I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Slow Cooked Root Beer Pork

Original recipe from Allrecipes.com. My husbands FAVORITE thing in the world is root beer, so when I saw this recipe online, I knew we had to try it. We served this with a light salad on the side and for a hot Summer night, it was perfect. And what's easier than throwing 2 ingredients into a slow cooker for 6 hours?! I don't think I can find a simpler, better tasting dish. By the way, this definitely doesn't taste like root beer. The soda just makes it tender and a tad bit sweet.

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 6 ounces root beer
  • 1/2 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 2 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Shred pork using 2 forks. Stir in BBQ sauce and serve on hamburger buns.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Asian Noodles with Veggies and Pork

This recipe is a Weight Watchers recipe, from "Simply Delicious," page 77. Rice noodles can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store, usually near soy sauce and Thai foods. You can substitute angel-hair pasta or vermicelli, but they require a bit more cooking.

This recipe needs something...more soy sauce, maybe some fish sauce, or cayenne, I'm not sure exactly what. The noodles were perfectly cooked, as was the pork and veggies, but it was lacking in taste. Smelled fantastic though, which is what's baffling. I'll definitely try it again, but I'll be upping the spice mixture. More heat, more garlic, and maybe some onions as well. Overall, it was good, but not great.

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp vegetable/olive oil
  • 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, sliced crosswise and cut into thin strips
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 of a 7-ounce package thin rice noodles
  • 8 cups hot water
  • 1 (1/2 pound) head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used broccoli instead, as I am not a fungus lover!)
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped (I used red pepper instead)

1. Whisk together the broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil in small bowl.

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in large nonstick skillet or wok, over high heat, then add pork. Saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to a bowl. Wipe skillet clean.

3. Meanwhile, plunge the noodles in the hot water. Let stand 10 minutes; drain.

4. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in skillet, then add cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook until cabbage begins to wilt and veggies are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the pork mixture and the broth mixture; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the noodles.

Serves 4

Nutrition Information - 5 points
232 calories, 6g total fat, 1g sat fat, 36mg cholesterol, 358mg sodium, 28g total carb, 3g fiber, 16g protein, 51mg calcium

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Margarita Fish Salad

We were in the mood for something Summery, light and flavorful, so I thought a fish salad would taste good. I found this recipe for Margarita Fish on another foodie blog and adapted it to my own dish. I used Tilapia instead of the original Salmon, and served it over a bed of mesclun for a lighter dish. I also added a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, lime juice, crushed red pepper and oregano. It was really flavorful and perfect for a Summer evening.

  • 1 tbsp. tequila
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 package mesclun salad or any lettuce mixture of your choice

1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Place tilapia fillets in a shallow baking dish. Generously brush with marinade. Cover dish; refrigerate 1-3 hours.

3. Heat gas grill to medium and place salmon on grill. Cook 8-10 minutes until fish begins to flake, turning once. (I don't have access to a grill so I baked the fish in the dish with the marinade, for 15 minutes at 350.)

4. Place 1 tilapia fillet atop a bed of lettuce and drizzle with oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Original recipe courtesy of Gillian's Goodies.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

White Chocolate Blondies

I'm not normally a fan of white chocolate, but I have a lot of customers (from my brownie business) who request them for non-chocolate lovers. They're soft and slightly chewy and just a bit sweet. For someone who doesn't love white chocolate, I have to say these are damn tasty!


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy.

3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.

4. Bale for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Spicy Garlic Lime Pasta with Chicken

A little bit spicy, and a lot garlicky, this dish was really good. I marinated the chicken overnight and it was so flavorful and tender. The sauce takes about 10 minutes on medium low to thicken, so be patient. The end result is well worth the wait! And when you add the marinade to the pan, don't do what I did and second guess the recipe. I thought it looked like too much liquid, so I only used half. Bad decision, it would've been so much better with all the marinade! And make sure your pasta has some ridges for the sauce to cling to. My penne was smooth, no ridges or anything, and the sauce just slid right off.

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1.5 tbls lime juice
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbls butter
  • Few drizzles of olive oil
  • 8 oz pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
  • 1-2 cups broccoli florets
  • Optional - Parmesan cheese for topping

1. Mix all marinade ingredients (chicken broth through parsley) together in bowl or ziplock bag. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and toss into the marinade. Let chicken marinate in fridge a minimum of one hour (I marinated mine overnight).

2. Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 5 minutes of pasta cook time add the broccoli into the boiling water. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Remove chicken pieces from marinade (setting marinade to the side) and place in heated pan. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Pour the marinade into the pan with the chicken and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until thickened.

4. Toss cooked broccoli and pasta with the chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired and serve.

This recipe originally from Krashed24's blog.

Sesame Chicken

This is one of hubby's favorite foods to order whenever we get Chinese food, so I decided to do a bit of web-surfing to find a recipe he would like. The texture of the chicken in this one is awesome. I served it over white rice and it was delicious!

Recipe Modifications

This was a little sweet for us, so I would probably cut the honey in half. I'm also interested in trying it with orange juice instead of honey, for an orange-sesame chicken. I had lots of flour left over, and would recommend using 1/2 cup flour instead of a full cup. I added about 1/4 of an onion, sliced thin.

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. toasted sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 package chicken breast strips, cut into chunks
  • 8 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 6 tbsp. honey
  • oil for frying

1. In a large ziplock bag, combine flour, 1/4 c. sesame seeds, black pepper, red pepper and Chinese spice. Place chicken in bag and shake to coat.

2. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Place chicken into skillet and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

3. Remove chicken from skillet and empty excess oil from pan. Reduce heat to low and return chicken to skillet. Mix in teriyaki sauce, honey and 1/4 c. sesame seeds, and stir until sauce thickens.Serve over brown rice.

This recipe originally seen on Krashed24's blog.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

This is originally a Rachel Ray recipe for meatballs. The only difference is that she cooks hers in sauce and I bake mine, adding sauce later.

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk (or water)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 to 6 ounces mozzarella (cut into 20 - 1/2 inch cubes)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In medium bowl, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk.

3. Add the beef, garlic, parsley, parmesan cheese, egg and 1 tsp salt to the soaked breadcrumbs and stir with a fork until combined.

4. Use a cookie scoop to scoop each meatball. Place a chunk of mozzarella in the center, then put meatballs into lightly greased 8 x 8 pan. You can fit about 20 meatballs of this size into the 8 x 8 pan.

5. Cook at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve with pasta and sauce of your choice.

This recipe originally seen on Krashed24's blog.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Garlic Scallop Broil with Feta

Hubby and I love seafood, especially scallops. I used to only make garlic scallops and linguine, but now I'm branching out and trying new recipes. These were really easy to make and the scallops were nice and tender on the inside. The light salad on the side makes this meal great for Summer time because it's light and flavorful, without leaving you feeling disgustingly full.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 8 sea scallops
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese


1. Preheat the broiler. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet, then add garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add tomato paste, chicken broth and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.

3. Add scallops and simmer until just opaque in the center, about 3 min per side. Stir in scallions and parsley.

4. Top each scallop with feta. Broil until cheese is lightly browned and melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve with vegetable salad of chopped cucumber, tomato, diced onion, mozzarella cheese and scallions. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette and fresh pepper.

Serves 4.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Best served with brown rice, this sweet and sour pork is a quick and easy variation on an old classic. Marinate the pork the night before to speed up cooking time and enhance the flavors.

Originally from Weight Watchers, Cook it Quick!

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 pound boneless lean pork loin, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut in strips
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup drained, canned pineapple chunks (save the juice!)


1. Mix hoisin, brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger in medium sized plastic container. Add the pork. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, turning occasionally.

2. Heat large nonstick skillet or work. Add oil. Stir-fry bell pepper and scallions until softened. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

3. Add pork to skillet, reserving marinade. Stir-fry pork until browned, about 3 minutes. Add marinade, pineapple and pineapple juice (I use about 1/2 the juice in an 8 ounce can of pineapple).

4. Stir-fry until pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Return vegetables to skillet and heat to serving temperature, about 2 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

Pasta with Kale and Sausage

This dish works best with Rotini, Farfalle or any other "short" pasta (linguine, spaghetti, etc don't work well with this dish). I had never cooked with kale before this dish, and have now found that I love the taste and texture of it. The recipe calls for turkey sausage, but I've also made it with turkey kielbasa, chicken sausage and regular sausage. The turkey sausage will lower the fat and cholesterol in the recipe and you won't really notice the difference in taste, from the real deal.

This recipe is originally from Weight Watchers, Cook it Quick!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded green bell pepper (or red, yellow, orange, whatever you prefer)
  • 3/4 pound Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed (I usually use spicy sausage instead of mild. Spicy gives this dish the kick that it's otherwise missing with mild sausage.)
  • 1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped (don't chop it too small as it will wilt when cooking)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (I get the Italian style with added basil and garlic)
  • 1/2 pound pasta shapes

1. Spray nonstick skillet and set over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper and sausage. Saute, breaking apart the sausage with a spoon, until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is browned.

2. Add the kale in handfuls, stirring as each batch wilts. Add the water, then cook, partially covered, until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and heat the mixture through.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in serving bowl. Add sauce and toss to combine.

Rosemary-Garlic Baked Chicken

This is a super simple way to cook a moist and flavorful chicken breast. I usually serve this with a vegetable medley of round potatoes, sliced cabbage and broccoli tossed with sesame oil, old bay seasoning and crushed red pepper. It's virtually effortless, and takes just minutes to prepare.

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 chicken breasts (I use skinless, boneless)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Combine onion, vinegar, oil, mustard, rosemary, garlic and salt in small bowl. Mix gently with fork.

3. Place chicken in baking pan. Spoon the onion mixture on top of the chicken. Bake until the chicken is browned and cooked through (do not turn), about 30-45 min depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Moroccan Meatball Stew

This meal definitely has a homecooked feel to it, but it's a little bit fancier. The flavors are rich and bold and the texture is really nice. They'd make a great appetizer if you made smaller ones and served with a toothpick.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2.5 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish

1. Combine beef, veal, 1 tbsp of cilantro, 1.5 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 24 one-inch balls (I use a cookie scoop for this, so they're nice and even).

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add oil, onion and garlic. Saute until softened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in tomato, tomato paste, water, 1 tbsp cilantro, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper; bring to a boil. Add meatballs, reduce hat and simmer covered, until meatballs are cooked and sauce thickens, about 30 min. Garnish with parsley before serving.

We served it with egg noodles, though couscous or a vegetable medley would also work nicely.

** photo coming soon **

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

If you're a fan of German Chocolate Cake, you will love these cookies! They taste just like the cake, but are much easier to eat. The frosting actually gets put on the cookie BEFORE baking, so once they're in the oven, there's no frosting, no decorating, nothing but enjoying the wonderful cookie.

Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk choc chips
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cup flour


  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecan
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter
  • 2 egg yolks beaten

1. Add butter and chocolate chips in a small pot over medium low heat. Stir until melted and smooth.

2. In a bowl, mix sugar and eggs. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla.

3. Stir melted choc until it's warm, but no longer hot. Add to mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

4. Add flour and mix well. Dough will be stiff and a bit crumbly. (I did this in my KA mixer and it was a lot easier than by hand!)

5. Cover dough and set aside while you make frosting.

6. Combine sugar and coconut in food processor. Mix with steel blade until coconut is in small pieces.

7. Add chopped pecan. Cut butter into 4 chunks and add to processor. Process until butter is in small bits.

8. Separate yolks, place in small dish and whip with fork. Add to processor bowl and process until thoroughly incorporated.

9. Preheat oven to 350 with the rack in the middle position.

10. Chill frosting while oven preheats. It will make it easier to work with (I put it in a piping bag first, then in the fridge to chill).

11. Use cookie scoop to make 1 inch balls, or use a tablespoon to make them this size.

12. Place balls on greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet. press in the middle of each cookie to make a small indentation (dip thumb in water so it doesn't stick to dough).

13. Pipe small amount of frosting in each indentation (maybe 1 to 1.5 tsp of frosting per cookie)

14. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

15. Cool on sheet for 2 min and move to wire rack to finish cooling.

yield 5 dozen

** Photo coming soon **

Curry Chicken & Naan

A very easy dish to make and a darn tasty one to eat. The mango and curry work really together to create a smoky sweet dish. We served it with frozen Garlic Naan from Trader Joe's. Really easy to make and delish! Yes, that's me, channeling my arch enemy, Rachel Ray. :)

  • 1 T oil
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 T curry powder (I used 2 T)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 thin-sliced skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 fresh mango, cut in small chunks
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 2 T chopped cilantro


1. In large large skillet, heat oil. In bowl or plastic bag, mis flour, curry powder, cumin and salt. Add chicken and shake to coat.

2. Transfer chicken to skillet, shaking off any excess flour (reserve remaining flour); saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.

3. Stir the excess flour into the skillet, mixing with pan juices. Gradually add orange juice and broth, stirring constantly and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet; stir in the chopped mango. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in the sour cream or yogurt until blended; simmer 30 seconds. Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve with Naan or rice.

Red Snapper with Mango, Black Beans and Corn

This is a very light fish salad -- perfect for a Summer BBQ or those nights when it's too hot to heat up the oven for hours at a time. The fish is nice and crispy and the veggies just enhance the flavor. Be sure to take your lettuce out about 30 min before serving so it can come to room temperature. Otherwise when you place the fish on top, the cold salad will cool off the fish.

From, Weight Watchers Simply Delicious. The cookbook describes this recipe as follows:
"Mango, cilantro and lime make a magical combination in this healthy salad. Add delicately flavored red snapper to the mix and you have a truly delightful experience..."

  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh of frozen corn (about 1 ear cut off the cob)
  • 1 ripe mango peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2/3 pound red snapper
  • 3 cups mesclun, or any lettuce mixture

1. Preheat broiler. Line baking dish with foil. Combine lime zest, lime juice, oil, garlic, oregano, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl.

2. Combine beans, corn, mango, cilantro and 3 tablespoons of the lime juice mixture in a medium bowl.

3. Place the snapper fillets in the baking dish; spoon the remaining lime juice mixture over the fillets. Broil 5 inches from the heat until the fish is just opaque in the center, 7-8 minutes.

4. Arrange the mesclun on a large plate; spoon the bean mixture on top. Arrange the snapper on top and drizzle any pan juices over all.

This was a very light and flavorful salad, perfect for Summer months. It would make a great dish to bring to a BBQ or other gathering.

I haven't quite mastered the art of plating and photographing my food...all in good time, no worries!

Moroccan Brewat Rolls

We have very fond memories of our first vacation to Disney World, after dating for just 3 months. This was our favorite appetizer at Marakesh in Epcot, and I finally found a recipe that tastes exactly like the real deal! They're super easy to make and quite impressive to look at. Enjoy!

  • 8 sheets Phyllo dough
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 ounce chopped coriander
  • 1 ounce chopped parsley

Mix above ingredients and brown. Add:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ginger
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, whipped
  • 1 ounce oil


1. Add to beef and herb mixture, cook fully, then cool.

2. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and brush half of it with butter. Fold sheet in half, brush with more butter.

3. Place a small amount of the beef mixture (my phyllo was turned with the short end facing me) towards one end of the dough. Fold up sides of dough like you're making a burrito and roll the dough and beef into an eggroll shape.

4. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cover with damp paper towel until all rolls are complete. Brush all rolls liberally with melted butter.

5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until brown and crispy. Let cool 2-3 minutes before eating. We sprinkled them with a powdered sugar & cinnamon mixture before eating and it really added to the flavor.

Yield: 8 rolls.

We used a sushi mat to help make the Brewat Rolls more even looking.

Final product, after using the sushi mat, before being baked.

Topping with some powdered sugar and cinnamon.