Well, again a sucky picture, but just bear with it--it's worth it. I forgot to take a good picture and then once the serving bowl was scraped almost clean I had to throw one in. Missing is the balsamic drizzle. Just imagine it's there.

I first had caprese salad in Italy and fell in love with it immediately. Then I came home and gained another 5 pounds making it for lunch every day. However, the best caprese I've ever had was in New York City at a little family restaurant and it was soo amazing--it was the balsamic drizzle. Instead of just sprinkling some actual balsamic vinegar over the top, it was a reduction
that was syrup-y. So delicious. So I am now obsessed with boiling down my balsamic vinegar into a syrup and I could eat it with a spoon, or just plain on a salad.

Caprese Salad

Tomatoes (roma or cherry)
Fresh mozzarella (a whole log or little bocaccini "balls")
Fresh basil (MUST be fresh basil)
salt & pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil
Truffle oil for drizzling (optional, I guess)

To make the balsamic drizzle pour two cups of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat a bit so it is simmering 10-12 minutes or until reduced by about half. Allow to cool, it will keep quite a while.

To assemble the salad either layer a slice of tomato, slice of mozzarella, and piece of basil on a plate OR if you're using the bocaccini mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, cut the balls of mozzarella in half and the tomatoes in half, cut the basil into strips and toss in a bowl. (generally use the same amount of mozzarella and tomatoes). Season with salt & pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil and the reduced balsamic. Lightly drizzle with truffle oil, if desired. Serve cold or room temp.

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White Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas

I saw this recipe on a blog and it seriously is my new favorite thing. Instead of making a 9x13 I made two 8'' pans and I'm pretty sure I single handedly ate the entire 8'' pan myself. I took one pan to my neighbor who had a baby and they seemed to like it too. This picture doesn't make the enchiladas look as awesome as they taste, so just take my word for it--and try it.
In fact, today I'm at my sister's house in Texas and I'm making these enchiladas along with my homemade salsa for dinner tonight. I'm looking forward to it.

The original recipe called for flour tortillas but I thought they may get mushy so I used corn instead and they turned out great.

White Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas

12 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded chicken
seasoned salt & pepper for chicken
3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
3 Tb butter
3 Tb flour
1 c. sour cream
1 can chicken broth (2 cups)
salt & pepper
1 7 oz can diced green chiles
cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. Mix 1 1/2 cups cheese with the chicken after seasoning the chicken well. Either roll the enchiladas individually or dice the tortillas into 1'' squares and layer half the tortillas on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Top with the chicken/cheese mixture and layer the other half of the tortillas on top.

In a large skillet melt the butter and sprinkle the flour in, stir and let cook 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in sour cream and green chiles. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to yourliking. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro at the end if desired. Enjoy!
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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I adapted this recipe from my favorite banana bread recipe that I found in Cooking Light. I don't care for bananas...at all. In fact they are the one food that gives me the gag reflex, but somehow I do like banana bread...go figure, but whatever. I just like it. I wanted something a little more dessert-y so I added chocolate chips and changed a couple other ingredients from the original recipe. It was super yummy, really moist, and also doubled as a sweet breakfast for my kids.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

2 c. flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the sugar and butter together with an electric mixter for a minute until well combine. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. Add banana sour cream and vanilla, mix until just combined. Add flour mixture and mix until moist. Stir in chocolate chips. Spray a loaf pan generously with cooking spray and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.

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Greek Salad

Three summers ago my grandparents in-law took all 40-ish of us on a mediteranean cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We're spoiled, what can I say. It was my first time to visit Greece and I absolutely LOVED it--beautiful country, beautiful ocean, wonderful food! I brought home a bunch of olives, olive oil, and wine. I'm a little geeky/shallow that way. When we go somewhere I'm all about the food...the clothing shopping and history is secondary to me.

While in Santorini for the day (my favorite spot) we ate at a restaurant and they made an amazing lunch for us and the greek salad wasnot what we think of in the states...there was no lettuce involved. It was so good, so now I make it sometimes here. Yum.

Greek Salad

4 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and coarsely diced
2 cucumbers, peeled and quartered and cut into chunks
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 can black or kalamata olives halved
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Mix together all the vegetables, oregano, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your liking. Enjoy!

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Well, I'm back to say...so sorry if you've been looking for new recipes and there hasn't been any...I have no real excuse besides I've been busy, out of town last weekend, 6 months pregnant, and getting ready for a three week trip to visit my sister in TX then on to Europe. SO...I promise that today I will bring you a great recipe AND picture and in the next week I will not be such a slacker. However, the following two weeks while I'm in Europe you'll just have to imagine all the awesome food I'm eating. Maybe I'll do a few posts of pictures of the food. Yum. I'm hungry now.

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Granny's Cobbler

My good friend made her Granny's cobbler on Easter--and seriously I thought I had a really great cobbler recipe, but this one put it on the back burner. So, last week I made it. Pretty much just for myself which is somewhat pathetic, but I'm pregnant so that's my excuse. I would like to state for the record that a scoop of vanilla ice cream is mandatory on top of this warm cobbler.

The original recipe is for peach cobbler but I didn't have enough peaches so I subbed some frozen blueberries and it was fab. I would think any kind of fruit--fresh or frozen would work great. I used frozen so I added in a Tb or so of flour and tossed it with the fruit so it wouldn't be so juicy.

Also, this recipe is for an 8'' square pan but if you double it it works great in a 9x13. I did make a minor adjustment to the butter--"Granny's" recipe called for an entire stick of butter and since it was for myself I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Note** I made this a double batch the other day in a 9x13....I totally messed it up and it was wierd and not good. First, I forgot the sugar in with the fruit, so it wasn't sweet enough, then I baked it for the alloted time, but you definitely need to bake longer for the bigger pan. The top looked golden brown, but inside it was gooey and the topping wasn't cooked all the way..overall, gross. It gave "granny's cobbler" a bad name. SO--follow the recipe and make sure the topping is cooked through!

Granny's Cobbler

3 Tb butter (or more)
5 cups of peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in the bottom of an 8'' pan. Mix the fruit and sugar together (and add a Tb flour if you like it thicker) and spread in the pan. In a separate bowl mix together all crust ingredients and pour over the top of the fruit. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Serve with ice cream.

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Philly Spaghetti

Hey everyone (or the fives of people that read this blog!) Sorry for the short hiatus...we went on a long weekend trip last weekend and since then somehow life has been a blink! So today I will give you two recipes to make up for lost time.

This first recipe is super simple, quick and really tasty. This is one of those dinners you can throw together in fifteen minutes.

I found this recipe here and it's a winner. It is a very thrifty recipe also! The original recipe called for ground beef but I used some turkey italian sausage and it was great.

Philly Spaghetti

3/4 lb thin spaghetti, cooked
1 lb ground beef, turkey or italian sausage
1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce (24 oz jar plus 12 oz)
4 oz cream cheese (half a block)
pinch of red pepper flakes

While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking brown the meat in a large saucepan. Drain the fat and heat the spaghetti sauce with the red pepper flakes. Cube the cream cheese and drop it in the sauce, stirring until it is all melted together. Toss the sauce with the cooked spaghetti and serve with parmesan cheese.
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Egg Salad Sandwiches

I love egg salad sandwiches, but for some reason I don't make them very often--however, the week after Easter we happened to have 18 hard boiled eggs lying around so I whipped up some egg salad. Yum--it was good. I should make it more often.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

12 eggs
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. plus 1 Tb mayo
1 Tb spicy mustard
2 Tb minced onion
2 Tb sweet pickle relish
seasoned salt to taste

Cover eggs with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the water is to a rolling
boil, turn the burner off and set a timer for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has passed, run the
eggs under cold water. Crack and peel the eggs under cold water and the shell should slip right
off. Once the eggs are cooled dice them finely mashing some if you like a finer texture. Mix
everything together in a bowl and refrigerate a couple hours. Serve on toasted fresh bread
with lettuce and tomato.
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Shepherd's Pie

I never thought I liked Shepherd's pie until my friend Laurie made it once...and then I was hooked. She doesn't have a recipe so she just told me what to do and I've made it lots of times. this time I had to measure things out and see--which is kind of nice to have. And now you can have it too!

This recipe sounds strange, but just trust me and try it--it's really good. This is a great meal to bring to someone because it's veggies, protein, and potatoes all in one! I recently took this to my friend who had a baby and they liked it too.

Shepherd's Pie

2 lbs lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
salt & pepper
1 c. diced carrot
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. tomato sauce (1 14.5 oz can is 2 cups)
3/4-1 c. ketchup
1 T. worcestershire
2 tsp sugar
few dashes hot sauce

1 can corn, drained
1 c. frozen peas

Mashed Potatoes
6-7 not too huge potatoes (2-21/2 lbs)
1/2 block cream cheese (4 oz)
1/3 cup sour cream
3 Tb butter
1/4 c. milk
salt & pepper
1/2 c. shredded cheese, optional

In a large skillet brown the meat with the carrot and onion. Drain the grease off.
Toss in the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking over medium heat
a minute or two. Add in the tomato sauce, ketchup, worcestershire and sugar. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer together for 10 minutes or so until it's getting thicker. Right before you're ready to assemble the pie mix in the corn and peas.

In the meantime, scrub the potatoes and boil them until fork tender. Drain off all the water and stir everything else in and mash with a potato masher adjusting milk and seasoning as needed.

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the meat mixture into a 9x13 pan, top with potatoes and top potatoes with some cheddar or parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.

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