Friday, July 20, 2012

Unstuffed Bell Peppers

This is a great recipe when you have tons of peppers in your fridge and you don't quite know what to do with all of them. My in-laws came to visit for the 4th of July this year and they rented a house. It was a lot of fun. We got to watch the parade, ride our bikes and then watch fireworks off of the pier that night. It's one of my favorite holidays! On the day they were all headed home, they left us with all the food they didn't eat. These weren't just little things. They went to costco. We still have rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, onions, carrots, lettuce, and I'm sure there's more. So, I had this giant bag of peppers and I needed to use them before they went bad. I came across this recipe and it was just what I was looking for. And, my husband loved it. He ate the leftovers. That's the true sign that it was good. 
I got the recipe from Heat oven to 350 
3 slices bacon
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups rice
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup pureed tomatoes (I use fresh, but canned works too)
1 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1 green bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1 orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and just barely cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

2. Add onions to skillet and cook until browned, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.

3. Add rice, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, chicken broth, tomatoes, brown sugar and black pepper to the skillet. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, crumble the cooked bacon into small pieces.

4. Add the peppers, chicken and bacon to the skillet, stir and cover. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in half of the Parmesan cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, then use the remaining cheese to top individual servings.

Makes 4-6 servings

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fruit Pizza

I feel like if there is fresh fruit in dessert then somehow it's not nearly as bad for you. That's how I felt about this fruit pizza. It tastes so yummy but yet I don't feel guilty about it.

My husband asked me to make a dessert to take over to a friends house for dinner so I whipped this up. I had forgotten how easy and quick it was to make. I had all of the ingredients except for the fruit. This is going to be my new go to dessert. I usually do boxed brownies but this is quicker and it looks like you spent hours. I'm all about letting people think it took way more work than it actually did.
I got the recipe from All Recipes


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light. (Make sure the sugar is smooth. Last time I didn't mix it enough and the sugar crunched in your teeth. Yuck!) Spread on cooled crust.
  5. Arrange desired fruit on top of filling, and chill.

Split Pea Soup and Food Storage

I have finally decided that I should start a food storage. I live in a very small apartment but I figured I needed to do it anyway. So, last week I went to a food storage cooking class on how to cook with dehydrated carrots and onions. It was an amazing class. The teacher was awesome! I learned so  much from her. She said that she has a coffee grinder that she uses to grind up the dehydrated onions into onion powder and she grinds up the carrots as well. She says she uses the carrot powder to thicken things up like spaghetti sauce. What a great idea! I would have never thought of that. Then, she gave this great recipe for split pea soup. It is a green soup and it looked more like salsa than soup to me, but it tasted amazing. So, I made it this week. It has ham in it as well, so I got to use  more of the honey baked ham leftovers in my freezer. YAY! I'm trying to use it up any way that I can.

If using dehydrated onions or carrots, rehydrate them before using them. The ratio for re-hydrating is 2:1. Two cups of water for every one cup of carrots/onions.

Split pea soup

1lb split peas (You can find these next to the beans and rice)
1tbs. olive oil
1 c. onions
1 c. carrots
1 stalk celery (optional)
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
4 c. water
8 oz. lean ham, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. thyme
1.4 tsp. marjoram
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse peas under running water. Put into large saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes, skimming off surface foam. Drain.

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add carrots and celery and continue cooking 2 minutes. Add the peas, pour in stock and water and stir to combine.

Bring just to a boil and stir in ham. Add Thyme, marjoram and bay leaf. Reduce heat, cover and cook gently 1-2 hours until ingredients are very soft. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Make sure not to add the salt and pepper until the soup is done cooking. If you add the pepper before it cooks for the 1-2 hours, it will end up tasting bitter.