Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's Cookin Wednesday - Beef Orzo with Feta

Another recipe from Laaloosh!



  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (96/4)
  • 10 oz whole wheat orzo
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 26oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. While orzo is cooking, spray a large skillet with nonfat cooking spray, and set over medium high heat. Add in beef and cook until mostly cooked through.
  3. Add in onions, garlic, oregano, cinnamon and salt & pepper. Sauté until onions are tender and beef is cooked all the way through.
  4. Pour tomatoes into skillet with the beef mixture, and cook, and turn heat to medium. Continue to cook, while stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  5. Toss beef sauce with orzo and place into serving bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tbsp of feta.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

My main squeeze really liked this - I thought it was a great weeknight dinner because you can make it so fast.  Next time I'll probably add green peppers or mushrooms.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Cajun Black Bean Rice Chowder

½  Red Onion (diced)
2 Tbs Garlic Powder
1  Kielbasa (diced)
4 Slices Bacon (diced) (eliminated)
3  15.25 oz. Cans  Black Beans
2  16 oz. Cans Refried Beans
32 oz.  Chicken Broth
1 Tbs.  Cajun Seasoning
1 Tbs.  McCormick Steak Seasoning
2 C.  Cooked White Rice
1 ½ C. Frozen Corn Kernels
Salt & Pepper

In a medium frying pan lightly cover the bottom with EVOO and sauté the onion, when tender remove the onion and cook the kielbasa and bacon. When the meat is brown place it along with the onion into a soup pot. Add the broth, beans and seasonings, let the chowder simmer for about 15 min. then season with salt & pepper and add the corn and rice. Cook for another 10 minutes until thick.
This was yummy!  I only used 2 cans of black beans and 1 can of refried beans.  Next time I might sub some different beans instead of 1 can of black beans.  But we WILL make this again!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Chicken Posole

Ingredients -
1Tbl olive oil
1 onion, thinly slicked
kosher salt & black pepper
1 32 oz container low-sodium chicken broth
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 dried ancho chili, thinly sliced, or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
1 15oz can hominy, rinsed
1 lime, cut into wedges

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and beginning to brown (10-12 minutes)

Add the broth, tomatoes and chili and bring to a boil.  Stir in the chicken and hominy and simmer until heated through, 3-4 minutes.  Serve with lime.

I thought this was ok.  Not great and probably not to be repeated.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Makeover Monday

As soon as I saw this piece I knew I wanted to show it some love!

Some repair work, custom paint and new handles bring this a new life!

This one moved pretty slow and other than wanting it out of the house as I was moving - I kinda was ok with that :-)  This turned out so cute!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What's Cookin Wednesday - Banana Bread

Sometimes, somehow - I have tons of bananas in my freezer.  I think this stems from the fact that I don't like bananas AT ALL if they have brown marks on them.  Just past green is my ideal ripeness!  So I went looking for a banana bread that was different from others I've made and this one made itself know :-)

1 cup dried fruits
1 1/2 cup of apple juice
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking sodea
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 medium bananas
3 Tbs of plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven at 350F.  Place dried fruits in a small bowl, add juice, close the bowl with a lid and microwave for 30 seconds.  Once the time is up, without disturbing the dried fruits, set the bowl aside for 15 minutes.  The dried fruits will drink up most of the moisture.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside

Place bananas, yogurt, vanilla extract and egg whites in the blender and puree everything for 10 seconds.

In a separate bowl whisk together melted butter and light brown sugar until well incorporated.  Add the banana mixture and whisk some more.

Carefully add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix with a spoon just until incorporated.

Drain the juice under the fruits and add 1/2 of them to the batter.  Add half of the chopped walnuts too.

Line a parchment paper on the bottom of a spring form pan and pour the batter in.  Decorate the top with the reamining fruits and with the rest of the walnuts.

Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until it turns pleasantly brown.  Cool for 15 minutes and un-mold from the spring form pan.  Completely cooled cake can be dusted with confectioners sugar.

I skipped the walnuts (not a fan) and yogurt (thought I had and didn't!).  Used two flavors of Craisins as that's what I had on hand.  I also used a regular loaf pan.  While this bread was done (clean toothpick!) it had a wet look.  I didn't find this to affect the taste :-)

I enjoyed the bread, but probably wouldn't make again.  The banana flavor didn't come through and the bread.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Makeover Monday

This is as good as it gets for a before picture - THREE different covers for this chair!

 I loved the color & character of this chair and simply gave it a new cover.  Oh how I wished my new house had a porch!

It hurt a little when the purchaser told me they were going to paint and recover it :-(  To each their own - off to a new home in a nursery for a new baby boy! (ok, maybe the color & material weren't the best for a boy's nursery :-))