Tortellini Primavera

This was a yummy dish, I am a sucker for spinach and I always feel healthier when eating it. Even when it's covered in cream cheese and served with cheese-filled pasta. This was yummy and very filling! I actually used tortellini with meat and it was delicious. If you notice that there are no mushrooms in my picture, it's because I didn't have any. I would highly recommend following the recipe and using mushrooms, it really completes the dish! Yum!

Tortellini Primavera

1 cup mushrooms, chopped
½ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs butter {or margarine}
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup milk
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
family size cheese-filled tortellini {1 pound}, cooked and drained

Heat butter in a skillet. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic and sautee until onion is clear and tender and mushrooms are cooked. Add all remaining ingredients except tortellini. Heat and stir until all have melted together and are well blended. Cook until the mixture just begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. Stir in tortellini.

Recipe from Annie's Eats.


Fried Rice

This recipe was born out a necessity to make a meal out of frozen pot stickers from Costco. I feel like a bad wife if all we have for dinner is pot stickers and dipping sauce (although I won't lie and tell you that's never happened). We had leftover rice in the fridge, which is just what you need to make fried rice. Leftover, slightly dried-out rice is best for frying. The result turned out delicious!

Fried Rice

2 eggs
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup day-old cooked rice
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 slices deli ham, diced
2-3 Tbs Mr. Yoshidas sauce (I buy it at Costco)
1 Tbs soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and scramble eggs. Remove scrambled eggs and increase heat to medium-high. Heat oil and add rice. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring frequently to fry rice. Add eggs and the rest of the ingredients back to skillet. Continue stirring to heat through. Add sauce and seasonings as needed. If you don't have Mr. Yoshida's, I'm sure soy sauce mixed with maybe a bit of brown sugar would be good. I do love my Yoshida's, though.


Orange Chicken

I like this because it tastes awesome but it doesn't involve deep-frying, which makes my house stink like oil and is also bad for me. One important thing to remember: buy real oranges for the juice. I didn't read the recipe very thoroughly and bought orange juice, then started cooking and realized I was supposed to use the zest from real oranges. Oops! It turned out well but I wish I would've had orange zest to add more orange flavor. We really liked this dish!

Orange Chicken

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil or butter

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons green onion
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Heat oven to 350. In a shallow dish combine the flour, garlic powder and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken in flour mixture and coat evenly.

Pour oil (or melt butter and pour) in a shallow baking dish, large enough to accommodate chicken in a single layer. Arrange chicken in pan and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine water, fresh orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, orange zest and whisk over medium heat for a few minutes. Then stir in brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and green onion and let it come to a boil. Combine cornstarch with water and let it dissolve and add it to the sauce until thickened.

After chicken has baked the 30 minutes, turn each piece over and pour 1/2 sauce mixture evenly over chicken. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes basting frequently.

Serve chicken over rice with sliced green onions on top and extra sauce on the side.

Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe.


Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with oreos mixed in. Need I say more? No, no I think not.

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
16 Oreo cookies, broken into pieces
1 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt, mix well.
Stir in flour a third at a time. Carefully stir in Oreos {I didn't want to crush them too much} and chocolate chips until just combined. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on cookie sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned around edges, but still soft. When I bake cookies I usually take them out when they still look like they might not be quite done. We like soft cookies and I've found this is the best way to get that. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Recipe slightly adapted from Picky Palate.


Jacoco Shakes

This summer we spent an amazing week on the beautiful island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. We explored jungles, laid on white beaches, went snorkeling, sailing and hiking, and ate a lot of yummy food. One of our favorite food experiences from the trip was the St. Thomas Dairy's ice cream/shake shop called Udder Delight. We went twice on our trip because it was so good. They had the most delicious homemade coconut ice cream, and a shake called the Jacoco that was to die for. It's a coconut shake with a hint of chocolate. When we got home from our trip we were craving a Jacoco so we decided to make them at home. They've been a summer favorite at our house ever since! Make them and imagine you're on St. Thomas. They're soooo good!

Jacoco Shakes

1 can coconut milk
3-5 generous scoops vanilla ice cream
a handful of ice cubes
large squirt of chocolate syrup (2 tsp? You don't need a ton.)
1 Tbs coconut flakes

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add enough ice or ice cream as needed for desired consistency. These shakes don't turn out super thick and are more like milkshakes than ice cream shakes. I sprinkled a little more coconut flakes on top to make it look festive. ;)

Makes 4 shakes (depends how much each person wants!).


S'mores Cookies

Two of my favorite things: s'mores and chocolate chip cookies! Their powers combined created a (not surprisingly) amazing treat. So good! My sister Lynsie told me about this recipe blog she just found and all the recipes are sinfully delicious. Fun!

S'mores Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ¼ cups flour
1 bag chocolate chips
3 regular size Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
3 Full Graham Crackers
5-6 Large Marshmallows cut into fourths

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars in medium bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix until well combined. Stir in flour 1 cup at a time with a wooden spoon until well combined. Then add chocolate chips. {We substituted for white chocolate chips and the result was delicious!}

Scoop heaping 1/4 cupfuls of cookie dough onto baking pan. {We used a muffin top pan but you definitely don't have to.} Press down to flatten, then gently press chocolate bar squares, graham cracker pieces and marshmallow slices on top of cookie dough. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until edges are just turning brown and marshmallows are toasted. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 18 giant cookies.

Recipe adapted from Picky Palate.