Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Mayo

I am getting sick of this polar vortex business.... I usually do not mind winter and think of it as part of being a Wisconsinite, but I am hating the bitter cold. I am sure that everyone else is in the same boat, but I just had to complain a little bit. 

These chicken burgers originally caught my eye a while back on Sarah's A Taste of Home Cooking.  The original recipe comes from Giada De Laurentiis and is simply delicious.  We do not use ground chicken in our house very often, but after the rave reviews on this burger I saved the recipe, and finally got around to making it!  The ingredient list for this sandwich is really short and sweet. However, this burger packs a big flavor! I loved the flavors or the garlic and rosemary in the creamy mayo.  Ron and I are usually not big fans of mayo, but it is not over powering in the sandwich.  We also pan fried the burger in a teaspoon of olive oil because we have gotten so much snow it was hard to get out grill on an even surface!  The pan fried burger was wonderful, but I bet the smokey grilling flavors would be delicious as well.  I served the burger on a toasted bun and with a little fresh arugula. 

This is a great twist on a traditional burger and is absolutely delicious. 


1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb ground chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 burger buns
1 cup arugula, divided
2 tsp olive oil


For the mayo: in a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary and set aside.

For the burgers:  In a large bowl, add the ground chicken,  salt,  pepper, and 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture. Using clean hands, gently combine the ingredients and form the chicken mixture into 4 patties.  Heat a fry pan (see original recipe for grilling instructions) over medium heat with two teaspoons of olive oil (you may have to adjust depending on your stove because you do not want them to burn). Place the burgers in the pan and cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels and let rest for a few minutes.

While burgers are cooking, cut rolls and toast in the oven for 2 minutes at 300 degrees. 

To assemble the burgers: Spread a dollop of the remaining mayonnaise mixture on the tops and bottoms of the toasted buns. Evenly place arugula on bun bottoms. Place the chicken burgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Finish with the top half of the bun. 

Weekly Meal Plan 1/27 - 2/2

Happy Monday!

This weekend really flew by!  I had a night with girls on Friday, Ron had cribbage on Saturday and bowled in the CP Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser on Sunday.  It was all a lot of fun and my office end won a pig roast because of the amount of money we raised! 

This week is going to be pretty mellow, which is good considering it is going to get really cold! We have plans to have dinner with friend on Friday and are having pictures done with my family on Saturday (hopefully pizza will follow!).  

In baby news, Kellen is up and moving. It is so crazy to me to see those little feet pitter patter around the house. He is finding so much joy in his new found skill and it is so much fun to watch.  He has also figured out how to climb on the sofa by himself, but that is another story..... 

Monday:  Roasted Garlic Bread Carbonara, Chicken Sausage and Salad
Tuesday: Crockpot Pesto Ranch Chicken, Baked Parmesan Quinoa, Broccoli and Salad
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Pan Roasted Salmon, Bacon Risotto and Salad
Friday: Out to Dinner with friends
Saturday: Out to dinner with family
Sunday: Super Bowl!!! Menu is TBA

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 1/20- 1/26

Monday: Carbonara and Salad
Tuesday:  Chicken Noodle Soup
Wednesday:  Chicken Burgers with Garlic Rosemary Mayo and Salad
Thursday: Ultimate Sriracha Burger, Potato Wedges and Salad
Friday:  Out for Dinner
Saturday: Out for Thai!
Sunday: Mexican Meatballs, Rice, Beans and Salad

Monday, January 20, 2014

Curry Meatloaf with Spicy Sririacha Peanut Glaze

Time for January's Crazy Ingredient Challenge

The theme for this month was peanut butter and ketchup. Jutta (our host) of Hungry LittleGirl picks fun and different flavor combination and lets our creativity take care of the rest.  I have to say that peanut butter and ketchup was a little easier for me than last month's white chocolate and garlic.  My mind immediately went to meatloaf because of the ketchup, but I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate a spicy peanut flavor to my meatloaf.  I used traditional meatloaf ingredients such as beef, onions, peppers, breadcrumb, eggs and ketchup, but I added some unique flavors of curry, ginger and cilantro.  The glaze was added towards the end and I used peanut butter, sriracha, fresh orange juice and brown sugar to create a sweet and spicy  sauce for my meatloaf.  Ron and I both loved the flavors of this dish, and it definitely gives a big kick from the sriracha sauce! 

If you are interested in joining the fun, check out Jutta's blog for more details! 


2 lb lean ground beef
2 Tbl minced green peppers
2 Tbl minced white onion
1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
1 egg
1/8 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup ketchup

for glaze: 
1/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Sririacha
pinch or salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all meat loaf ingredients into a large bowl.  Gently mix by hand until all ingredients are evenly mixed. Lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Evenly spread meatloaf into the loaf pan. 

Bake for 45 minutes. Add glaze and bake for and additional 15-20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Baked Bratwurst Cheese and Cracker Mac and Cheese

Time for January's Improv Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month was Cheese and Crackers.  I had all kinds of ideas for this challenge, but I ultimately fell back on ol' reliable mac and cheese. I absolutely love making different types of mac and cheese, but I usually go with a stove top version. In the spirit of the challenge (and Ron's request), I made a baked version with crackers that is so sinful and delicious. I added sliced bratwurst to the dish because we had a bunch left from Kellen's tailgating party and we are Wisconsinites and love brats in almost anything.  I used sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheese, but you could use whatever kind you like.  If you do not want to use brats you could easily make it without or sub in a different favorite protein. 

Ron and I both love this recipe and I think, dare I say, it is Ron's favorite variation. Kellen loved this meal...especially the brats. 

If you want to join the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for details!


1 lb elbow noodles
4 cooked bratwurst (I recommend grilling or pan frying), sliced
4 Tbl butter
4 Tbl flour
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 stick butter melted


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside. 

In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Whisk for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Adjust heat if needed to avoid burning. 

Slowly whisk in the milk and allow the sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. 

Once sauce has thickened add 1 cup jack cheese and 1 cup cheddar (reserving 1/2 cup).  Whisk till all cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. 

Gently stir in the noodles and sliced bratwurst.  Pour pasta into a prepared 9x13 baking dish (I use cooking spray).  In a large sealable bag mix crackers and butter till evenly coated.  Top pasta with reserve cheese and spread crackers evenly over the pasta. Bake 30 minutes uncovered. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Eggs Benedict Casserole

I absolutely love Eggs Benedict. It is, by far, my favorite breakfast entree and I love trying different variations of it. When I lived in Madison one of my favorite restaurants served an eggs benedict with crab cakes, ham, spicy hollandaise and crispy spinach....yum!!! I originally saw this recipe on Taste of Home and thought it sounded perfect for a snowy morning. Since we have been having a lot of those lately the timing was perfect. The recipe is really easy to put together and taste a lot like the traditional breakfast favorite. Ron and I both loved this and were happy to have something different without having to go out. Kellen did not get a chance to try it because the poor guy has an egg allergy. It is very mild and is getting less and less as time goes on...I am hoping in a year we will be able to enjoy this breakfast with us. 

Hope everyone's week is going well! We are getting hit with more snow today (poor Ron was going to go ice fishing), but hopefully it will only last today...then the shoveling begins! 


12 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped
6 English muffins, split and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 eggs
2 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 tsp white pepper

Hollandaise Sauce:
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste


Place half of the Canadian bacon in a greased 13x9-inch baking dish.  Evenly place English muffins on top and then add remaining bacon. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, pepper and onion powder; pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or 8 hours). 

Preheat oven to 375°. Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats. Sprinkle top with paprika. Bake, covered for 35 minutes. Next, uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

While the casserole is baking prepare the hollandaise sauce. In a double broiler or metal bowl over simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water), whisk together egg yolks, heavy cream, lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue whisking until sauce is thick enough to coat back of spoon. Reduce heat to low. Drizzle in melted butter, whisking constantly. Add more salt/pepper if needed. Serve sauce immediately with casserole. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 1/13 - 1/19

Happy Monday! 

This weekend was fun and busy. On Friday we has my work party and we had a blast playing volleyball at a local bar. On Saturday, it was my nieces 2nd birthday and we has a great time celebrating  with our family.  She is really liking baby dolls right now and we would her a mini Boba carrier for her dolls, a diaper bag (cloth diaper included) and a book about a little girl and the fun she has with her dolls. 

This week Ron is doing some ice fishing, but we are pretty unscheduled.  Woohoooo!

Did you see the Golden Globes last night? I still have a big crush on Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Spicy Beef Tacos, Rice and Beans
Tuesday: Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chili, Brown Rice and Egg Rolls
Wednesday: Chorizo, Black Bean and Quinoa Bake and Salad
Thursday: Spaghetti Carbonara and Salad
Friday: Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Salad
Saturday: Out for Dinner
Sunday: Bacon Wrapped Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Friday, January 10, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Time for January WC Recipe Swap!

The theme for this month was holiday cooking/baking and I received the blog Eva Bakes.  Eva has tons of different and delicious treats on her blog making picking one a hard job! She is also an accomplished figure skater and give updates on different goals and accomplishments. My mind immediately went to something sweet while reviewing different options. My normal habit when looking for a recipe is to review a bloggers favorite posts of the year. It helps me know what they really enjoyed because if they loved making it I always believe it will not only be delicious, but fun to make.  I am not a traditionalist when it comes to holiday desserts and never have had (besides my grandmother's apple pie) a "set" dessert for the holidays.  I saw Eva's recipe (originally from Chocolate Covered Katie) for Healthy Chocolate Pudding/Mousse and I immediately wanted to make it.  It fits my family perfectly for what we look for in a holiday dessert- easy, rich and delicious.  The other benefit to this dessert is that it is vegan and uses coconut milk!  You can hardly taste the coconut flavor, but the mousse is rich and delicious.  I topped ours with a few raspberries and we happily gobbled it up.   I used Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk and, after draining the liquid, stored it in the fridge over night to make sure it would be nice and thick. 

Thank you for a delicious treat my entire family enjoyed! 

Thank you to Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting our swaps! 


1 can full-fat coconut milk (do not shake)
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder 
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Powdered Sugar, to taste


Open the coconut milk, and if it’s not already super-thick, leave the can (or transfer to a bowl) uncovered in the fridge overnight. Try not to shake the can too much before opening.  Once thick, drain the excess liquid and place thick cream into a bowl. Whip in your cocoa, vanilla, and sugar with a fork. Enjoy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 1/6 - 1/12

Hello from freezing cold Wisconsin! 

I woke up to -18 below today (-41 below with the windchill) and wanted to dive back under my covers. It is the kind of chill that takes your breath away when you walk out the front door.  The other bummer is that our garage door broke with weekend stranding my car outside...on the bright side at least both cars weren't stranded inside the garage!

This weekend was a lot of fun. We had dinner with friends on Friday and I went to dinner with a few girlfriends on Saturday.  On Sunday I made a big pot of chili and we watched the Packer game. To our disappointment the Packer are done for the season. I am hoping that next year is a better year for the Packers and I can't wait to cheer them on next fall! There is always a transition period after Packer football is done in our house. From September on we have a bit of a Sunday ritual and after the season is over we have to re-learn how to exist on football free Sundays.  However, I am excited about the start of the basketball season because I love March Madness!  I am and always will be a Badgers fan, but I also cheer for the Kentucky Wildcats. This annoys my father because he is a native to Indiana and, I am told, the rivalry is very big! 

Hope everyone has a great week and STAY WARM! 

Monday:  Corned Beef Hash, Poached Eggs and Toast
Tuesday: Curry Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Wednesday: Out for dinner
Thursday: Italian Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes 
Friday: Work Holiday Party
Saturday: Niece's Birthday Party and Take Out Thai for dinner
Sunday:  Lentil and Sausage Soup

Treats: Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie

I was organizing my posts the other day and realized that I forgot to post this lovely pie from Christmas!  Ron and I are big fans of pecan pie. My grandmother made the most delicious pecan pie and it is still  a favorite of mine. I know that pecan pie is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you are a fan this recipe from the Pioneer Woman is absolutely delicious!  The only modification I made was cosmetic, and I used 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup whole pecans.  I made this for Ron's family and we all loved it!  If you are looking for a wonderful and traditional pie this is a great and easy recipe. I am thinking of all the different variations that could be made to this recipe....maybe maple or a little bourbon. 


1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust  (I use a frozen deep pie dish pie crust)
1 cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Corn Syrup
3/4 teaspoons Vanilla
1/3 cup Melted Butter (salted)
3 whole Eggs, Beaten
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 cup Whole Pecans


Next, mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.

Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.

Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350ยบ for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. Sometimes it takes 50 minutes; sometimes it takes 75!

Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

Happy 2014!!!!!!

This recipe is raging all over Pinterest and there are tons of different variations.  One version I saw uses a stick of butter and another uses jarred sauce..... I decided to make my own version of this recipe. I increased the amount of pasta (most recipes were using 8 ounces) and made my own meat sauce.  Ron and I loved the way this meal turned out.  it was a nice variation to the normal spaghetti dinner that we regularly prepare.  Kellen gave the recipe two baby thumbs up as well and gobbled up a small portion. 

Ron and I had a fun New Year with friends. Morning wasn't so much fun, but it was worth it. 

I am looking forward to all the adventures 2014 will bring to our family.  
I have a few highlights that stick out in my mind:

1) My 30th Birthday in February (and starting of Season 4 of Game of Thrones)
2) Trip to Chicago to see Alton Brown
3) Girls weekend in Door County
3) Ron's 38th Birthday and a trip to Milwaukee
4) Family trip to France in May. We are going to Le Moulin, Normandy and Paris
5) Summer with Kellen as a toddler...we have so much exploring to do! 
6) Hoping for a trip to Washington D.C. or Washington State....We have some friends I want to visit
7) Out 3rd Wedding Anniversary  and tons of Door County adventures
8) Summer Gardening...raised beds this year!
9) Football season.....if you live in a football town you know there is nothing like opening day
10) Kellen's 2nd Birthday...what will he be doing then!?


1 - 1 1/2 lb Italian Sausage
1 (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbl Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cottage cheese
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 lb spaghetti
2 cups mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet brown Italian sausage. Drain fat from skillet. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and onion powder. Simmer 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, softened cream cheese, sour cream, parsley and garlic powder.

In a lightly sprayed 9x13-inch pan, place half of the cooked pasta in the bottom of the dish. Spread cream cheese mixture over noodles. Top with remaining noodles. Pour meat sauce over noodles and top with mozzarella cheese. 

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.