminate the sauce by putting the basting brush in the bowl after basting the raw meat cook it for a few minutes and then it can be served or can be stored for later use.
Cook meat at 350 for 15, turn over, and baste with more sauce.  Cook another 15 - 20 minutes.  Make sure temperature is 145 and chops are done.  

I like to throw them under the broiler for a few to get a little bit of a crust from the sauce.

For the Sweet Potato Pancakes:
1 Large Sweet Potato peeled, and shredded
1/2 Medium Onion, shredded
2 Large Eggs, beaten
3 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease cookie sheets.  I used spray.
Mix ingredients in bowl.  
Drop by 1/4 cup on cookie sheet. 
Cook 15 - 20 minutes, flip and cook an addition 10 - 15.  Keep in mind that there is natural sugar in these potatoes so they can burn if cooked too long, but will definitely get a nice crisp on them.  And I'm glad I added the rosemary.  It added a nice earthy taste to the pancake.

Then tying it all together peas sprinkled with 2 teaspoons of the Tastefully Simple Bacon Bacon seasoning.  I love using a seasoning on my veggies as I don't have to worry about salt, as it's already contained in the seasoning.  No extra fat from butter as you've flavored your veggies, so don't be shy to try seasoning them.  All of these were REALLY good.  Hubby didn't even wait to put the pancake on his plate.  You can serve them with toppings if you like, most use sour cream or applesauce, but we liked them just fine by themselves.  And don't be afraid to season them any way you want.  Follow Lady O's using garlic, salt, and pepper.  Try using cinnamon and nutmeg.  Try using other savory herbs, but whatever you try, however you change it remember that the best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!!!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Breakfast to Dessert ... It was a Yum day!!!

Hey there everyone!!!  It has been a full day.  Full of food, good times spent with hubby, and laundry.  OK so it was only 3 loads but wash, dry, fold or hang up, and put away.  That's enough for me.  Of course it all started with breakfast and I have to say that I truly think hubby loves me for my imagination.  Neither of us had any ideas for breakfast.  I remembered picking up a can, yes I said can LOL, of Roast Beef Hash.  I had not seen that in FOREVER and hubby wanted to try after asking, "Does it tastes different than corned beef hash?"  Sheesh!  So I did not want the normal, fried up hash with eggs over easy.  So how to make it with a twist?  Easy peasy! 

This is where your imagination comes in handy, add whatever you want.  I know simple to say.  I sauteed up 1/2 of an onion chopped, 1/2 cup chopped red and green peppers, then added 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed.  Mixed it with a can of Roast Beef Hash then pressed it into a pie pan.  Baked in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Lowered oven to 400.  Cracked 4 eggs, topped it with a 1/2 cup Mexican cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of dried cilantro and parsley and popped back in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until eggs are set and cheese is melted.  It was definitely a twist on just a can of roast beef hash and hubby appreciated the extra time it took to make.  I loved all the flavors as they mixed well together.  

Then there was dinner.  I already knew what I wanted to have as we hadn't had it in a while.  I usually make Chicken Stir Fry but I had some beef in the fridge and wanted to use it before it became freezer burned.  Then it's just yuck!  So took it out to thaw.  In between laundry, then I had the brilliant idea to head out to the dollar store.  Only to come back have to make dinner.  That's okay because hubby did most of it.  I cut the stuff up and added it to the pan while he stirred.  And while he was doing that, I was able to make dessert.  Oh yes, I made dessert.

This was pretty simple, throw whatever you want in a pan and cook it.  I know it sounds really simple but that's the great thing about a stir fry, you can add whatever you want.  I happened to have some frozen stir fry veggies but when I say I like a lot of veggies I mean it.  Then I add some extra cauliflower and broccoli.  I had some cans of bean sprouts, baby corn (hubby's favorite), and water chestnuts (I love the crunch). Threw in some extra shredded carrots.  Seasoned the meat with some granulated garlic, pepper, salt, and Chinese Five Spice.  Sauteed an onion in peanut oil.  Tossed in 2 teaspoons minced garlic.  Seared the meat.  Tossed in veggies.  Cooked up some pasta, I used buccatini.  Made a sauce of 2 cups low sodium beef stock and 3 tablespoons cornstarch and cold water.  Poured it in the pan, covered and cooked for about 10 minutes and serve.  Pretty easy and VERY tasty because it's everything you like.  I LOVE when my veggie ratio is higher than my meat ratio.  So while hubby cooks it all up, after I've chopped it all up, I make dessert. 
Dessert was pretty simple as well and VERY tasty.  I found the recipe on The Cutes and Scoots Show!  I adapted the Grandma's Famous Pistachio Pudding Cake recipe.  Since my pudding was not sugar free I adjusted the sugar, changed the Crisco to softened, unsalted butter, I guess maybe it would be easier to just put the recipe here. LOL

3/4 Cup Unsalted butter, softened
1 Cups Sugar
1 Box (4 Serving) Pistachio Pudding Mix
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1 1/4 Cups Cold Water
2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Lemon Peel
1/3 Cup Chopped Pistachios  Of course these are absolutely optional, we just love nuts!

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, lemon peel, and extract until light and fluffy.
Add water, pudding mix, flour, baking powder, and nuts.
Beat at low speed until blended.
Beat at medium speed 2 minutes.
Grease bundt pan, I gave it a quick spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Add a dollop of whipped cream and it was well worth the effort.  It was moist and so flavorful, with a little crunch.  

No food coloring added here.  The cake was just the perfect ending to the day.  Now to figure a way to keep hubby's fingers out of it.  Next I have to make banana bread for my Dad.  It has been requested.  There are definite pluses to a large family, you never have a dull moment and always get tons of requests.  Hubby's favorite is my banana bread as well but Dad's is without nuts while hubby's is with.

Please try some of these recipes.  They are definitely worth the effort but most are very easy, not very time consuming, and SO delicious!  But whatever recipe you try, and no matter how you change it, remember the best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Easter treats ... your everyday ones

Hey Everyone!!!!  So I know it's Tuesday AFTER Easter but I was busy moving stuff around to get our new cable/internet/phone installed. Trying to find ways to cut back and this was one of them.  40 bucks is definitely a help.  I'm going to start with showing you the treats I made for Easter to share with the family.  I know, I mentioned in my last post that my poor sister Christin has been without sweets for 40 days but I do believe I hit her sweet tooth just fine.  And they were ALL something new, yes I say new even if I used the same recipe twice. 

This recipe can be found in the blog named I promised you something sweet ... Boy do I deliver and with few ingredients!  I made these using carrot cake cake mix and added about 2 tablespoons of minced carrots and strawberry cake mix Cool Whip cookies.  They were SO SO yum.  Put them in a lidded container and open the lid and POW!  The smell of strawberry hits you and makes your mouth water.  Spicy, delicious carrot cake in a light, fluffy cookie?  Oh boy!  You REALLY need to try these!  I have a new found love of cake mix when making these cookies.  

Then there was the cream puff recipe Tammy, my BFF, found for me to try.  I did try, just to see how easy or difficult they were.  And they weren't too difficult.  Knowing how easy they were to make, I changed my mind and went searching.  Decided I wanted to do chocolate cream puffs with a banana "mousse" filling.  I had everything I needed to make chocolate cream puffs, now to find a recipe.  So I ended up using one I found at adding 2 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and changed the sugar to 1 Tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon.  The cocoa powder for mine was 1 dark and 1 milk chocolate(s).

I have include pictures of the process.  Hubby, who watched me make them, got a little concerned when I added the eggs and it looked like it was breaking down.  His actual comment was "they look like really thick worms".  Not something you really want to hear about something you're making but I told him not to worry.  Now I will admit.  This was the second batch that I made.  The first one, did not turn out well.  I THOUGHT that I could make them all at once on two separate cookie sheets.  But KNOWING that I have to turn the tray or switch them half way through I DID NOT think about adding extra time to allow the oven to come back up to temperature.  Needles to say, they did not rise well.  Actually they were pretty flat.  *sighs*  So I decided NOT to try that again, so I made them one tray at a time as they made 16 of them.  Yes that WHOLE tray of finished product was made with one batch of dough.  Oh and when I went to buy more banana pudding, the store was out. Grrr!  So I found sugar free cheesecake pudding, used sugar free Cool Whip and viola ... cheesecake "mousse" filling.  So really your sugar content is pretty low on this one.  

Dessert was definitely light enough and yummy enough that you didn't walk away weighed down.  Definitely time to investigate ways to make other flavored cream puffs.  Now that I'm making homemade coffee creamer, which is conveniently cheaper than buying store bought and quite yummy if you do it right.  ;0)  I will definitely make that one of the posts.  I have discovered a few things.  Try the cream puffs though, really!  They are yummy even not filled.  No matter which one you try to make, no matter if you try you make your own flavor, remember that best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Decisions, Decisions All based on trial and error

I was cruising Pintrest today and my phone went off, text message from my BFF Tammy.  She pinned something that she thought I should try for Easter.  Nice!!!!  Something new to try.  
I guess I should tell you something about me, I never try something new on the day I'll be serving.  Never!  So who benefits from the testing?  Anyone that's close. Usually hubby, which he totally appreciates, and anyone home at my family home.  Unfortunately my sister Christin is out of lucky until Sunday.  See she gave up sweets for Lent.  Eek!  In that time she has missed 3 birthday cakes and anything I make that's sweet.  Needless to say she has not been a very happy person lately.  Thankfully it will be over for her soon.  She has requested the brownie in a mug as of 12:01 on Sunday.  LOL

This holiday I did not ask what anyone wanted for dessert this time.  I usually do but I usually get the same results.  Something I've made countless times.  So when Tammy sent me that text, she will never know how thankful I was.  Now I've never made these before so it really is trial and error.  Easy peasy cream puffs.  I do mean easy, if you heed the instructions.  Which I must say I did not.  *sighs*

I did fix it and they came out very tasty but there are somethings I will be changing the next time around.  The pin was from Lille Punkin.  And for once I really did follow the instructions without changes and this was the result.

The first thing I must stress is to follow the listed saucepan size.  When she says small, she means small.  I would not recommend doing it in anything bigger than a quart sized saucepan.  Anything larger and you will have a difficult time figuring out when the dough pulls away from the pan.  

This recipe makes 6 - 9 puffs.  I recommend just using your tablespoons to drop the dough, quick and easy.  

Then there is the filling.  This time I used banana pudding, which it turned out wonderfully.  I didn't have a can of Rediwhip so I made 1 cup (8oz) whipped cream and folded that into the pudding.  I liked it but I like mine a little thicker, richer more like a mousse texture.  So next time I will use 1 cup milk and 8oz Cool Whip.  I know, bad Melody!  But I do like the texture better.  Oh and FYI, when I use a pudding if it's not sugar free I will use a sugar free Cool Whip as not to add any extra sugar to the dessert.  I like sweet but not tooth hurting sweet.  I also used my silpat mat instead of parchment paper and it worked just fine.  I filled one without cutting and one after cutting.  Either way it works.  Just be careful if filling without cutting it open.  Blow outs are possible.  You can use whatever flavor pudding you like.  You can top them with some extra whipped cream.  If you use chocolate pudding, you can top with some chocolate syrup or a dusting of cocoa powder.  If you do a vanilla I would recommend a caramel syrup.  Oh yum!  I haven't decided what flavor pudding I'm going to do for Sunday, but I know that these will definitely be on the menu.  So THANK YOU TAMMY for find this and pinning it for me!!!!  Can't wait to see how yours turns out. ;0)   Please make these, they are light and fluffy and so yummy.  Plus being easy to make, makes it great for a last minute dessert.  Whether you make them for Easter Sunday or just because, no matter what pudding you use or whether you use whipped cream or Cool Whip, remember that the best ingredient to any recipe is you.... Enjoy!!!!   

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I promised you something sweet ... Boy do I deliver and with few ingredients!

Hi everyone!  I know I promised you something sweet.  I know lately my posts of recipes have been more savory than sweet.  And I knew I was going to have to post something for you all soon, THEN hubby complains there's nothing sweet in the house.  I counter with yes there is, there are cookies.  He said NO YOU'RE SWEETS!  Really?  So I went pinning today and found on a blog I follow, Six Sisters' Stuff (, a recipe for Lemon Cool Whip Crinkle Cookies (  Now that I've made these cookies and I can tell you they are light, fluffy, chewy, addicting, and messy.  LOL 

And YES!  You read that right, COOL WHIP cookies.  I was skeptical at first then continued to read their blog and the following comments posted.  So I figured what the heck.  I had everything but the cool whip and would just pick that up at the store.  But I must note, have I ever told you how much I despise using box cake mix.  It will do in a pinch BUT I figured since I have no children at home and am baking something for the people I love then it should be made from scratch.  Yes I could have looked for a recipe for what "cake mix" I decided on but I happen to have some on hand.  

We went S E A R C H I N G for this cake mix everywhere when we were making hubby's birthday cake last year.  For those of you that don't know or don't remember, he wanted a dreamcicle cake ( the only recipe that I could find said if you could find it to use orange supreme cake mix.  We could not find it anywhere!  So as luck would have it, we were taking care of my nephews for a couple days out in Plainfield, Illinois and low and behold, at their local Mejier, what do I spot in the baking aisle?  Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Cake Mix!  AND it's on sale!!!  So since I have it and hubby LOVES orange more than lemon, I figured that's what I'd make.  Of course it is such a simple recipe what could I possibly change to make it my own?

So since mine are made with orange cake mix, I'm calling mine:  Orange Cool Whip Cookies
1 8oz tub Cool Whip, thawed  I used sugar free to lower the sugar content a little since they are covered in powdered sugar.
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 18.25oz Box of Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix (You can substitute your favorite cake mix here, FYI I might just buy another one to try a different flavor! LOL)
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest for the lemon I would do lemon zest.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease baking sheets.  I did not grease mine I used my silicon mat.
Beat together the whipped topping and eggs.
Add the zest because once you get the cake mix in it gets thick and sticky.
Add the cake mix and continue to mix. Dough will be thick and sticky.  
IMPORTANT!  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  If you don't have to let the cookie sheets cool in between, put the dough back in the refrigerator.
This is where things get a little messy:  Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners' sugar and roll to coat or use a spoon to roll them around.
Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. 
Bake  for 9-11 minutes.  
Cool on racks.

You will be tempted to try and eat them warm.  They are so good!  Nice and light.  Chewy.  I didn't miss the extra sweetness from the Cool Whip at all.  Definitely one to try different cake flavors on, so now I will simply say these cookies are my exception to the rule of using box cake mix.  ;0)

So try it for yourself.  Use your favorite cake mix, whatever that may be.  I might try a spice or carrot cake mix next.  Hmmm .... YUM!  In the meantime remember that no matter what cake mix you use, or how you change it up the best ingredient to any recipe is you ... Enjoy!!!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Memories with a twist ... It's all in the sauce

I remember when we were younger, Sunday dinners with family.  All that Italian food.  What memories it brings back!  But how long ago that all seems.  I was feeling a little nostalgic today, but wanted to do it a little different to make my own memories with hubby.  
As of late I have been trying to make things a little healthier, which means more veggies. I don't mind the veggies and so it seems neither does hubby.  When I think Sunday dinners I think spaghetti with garlic bread and meatballs or Italian sausage.  So that's exactly what we had.  Well almost!  I did say I wanted to add more veggies right?  And I so didn't have garlic bread, so that wasn't an option.  One would think.  I was looking to make a quick sauce but didn't have any crushed or fresh tomatoes.  But that didn't stop me.  There is nothing wrong with semi homemade, sometimes it can be better than made from scratch. It all depends on you and your imagination.

So today I made my imagination AND our tummies happy.

Bucatini with a chunky veggie pasta sauce, Italian Sausage baked in tomato sauce and fire roasted peppers, side salad, and garlic Parmesan mini monkey bread.  Oh yeah!

For those of you that don't know, bucatini is a long, thick pasta that has a hole running though the center.  I like this one because it give the chance for the sauce to get in the center of it so your yummy sauce is all the way around the pasta.  
Let's start with some recipes:
Chunky Veggie Sauce
24oz Jar or can of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Barilla Garlic and Mushroom)
8oz Tomato sauce
8oz or 1 Cup of water
2 Cloves of garlic, minced   I used 1 teaspoon of minced garlic in olive oil from a jar.
1 Tablespoon EVOO
2 Medium carrots, chopped
1/2 Medium onion, chopped
1/2 Zucchini, chopped
1/4 Cup grated parmesan
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning  I used seasoning mix from Key Ingredient. ( minus the red pepper flakes)
Put EVOO in sauce pan and saute the carrots for about 5 minutes stirring to make sure they don't burn.
Add garlic, stirring often so it doesn't burn and turn bitter. This should only be for about 2 - 3 minutes.
Add onions and zucchini.  Saute for about 3 - 5 minutes.  You want them to be tender but not mushy as they will continue to cook a little in the sauce.
Add pasta sauce, tomato sauce, and water.  Stir until blended.  If you feel that the sauce is still a little to thick add more water to thin it out.  We LOVE a thick sauce.
Add seasonings and Parmesan stirring until blended.  Bring sauce to a bubble and turn down to a simmer and let it cook for about 20 - 25 minutes.  
Don't forget to check your seasonings. 

Now for the Garlic Parmesan Mini Monkey Bread
This recipe was adapted from Eat Cake For Dinner (
1 Can Butter Flavored Grands Biscuits
5 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted
1 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasonings
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan + 1 Tablespoon to sprinkle


Cut biscuits into 6 pieces and place in a bowl.
Combine remaining ingredients.
Pour over biscuit pieces.
Gently toss to evenly coat.
Place 6 pieces in each muffing cup.
Sprinkle remaining 2 Tablespoons of cheese over the top of each muffin.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Serve warm.  Makes 8.

Italian sausage needs no recipe, wrap them in foil.  Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and as many  jar fire roasted peppers that you want.  

Side salad to add more veggies to the meal, along with some cannellini beans.  Figured I'd throw them in because they're low in fat, high in protein and fiber.

A little more total carb then I'd like in one meal but it was so good.  I love that the sauce had so many veggies in it and was very clean tasting.  Definitely stood up to the memories of long ago.

If you like a little more garlic, feel free to add more.  But remember to taste your sauce as you go along so you don't over do it.  Some people don't realize that some flavors get stronger after they have cooked and had a party in the pan.  Try these recipes together or separately.  Change what you want, add what you want, or omit what you want.  These a recipes that can be easily changed.  Doesn't matter what you do to them as long as you enjoy them.

Desert is spumoni ice cream ... so no baking this time for me but I SO see something sweet in the near future.  So make sure to keep your eyes open for it!  Not sure what it will be yet ... any suggestions?  LOL

In the meantime remember that no matter what you change, or how you change it the best ingredient to any recipe is you ... Enjoy!!!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Twist On Salmon Patties ... Tuna Cakes

We're close to Easter which means Lent is almost over.  It's hard to not always eat the same things when you feel like your options are limited.  But they are only as limited as your imagination.  My problem is hubby.  LOL  I truly believe that he had a bad experience with fish when he was younger, and now he won't eat fish that isn't breaded and fried.  On top of that he doesn't like any kind of sauce.  Imagine a McDonald's Fish sandwich no tarter sauce.  Who does that?  LOL  The one thing he will eat is my salmon patties, at least I think so.  I made them once for myself while hubby and my nephew ate shrimp.  They tasted my patties and now I was left with 1.  So not right, but was VERY excited that they liked them.  So I thought hey salmon patties but I guess I already ate the salmon, darn!  So I went look because I definitely have cans of tuna, can't I substitute?  I can!  After reading several and discarding I came across a recipe for Tuna Cakes from Life Currents ( but I wasn't interested in the tuna cakes recipe, I was interested in the Come Back Sauce.  I have seen it mentioned but never had it explained so that I understood what it was.  So I copied the recipe to make it, even though I'm SURE I will be eating it alone.  Then kept searching for a tuna cake recipe that interested me.  I just cant see putting mayo in the recipe for tuna cakes, might as well eat tuna salad.  So I came across the recipe from Skinny Mom for Skinny Tuna Cakes and these sounded doable.  (  Then I went looking for a side.  I know I wanted one with veggies in it and I wanted it light.  Nothing like mac and cheese. Not potatoes.  Rice maybe?  I found what I was looking for.  After reading the reviews I had to try it, Skinny Taste's Broccoli and Orzo (  Of course I had to make minor changes to it all, just to make it my own.  It was definitely delicious and hubby had seconds.  
Come Back Sauce
1/4 Cup Mayo (I used Hellmann's made with olive oil)
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Chili Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Granulated Onion
1 Teaspoon Worchestire Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Mix together and let set over night in fridge so the ingredients can have a party together.  
It is definitely a come back to it sauce.  The original recipe calls for oil, which I omitted because the mayo was made of it and hot sauce as we don't eat spicy food.  

My recipe for the Tuna Cakes:
3 5 oz cans Tuna, drained I used tuna in water but your choice.
3/4 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (which is basically celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, and paprika)
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
1/4 Teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Peel
1/4 Teaspoon Dill
Mix ingredients in small bowl.  Measure out about 3 tablespoons of the tuna mixture (I used a scooper) and roll into a ball.
Let set for 5 minutes in fridge.
Place in lightly sprayed non-stick skillet.  Flatten slightly with spatula and cook until golden brown, about 5 - 7 minutes, and flip.  Repeat.

Veggie Orzo Side
6 oz, a little less than 1 Cup of Orzo Pasta  I used Barilla Omega 3 pasta
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Broccoli as I didn't have fresh
1/2 Cup or 3 Small or 1 Large Carrot
4 Cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped  I used minced garlic from a jar that is stored in olive oil (2 teaspoons is equivalent to 4 cloves)
3 Tablespoons EVOO  I used 2 as my garlic contained olive oil.
Salt and Pepper to taste  I substituted using McCormick's Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper in place of the salt as it contains extra spice along with salt.

Steam veggies until firm but tender.
Cook pasta following package directions, don't forget to salt you water.
Drain pasta reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
In the pan you used to cook the pasta, add EVOO and once the oil heats up and starts to shimmer add and sautee garlic until fragrant.
Add veggies and seasoning sauteing for a few minutes.
Add pasta keeping it wet using the reserved pasta water, for about 3 - 5 minutes.

It was quick, easy, and mighty tasty.  And I love that it had many vegetables as well.  Hubby never said anything about all the vegetable this time.  Next time I think a squeeze of lemon after it's done ... I bet I could get my BFF, who dislikes all seafood, to try this.  OK maybe if I cook it for her.  *snickers*  So try it for a quick dinner and take the leftovers for a healthy lunch.  I'm lucky enough to get to eat the left overs over another salad and it's something I'm REALLY looking forward too.  Oh and hubby's sauce issue, not so much with this one.  Complained that I put it on the side instead of on the cakes.  ;0)  So please make these, either all together or individually and let me know how it tastes.  Add what you like or change what you don't.  But remember no matter what you change, or how you change it the best ingredient to any recipe is you .... Enjoy!