Monday, December 3, 2012


The holidays just aren't the holidays for me and my family unless there is a healthy supply of Buckeyes available at all times.  In case you're not familiar with the term, it originates from the state of Ohio and their Buckeye tree, which produces and drops Buckeye "nuts" all over the place during this time of year.  The holiday treats bear a striking resemblance to their poisonous counterparts, so don't get them confused!
The Buckeye nut.

The tasty Buckeye treat.

Every year I make a ton of Buckeyes and my husband grumbles, mostly because he knows that if there are Buckeyes in our freezer, he will snack on one or two a day for the entire holiday season.  He claims that this is somehow my fault.  Figure that one out for me, will ya?

Anyway, here is the recipe I use.

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners' sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1.  In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

2.  Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

3.  Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

4.  Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

This is one of those recipes that is a pain to make, but it is so worth it, trust me.  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Penne a la Vodka

I mentioned on my main blog this morning that I finally made the Penne a la Vodka recipe that I had saved a few months ago. D is going to be gone for Valentine's Day and we didn't have any plans this weekend, so I decided to have an impromptu romantic dinner on Saturday night. This is definitely a great date night recipe, but could also be used during the week; its a fairly easy recipe!

I took the recipe from my friend, Aubrey, who got it from someone else, so I'll just post it for you and if you get the urge, go check out her blog here!


Penne a la Vodka

28 oz can crushed tomatoes
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced (I used a heaping TBSP of minced jarred garlic because I'm too lazy to mince my own garlic)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (a TSP was hot!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 box of Penne Rigate

1. In a large pot, boil salted water and cook pasta about 10-12 minutes.
2. In large, deep saute pan, heat olive oil on medium.
3. Saute garlic until soft, do NOT burn! If you burn it, throw it out, clean your pan and start over.
4. Add tomatoes and red pepper, cook down about 15 minutes.
5. Add parsley and vodka, cook alcohol out–about five minutes.
6. Add cream and turn down heat.
7. Toss in pasta, top with Parmesan cheese and serve!


That is it! I told you it wasn't a difficult recipe. Now, if you don't have plans to go out to eat on V-Day, make this for your hunny, or just for yourself if you're lacking a hunny.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My New Favorite Recipe Site!

If you haven't checked it out, you should! She takes regular old recipes and adapts them to be healthy (or healthier). She includes all the nutrition information on each of her recipes and she has TONS of stuff. Seriously, I could cook something from her site every single day.

The best part? Its delish!

So delish that I'm making one of her recipes for dinner tonight.

I am a big fan of stuffed cabbage rolls, but they are a pain to make because you have to cook everything, then steam the cabbage and then roll it all up and cook it again. I'm making Stuffed Cabbage Casserole. Sure, I still have to cook everything and wilt the cabbage, but after that, you dump it all into a baking dish and skip the tedious rolling process altogether!

Here's the recipe, straight from


Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

• 2 tsp olive oil, divided
• 1 lb. 95% lean ground turkey
• 1 large onion, chopped fine
• 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
• 1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
• salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
• 1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
• 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
• 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 cups cooked brown rice (I used instant)
• 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese (Sargento)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add ground beef and cook until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove ground beef and set aside.
In the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Add water to the pan. Simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes. While it simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves; chop the cabbage coarsely into 1 inch pieces.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and gently combine.

Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and the layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.

Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese (if using.) Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Serve hot.

Freezer friendly if you have leftovers. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then either microwave until hot or heat in the oven in a glass dish covered with foil.


I made a few changes, namely, I used ground turkey instead of beef and I didn't remove the meat after it cooked (because I'm lazy). I just dumped the onions and spices in and then added the tomatoes and water after the onions were cooked. I used instant brown rice, also because I'm lazy.

Lastly, I made two casseroles, one for dinner tonight and one to put in the freezer for another time, like when D is gone at training or something and I don't feel like cooking.

For the nutrition information you can go to and search for this recipe, or you can click on the recipe name above.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Rice Noodles

I'm not usually a huge stir fry person, but we got back from a trip and I didn't make it to the grocery store before I needed to start dinner, so I decided to try this recipe because I had all the ingredients on hand. We both really loved it. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry already because I make a lot of Asian food, but if you don't, all of these ingredients were found at my crappy, local grocery store in the Asian food aisle (other than the produce and frozen stuff, obvs).


Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Rice Noodles*

1 package Ty Ling Cellophane Rice Noodles
House of Tsang Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp powdered ginger (or fresh)
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 head broccoli, shredded
1 package Bird's Eye Frozen Pepper Stir Fry**
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 c dry roasted peanuts

Boil a pot of water to prepare Cellophane Noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with peanut sauce to coat.

In a large pan or wok over medium heat, heat sesame oil and add garlic and ginger. Cook for approximately 30 seconds, then add carrots, broccoli, and frozen vegetables. Increase temperature to medium-high and cook vegetables for about 5-10 minutes, until carrots are softened.

Combine noodles and vegetables in a large bowl and toss. Top with fresh lime juice and dry roasted peanuts. Serve immediately.


This was a quick and super easy meal and it was very filling. We had tons of leftovers! I was afraid that it would be enough for a full meal since there was no meat, but the noodles really cooked up and we had enough left over for both of us to have it for lunch this week. I should also mention that it was just as good reheated for lunch, so don't be afraid to make lots!

I'll definitely be making this again.

*I should mention that I adapted this recipe from another I found somewhere else (can't remember now) but I changed it so much that this is basically a whole new recipe!

**I've literally had these in my freezer for months, possibly an entire year. Its kind of like the pizza crust.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Greek Chicken Pitas

This is a delicious and fairly healthy recipe that I made last night for dinner. I blogged on my main blog about how one of my goals for 2012 is to eat healthier and use more portion control in my meals. I found this recipe a few months ago and never made it. I wish I had made it sooner! Its fantastic, and easy.


Greek Chicken Pitas

1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbs each fresh mint and dill leaves, chopped
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 lb chicken-breast tenders
1/2 English cucumber (seedless)
1 large ripe tomato
4 whole wheat pitas, cut in half

Combine yogurt, mint, dill, 1/4 tsp cumin, one-third of the garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Mix together 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tsp oil, oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp cumin, and half of remaining garlic. Coat chicken tenders. Grill or pan fry chicken for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

Cut cucumber and tomato into chunks. Toss with 1/8 tsp salt and remaining lemon juice, oil, and garlic.

Grill pitas, if desired, until toasted. Serve all together!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve and The Feast of the Seven Fishes

I haven't really talked about our Christmas plans on my blog because we don't have a ton of plans. We decided to stay here this year and spend Christmas just our little family. We are going to wake up in our own beds tomorrow morning and relax, eat, open presents and just chill. I can't wait. I will share my Christmas day menu with you all soon (after Christmas, obviously). With that being said, we're having some people over for dinner on tonight.

I wasn't too sure about making some big crazy prime rib or something (because I like cooking, but don't want to eff myself over and be the fool who ends up having to order out on Christmas Eve because something went terribly wrong).

I decided that something much easier, like the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner of The Feast of the Seven Fishes. In my apparently warped mind, this was more sane than the alternative. Ha! Now I'm making six seafood dishes (amongst various frozen appetizers) to serve our guests this evening. One of the guests is bringing a seafood dish, so I only have to make six recipes instead of seven (should lighten the load a little bit, at least).

Here's what I'm making.

Shrimp Cocktail (because I'm being lazy on this one)

Baked Scallops

Lemon Garlic Flounder I'm using Flounder instead of Tilapia

Chez Lorraine's Baked Salmon

Fried Calamari

Crab Cakes (I bought these pre-made from our local grocery store, so no recipe, sorry!)

As you can see, most of these recipes are very simple, but the ones I've made before are delicious and the new ones sound fantastic, so I'm excited to get to work in the kitchen!

I'll post an update after Christmas to let you all know that I survived what will undoubtedly be known as "Seafood Extravaganza 2011" or "The Christmas Beth Went Crazy" for generations years to come! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spicy Sweet Nuts

I made these nuts last Winter when I was craving some toasty nuts. They are very good, but the flavor is very strong. I could only eat a few at a time, which made them perfect for snacking. They would be great to serve at a holiday party!

4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Stir the salt, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Add the pecans and toss to coat. Drizzle the melted butter over the pecans; pour onto a baking sheet pan and spread into a single layer.

  3. Stirring occasionally, bake in the preheated oven until slightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts and stir to coat, bake until the nuts are glossy and slightly dark, about 10 minutes more. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before scraping into a bowl to serve.