Yummy Italian Pasta with Tilapia!

 So I was sitting there wondering what I should make for dinner?  Of course as usual I had forgotten to take meat out to thaw on time for dinner, but I remembered I had frozen Tilapia which can cook quickly frozen.  I was pondering this when my daughter told me she felt like having some type of Italian pasta.  I thought… can you make pasta with fish?
So I looked it up and sure enough their were tons of recipes, but none was exactly what I was wanting so I took a couple of ideas from a couple of different recipes and then I added my own ideas also :-)  
It turned out so Yummy!  So yummy in fact that my husband who does not normally like fish had 3 helpings!  And it was a nice light summer meal, but yet very filling.
I hate posting pictures of food because it does not like as good in the picture as it does in person, but I thought I better give you an idea of how it looks.
So here is what I did :-)

about 5 Tilapia fillets
one small onion chopped up fine
a couple of cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon Parsely
 1 tablespoon Oregano 
1 tablespoon  Basil
2 cans of Italian tomatoes
1/4 cup cream cheese
cup of frozen spinach
oil as needed in the cooking process
A 16 oz package of pasta (whatever you kind you like)
First bring  a pot of water on the stove to boil (for the pasta) and turn the oven on to broil (for the fish).  In a deep skillet saute onions and minced garlic in a couple of tablespoons olive oil at  medium heat on the stove.
After the onions are cooked down add the two cans of diced Italian tomatoes (or you can used Italian stewed tomatoes instead.) Next add all the herbs and let it simmer.  while that is simmering place Tilapia fillets on a shallow cooking sheet drizzle with oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper and season salt then place it in the oven to broil. (Add your pasta to the boiling water if it is ready at this point.)  I don’t know an exact time the fish are done under the broiler I just keep checking them until they look moist but flakey.  Once they are done I add all the fish to the skillet mixture and mix it together (the fish naturally flakes off into chunks).  Next I stir in  the spinach and cream cheese and I let it simmer together until everything is mixed in and heated through.  By this point your pasta should be done so you drain it. Spoon the Tilapia mixture over the pasta, sprinkle  Parmesian or Feta cheese on top and enjoy!
I would love to hear back if you tried this meal and what you thought of it :-)

Quesadilla Maker Pancakes!

Hi people :-)
I have not posted in awhile….. it seems :-/  
I have been concentrating most of my energy right now on my garden.  I just put my Tomato and pepper plants in the ground and I planted almost all my other stuff about a week and a half ago and it is fun to see all the little baby plants coming up :-)  In my next post I will share with you what I have been doing with my garden this year.
Enough about my gardening fetish and lets move onto Pancakes!

I saw a while back someone somewhere  talk about how they make pancakes in their Quesadilla maker and I thought to myself, Don’t I have a quesadilla maker?  So entered my dark cave (garage) where I store all  my rarely used appliances and sure enough there it sat way up high on a tall shelf where it has literally collected dust for about 3 years maybe 4?

 I had forgotten I had it!  I could have used this all this  last year as my 3 year old has begged me for quesadillas for lunch.

I wanted to also try this IHOP pancake recipe I found on pinterest;.  I thought it would be fun to try them both out and have breakfast for dinner.

They were so Yummy!  I doubled the recipe and after a family of 6 people ate this is how much was left pictured above.  I also added blueberries to half the batch.  What I liked about them is they reminded me a little bit of heaviness of German pancakes, but with a lighter texture. I also found these smaller triangles were perfect sized for my 3 year old who cannot normally finish a big pancake.

Some tips:.
1. spray your Quesadilla maker with cooking spray before you pour the pancake batter in.
2.  I poured about a 1/4 cup per triangle section.
3. Cook for about 2 min.  It gets pretty hot so check it at about a min and a half and poke the fattest part.  if batter oozes out you know you need to shut it and cook a little longer. But I found two minutes was pretty perfect except for the batches I made with blueberries had to go a little longer than 2 min.
4. You can pull it out as one big pancake with triangle sections still attached per each persons plate. or break it up in smaller triangles like I did for people to take as much as they wanted.  I did find that people ate 5-6 triangles(besides the 3 year old she had two)  so it came out to about the same.
5. For the pancake recipe I did not have buttermilk so I just added 2 tablespoons of vinegar per 1 and 1/4 cups of milk. since I doubled my recipe It was 4 tablespoons of vinegar and 2 1/2 cups of milk. I still added a little more milk than they said because the batter was still a little heavy and thick

So if you have a Quesadilla Maker that you have not used in awhile, or have debated if it needs to go off to the thrift store.  Try using it for other things besides Quesadillas :-)  Every time I type the word quesadilla I hear the way Napoleon Dynamites grandma says quesadilla :-)

New favorite!

Ok, I’m all about simple these days and I ran across a SIMPLE donut recipe the other day on Pinterest and, when Publix had their Pillsbury Grand bisquits on sale, I knew I just had to try them.

Sorry about this picture. I can’t figure out how to get it turned the right way. :-{

These were so easy and SO yummy, we’ve now made them twice! Check out the website here for the directions on how to make them. I did modify the directions a little – instead of letting the donuts cool and then dipping them in melted butter before dipping them in cinnamon and sugar, I just took them out of the oil with a fork, letting the excess oil drip off, and put them directly into the cinnamon and sugar. I figured, why add the extra calories and fat, right?? The cinnamon and sugar stuck to them perfectly. Go ahead, go make some. You know you want to! :-)

Easy Fish Tacos !

So I decided this week our dinner menus would come from some of the Pinterest meals I’ve been collecting.  I went shopping today for all the ingredients that I needed.  And I decided tonight to start with something simple since I had such a busy day.  I decided on  Fish Tacos  Yay!  These were so simple and yummy :-)  I found the recipe at Behind the Bites.com.  Since they had such a fantastic picture of the process of making their tacos I did not bother taking any pictures of mine, but I will tell some changes that I made with mine.
#1 Instead of shrimp I made Fish Stix because my husband does not like shrimp :-/ but it would taste great with either.
#2 In my sauce instead of jalapenos I used green chili salsa.
#3 I wanted to make mine more like Cafe Rio so  I used packaged cole slaw veggies.  I also added some lettuce in it.
#4 I topped mine with crumbled Mexican cheese.
They were so yummy!  and easy :-)

Orange Cream soda Ice cream!

Saw this on pinterest and had to try it :-) 
The pictures below I took when it was at a sorbet stage, but if you want it like ice cream you need to run your ice cream machine longer until it is thicker. 

Orange soda

                                                                         Root Beer

2 liters of  orange soda (if you want root beer float ice cream you can use root beer)
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
throw it in your ice cream maker and you get a yummy treat!

It turned out really good, but I am curious how it would taste if I did real juice?  I am going to try that next time and and come up with something that tastes more like an orange Julius  :-)

Dinner rolls

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
 I slacked at my plans to post Thanksgiving recipes all week :-/  I have been crazy busy making Nativity puzzles for my Etsy store.  I have been getting orders about every day.  I have 3 puzzles I want to have ready to go by tomorrow!  So I will be spending my Thanksgiving day working on finishing them. 
I am going to my Sister In laws for Thanksgiving and I have been asked to bring the rolls.
I have several roll recipes I like one of them being my moms, but I especially like my neighbor Shauna’s rolls :-)
So I thought I would post her recipe.  also I never got to the Turkey My mom had special ways to make a perfect Thanksgiving Turkey. She always said that you need to bake a turkey breast down so the fat and juices from the back settle into the breast and make it more tender.  She had other things she did, but when she passed away she took that knowledge with her.  So I found this link that is very similar to her way of roasting a Turkey so it is what I have followed for the last 3 years. 

Now onto the roll recipe!

Shauna’s dinner rolls

2 cups scalded milk (or better yet, 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup hottest tap water!)

¾ cup warm water

1 cube margarine, melted

***(you want the temperature of all the above liquids to be 90°-100° or about baby bottle temperature. So if you scald the milk or overheat the margarine, use cold water instead of warm water etc.)***

2 large eggs

½ cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

4 cups flour

2 Tbs. yeast

Add the ingredients in the order listed above, whisking in the eggs and adding the yeast on TOP of the flour (to shield it from the salt). Add 3-4 more cups flour, a ½ cup at a time until the dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead for 7 minutes. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Squeeze off balls of dough about 2 ¼ inches in diameter. Place about ½ inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400°. Cover dough with warm wet towel and let rise about 20 minutes or until double. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter and cover with a towel until serving. Here’s a little video to show you how Shauna shaped the dough balls!

Wild Rice Cornbread Stuffing

So today I am posting my sister Jana’s Wild rice cornbread stuffing recipe.
My mom had really yummy stuffing, but I have to admit I like my sisters just a little bit better 😉

Here is my sister Jana with her wonderful husband!
She is the third oldest in our family and was and still is the peace maker.  She and I were really close growing up. We shared a room even though I was the youngest and she was one of the oldest.  She is an awesome cook and wonderful mother. She also has the most loud and contagious laugh out of anyone I know :-)
Jana’s Wild rice cornbread stuffing recipe
 Make the wild rice the same as on the package, separately.
Cut up onion and celery and simmer with the water for the corn bread stuffing until tender.
 Add the bread as usual.
 Combine the cooked wild rice with the completed stuffing and drizzle on turkey drippings until the stuffing is the right consistency.
That’s it!  Easy and yummy!

Mom’s Pumpkin pie!

I was lucky growing up to have the most motherly,  homemaking kind of mother! 

This picture below is was very typical!  A big family of kids and grand kids and Mom/Grandma in the middle keeping everyone happy :-) But that is what gave her joy! (She is the one in the white shirt in the middle.)
 My Mom and Dad a few years before she died of cancer.
We had the best childhood because of  our wonderful parents :-)
I’m the littlest one in this picture and Paula is the one with the really short skirt 😉
We have 6 kids in our family, This picture was taken sometime in the late 70’s of us 4 youngest girls and our dolls.

My mom was a fabulous cook because she grew up on a Potato farm in Idaho and decided that she preferred doing all the cooking for her family instead of working in the potato fields.  So she started cooking as a young girl. So with Thanksgiving coming I think of my Mom and her wonderful Thanksgiving meals!  My sisters pictured above are also wonderful cooks So over the next week I am going to post some of my Mom’s recipes and other family recipes from me and my sisters  that always make our Thanksgiving Dinners super Yummy!

So first off Mom’s Pumpkin Pie!
This recipe was passed to her from her Mother and I don’t know where it came from before her, but it is wonderful!  I have the best memories about this pie.  We would eat our Yummy Thanksgiving meal until we were sick and thought we would pop!  and then a few hours later (Maybe just a couple 😉  We would break out the pie with homemade whipped cream!   Then for the next two days we would live off Turkey sandwiches made with the super yummy leftover homemade rolls my mom would make and left over turkey and left over pumpkin pie :-)  Those were the days when I could eat what ever I wanted and nothing happened to my body shape!  Those days are long gone, but it does not keep me from gorging myself at Thanksgiving still :-)  Two keys to what makes my Mom’s pumpkin pie so good is #1  Don’t add cloves!  She said that is what makes other pumpkin pies taste too strong.  #2  She used winter squash (usually grown from our garden)  instead of canned pumpkin it gives a nicer flavor, but we have used canned pumpkin before and it tastes really good still.  so with out further ado here is the recipe I don’t have picture yet, but I will post some when I make my pies in the next few days, but just trust me!  This recipe tastes so yummy!  It is the only pumpkin pie my family will eat!

Mom’s Pumpkin pie recipe
(makes 3 pies) heat oven to 350

4 cups squash or pumpkin
4 cups  rich milk
1 cup white sugar
1cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp all spice
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl (blend well)
Pour into pie pastry plates.
Bake 45-60 minutes or until the center bubbles.  (  bubbles mean big rolling movements in the center of pie.  It almost looks like something is moving around inside the pie. ) It also works best if you put tin foil around your crust edges so they don’t over bake.

Mom’s Pie Crust

3 cups flour
1 cup Shortening
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp B.P.
3/4 cup water (add more if needed to make a more workable dough)

Roll out barely thin  and place in pie plate cut off excess dough from edges and then flute the edges.