Friday, May 31, 2013

Taco Pizza on Lebanese Bread

Over the Memorial weekend, my husband I and went north to Minneapolis. We had a wonderful weekend just the two of us. 

That doesn't happen very often, but our girls went south towards Des Moines to visit with their sister for the weekend, and they took the pooch!


So we had 3 full days all to ourselves, at first it was like, gosh, what do we do?

We were packed in a flash and heading up to the Twin cities in no time. I had been dying to go up and visit the Global Market that I had read about and even saw featured on the Food Network. 

On the way there we drove right by the "dollar house" that Nicole Curtis of the Rehab Addict on HGTV had remodeled!!

Inside the Global Market were lots of different stalls offering Mexican, Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern foods. There was also a Middle Eastern market and I picked up 2 different kinds of Lebanese flat and pocket bread. 

And of course one of the first things I made turned out awesome. Taco pizza is one of my family's favorites and it comes together in a snap, plus I had avocados to use. The bread made a beautiful crisp crust and it browned  nicely.
Taco Pizza on Lebanese Bread

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sweet and Sour Smoked Sausage

We have been having some of the most extreme weather. 

It's definitely getting old...

I mean, storms with rain and more rain and ...

more rain. 

Hello! We can all use the moisture, but living in an area that is focused on farming, this is the extreme. Fields are flooded, gardens are flooded. 

We are under a Flood Watch. Goodness, the beautiful plants we got from our friends at Beaver Creek Gardens are just hanging out in our garage, still waiting to be planted in our garden. We can't plant yet though, because everything is so wet and muddy. 

I have to admit, they look great and are growing like weeds, even in their original 4" pots. We hope to be able to get them out in our raised beds soon, I hope. 

Cross your fingers!

Tonight I made a dish that we all agreed was stellar and delicious.  

So easy and ready on the table in a flash. 

 Sweet and Sour Smoked Sausage is so good, easy to whip up. It only takes as long as it takes to cook a pot of rice-20 minutes folks. 

Nice thing about this dish, is that it holds well also, if you have family members eating at different times, which we do with a daughter in sports. It reheats well and is still YUMMY!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Beaver Creek Gardens, Fertile IA

DH recently went and got some awesome plants to get our garden started. Craig works with Scott McCullough in Forest City, IA, and has been fascinated by the business that Scott and his wife, Suzanne, have been "growing" for the last couple of years.

Scott, together with his wife, Suzanne, originally built this awesome business to provide fresh garden vegetables at their peak of freshness and explore a side business opportunity for their "Golden Years". Boy oh boy, did it work!!

This year, after putting up some awesome greenhouses, they have expanded to provide bedding plants and even gorgeous flower displays. Who wants fresh, artisan grown vegetables available at their peak of goodness???

I do, I do!!! And I know you will to!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spinach Chive Pesto

Sunday dinners are a relaxed affair for us and I try to include my parents as much as possible. We always enjoy their company and they are the only relatives close to us; living in the same town, let alone state.

So on Sundays I try and make it extra special! So for dinner we had Chicken Parm Croquettes, Pasta with Spinach Chive Pesto, a huge green salad and sourdough bread!

With all the fresh Spinach I have and now Chives have popped up in the garden I was looking forward to making a pesto and boy did this turn out really well.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oriental Ramen Salad

It's going to be another hot one today, along with the requisite Tornado warnings that follow along with the hot and humid weather of the Midwest. 

So for dinner I decided to make a family favorite, one that is full of flavor and cool crunch. 

Oriental Ramen Salad

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Skinny Chicken Sausage & Spinach Riggies

Okay, so I have to admit I have never been East of Cleveland.

Therefore, even though the concept of "Riggies" originated in NY, I believe a great recipe can travel all over the country. Chicken Riggies is a pasta-based dish usually consisting of chicken, rigatoni and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce, although many variations exist.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Grilled Skirt Steak and Zucchini Quesadilla's finally here.

Grilling season.

It was a tad windy yesterday, but that could be why Iowa is dotted with enormous Windmills all over the state.

Being able to plan what's for dinner is open for all kinds of other options now that the outdoor grill is involved. Sometimes I opt for the whole meal to be prepared on the grill!!

No  Hardly any pots, pans and dishes for me to clean up.

Although, I haven't quite figured out how to cook rice on the grill...

During these months we stuff ourselves with fresh vegetables and fruits, well almost all of us.
She's 15, but our youngest just found out; she claimed she was eating a vegetable, a tomato; we told her she was actually eating a fruit. Look of shock!! She's not a fruit eater.

Anyhoo, invariably there might be some leftovers, and  what better way to utilize these but by making a quesdilla??

I know, I thought it was a great idea as well. So...I used leftover skirt steak, zucchini, spinach, cheese and my Caramelized Onion, Bacon Dip.

OMG!!! This baby is awesome. Thank goodness I didn't have to share.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Skinny Caramelized Onion, Bacon Dip

Today is all about Mothers, it's Mothers Day.

 Happy Mother's Day!!

And, because I just really like bacon, especially crisp, peppered bacon, I am making a dip to serve to my Mother and family at dinner. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Steak and "Baked" Potatoes

This is such a great idea, and I've used it many times even using chicken, that I'm sharing it again.

I get a lot of use from my slow cooker, mostly during the Fall and Winter.

Even when it gets really hot and humid back here in North Iowa I use my slow cooker, it doesn't heat up the house and saves my DH from the skeeters looking for a drink while he's trying to grill!

Today I am trying something totally new to me.....making 2 ingredients in one slow cooker.

Of course I saw this on Pinterest, if there is anything, anyone has ever made, tried, consumed or dreamed of, it is on this site. Pretty handy if you have an ingredient and want to change it up!!

So this is basically pork steaks, simmered in a spicy BBQ sauce, then a layer of foil and scrubbed potatoes wrapped in foil are placed on top!!!


All this meal needs is a side of veggies or salad and it's good to go!

Start off by gathering your ingredients...
Then just coat the pork steaks in seasoned (salt & pepper) flour and brown lightly on both sides in a large pan with 1 tbsp of oil. 

Then place this in the slow cooker and cover with the BBQ sauce and seasonings. 

Place foil over the top loosely and place the potatoes on top. 
Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours. 

1.5 lbs Pork steak
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tbsp Canola oil
4 potatoes, scrubbed and wrapped in foil

  1. Preheat the oil in a large saute pan, coat the steaks in the flour and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. 
  2. Meanwhile, mix BBQ sauce with Cajun seasoning, Cumin and Garlic Powder.
  3. Place browned steaks in the bottom of the slow cooker and coat with the BBQ sauce. 
  4. Place a piece of foil loosely over the steaks and place the potatoes on top. 
  5. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. 
This recipe is adapted from:365 Days of Slow Cooking
  This recipe is shared on my Link parties. Also shared on http:// and and , Lean Lena and

Monday, May 6, 2013

Easy French Bread Pizza

I think we've all had this happen.....

You walk in the door after a long day and the first thing you hear is "What's for dinner?". And you...

 wait for it...

draw a blank.

It doesn't happen often to me, drawing the blank, I mean, but I am no different than anyone else, sometimes your best made plans just don't happen. 

Plus, I don't have the convenience of take-out, living in a small rural community, it's either gas station pizza, the local greasy spoon (no thanks) or ramen. 

Not an appealing meal to any of us. 

Thank goodness I do stock up on things, such as sourdough french bread (no really, I'm serious, I freeze all my bread) and I always have jarred or my own frozen marinara. 
Okay, ask my family, I was a Y2K prepper. And at that time I had a family of 6 living at home. So....I have a hard time not having an extensive pantry. 

Hey, it pays off in times like this. Especially when you have people in your house coming home "starving", and they open the frig and say, "there's nothing here". 

Happens to me every time with the teens in my house, especially the youngest one, she is ravenous at every waking hour. And no, it doesn't always look like this, but I'd say generally, 75% of the time it does. If it doesn't jump out at her as being ready to eat though, she'll say, "there's nothing to eat".

*Sigh* I need to take her to a third world country I'm thinking...

So, to save the day, and halt the ravenous looks from my family, I can always whip up a great pizza, with or without meat.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo!!!

This is a flavorful, full bodied, creamy soup. It is the perfect vehicle to support toppings of cheese, crisp tortillas, sour cream, avocados, salsa. You name it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicky Wings

These babies are easy, and falling off the bone good. They aren't too sweet, you can make them a little spicy if you like, and they have a nice sticky glaze. This is a great recipe for Sticky Ribs and Sticky Chicky Legs,as well.