Thursday, September 30, 2010

What every foodie needs.

Yesterday I got a package.  Now, this was not just any package, because it was from my Mom.  Aren't those always the best?!?!?!  I remember when I was in college and I couldn't wait to check my mail to see if there was anything....mostly I was just curious about if there was a package.  You know, packages are just the best.  Especially from Mom because they were always packed with goodies.  Whether it was Halloween, my Birthday or just to let me know she was thinking of me, I just loved those packages.

Anyway, I just got one of those yesterday!  It was a "thinking of you" package that contained some adorable stickers for scrap-booking, some things for baking and most importantly a homemade apron she made for me!  I'm not going to lie, this is the CUTEST apron I've ever seen too!  She used ME fabric and it's just the msot perfect apron I've ever, ever seen!!

{When my sisters and I were growing up our Mom would make us beautiful dresses, and I think we all took it for granted.  Do you notice that not that many people even sew anymore?!?!?  Anyway, my Mom is super talented--in a lot more ways than just sewing too!--and I'm so blessed to have her in my life!!}

In fact, I love this apron so much I would like to wear it all the time!  It's SO cute.  I wore it when I fixed dinner last night, and plan to wear it every time I make a meal for the rest of my life!  I love it!  Thanks Mom!!!    :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quick Chicken Pot Pies

So, when I was making dinner tonight I just wanted to whip something up quickly.  I decided on Chicken Pot Pies, but wanted it faster.  So, this is what I came up with!  Super fast, super easy and super delicious!  :)

For the filling I msotly used my recipe for Chicken Pot Pie filling, except I skipped the potatoes to make it quicker.  I also skipped the pie crust and made quick bisquick biscuits!  Detailed recipe below:

Quick Chicken Pot Pies

2 T. Butter/Margarine

2 T. Flour

1.5 c.  Milk

3 c. Veggies,  (Carrots, Peas, Green beans, etc...)

1 can of Chicken Breast (or 1 lb. cooked chicken)

1 t. Thyme

1/2 t. Salt

Pepper to taste

6 Bisquick Biscuits prepared (or other biscuits)

In a large skillet melt butter and stir in flour.  Add milk and lower the heat.  Add veggies, chicken, thyme, salt and pepper and let simmer for 10 minutes.  (You can prepare your biscuits while the filling is simmering.)

When ready to serve, place approximately 1/6 of the filling into a bowl and top with a biscuit.  Enjoy!  :)  We sure did!

Serves 6 people, or 3 hungry ones, or 1 hungry one.  hehe  ;)

Easybag Giveaway results!

Thank you to all who entered--I had over 70 entries!  It was great to see some my loyal readers participate as well as a lot of new people!  :)  I had such a great response, I'm already planning on doing another giveaway soon!  Thanks for reading!

I also want to thank again for their generous sponsorship of this giveaway.  Be sure to check out their site!  :)

I used for the random number generater and counted all the entries from my blog as well as facebook.  Here are the results:  #13!!

So Rita who said, "Love the bag! TY for this great giveaway. Love the blog!" is the winner!  Congrats!!

Thanks again to everyone who entered!!  Have a great rest of your week!!  :)  And cook up something yummy...

Peppers in Blankets

Beef Enchilada Casserole

Caramel Apple Crisp

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beef Enchilada Casserole

Do you love enchiladas?  Here's a way to enjoy them that's a little easier than making individual enchiladas.  :)  Enjoy....we sure did tonight!

Beef Enchilada Casserole

12 Small Corn Tortillas

2 c.  Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1.5 c. Cooked Beef (shredded or ground beef)

1 Medium Onion, minced

Enchilada Sauce, homemade, canned or dry package reconstituted.

Optional:  1/4 c. Peppers, diced (more or less to taste)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350degrees and get a square baking dish ready to fill.  Get your ingredients together!  :)

Random sidenote:  Notice these adorable little prep bowls.  They are from Ross, and I've had them a while, but just found a new found love for them.  They even have measurements inside.  Cute huh?  I just love em!  :)

Another sidenote:  Here's an example of enchilada sauce mixes you can get at the store.  You just have to add water!  :)

2.  Start layering the ingredients in the dish.  Start with tortillas, then onion (and pepper), meat and cheese.  Then repeat until everything is gone...and it ends up with cheese on top of the tortillas like below.

3.  Pour enchilada sauce over the top of the casserole (like below) and bake in the 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

4.  When it's done baking, take it out, cut and serve.  Enjoy!  :)

Enjoy the ooey gooey cheese, beef and whole lot of Mexican spices going on!  I ate a quarter of this tonight, and my hubby ate more than half.  :)'s quite ridiculously delicious!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peppers in Blankets

We all love pigs in blankets.  So why not make peppers in blanket?!?  This fun and yummy appetizer only has three differnet ingredients and is delicious!  :)

Peppers in Blankets:

Crescent Rolls (Pillsbury refrigerator rolls)

8 Peppers, small varieties such as banana peppers or jalepenos, (

Even though I only have 4 pictured.)

~ 4 oz.  Cheddar Cheese,  cut into .5 oz strips

1.  Pre-heat oven to be ready to broil the peppers.  Then broil the peppers for a few minutes on each side, until they are pretty well blackened. (As seen below.)

2.  Then insert one pepper at a time into a bowl with ice water and peel the peppers.  The ice water helped cool them and make it easier to peal off the blackened skins.

3.  Once all the peppers are peeled start stuffing with the cheese.  Cut along one side and insert the cheese.  It's ok if it splits open...

4.  Roll up each stuffed pepper in one triangle of crescent dough.  (As pictured below.)

5.  Once all the peppers are rolled up, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

6.  Serve while hot and enjoy!  :)

Yields 8 Peppers in Blankets!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Veggie Fries

So, I do have to admit this is not the healthiest way to eat your veggies.  But, it is a delicious way to eat them!  :)  I've been to several restaurants such as  TGIFriday's and SmashBurger that offer this type of thing instead of french fries.  So this isn't an entirely new idea, but more of a how to do it at home!  :)

Veggie Fries:

Fry pan with 1/4"-1/2" oil in it

Veggies, cut into fry sized pieces (Green beans, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes work best.)

Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper, optional

1.  Heat the oil in the fry pan until it is hot.  I used medium-high heat, and tested to see when it was ready by using one veggie at a time until it was hot enough to cook them in about 2 minutes.

2.  Get your veggies all ready to go while the oil is heating up.

3.  Once the oil is ready fry a handful of veggies at a time for about 2 minutes.

4.  Then take them out and lay them on a plate covered with paper towels.  (To help drain off the oil.) Then season with salt and/or pepper is desired.

5.  Serve along with hamburgers, hot dogs or anything else you can think of!  Enjoy!!  :)

Have fun in the kitchen!  Be sure to be careful with the hot oil you are frying these in, too!  :)  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reisenthel EasyBag Giveaway!

Because I love shopping.  And because I need to go shopping in order to make food.  And I love reusable bags.  (Who doesn't?!?)  And because I love ya!  And because is awesome and donated this item for me to giveaway.   I'm doing a giveaway! See below for details on how to enter!

I'm giving away the Reisenthel EasyBag (Baroque Sand Pattern) pictured above.  It is a reusable shopping bag that hooks onto your cart!  Then, after you've paid you just pick it up and secure the velcro closure, and you are good to go!  (See how they attach to a cart below.)

Another great thing about this bag is that is folds up and stores in a little bag, just as pictured below.  (The bag I am giving away has a match bag that it goes inside.)

Here are the rules of the giveaway:

1.  Must be a US resident, and living in the contiguous US.

2.  You may enter from today Thursday 9/23/10 until 12pm Eastern time Wednesday 9/29/10.

3.  A winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday afternoon.

4.  You may enter up to 3 times as detailed below.

a.  Leave a comment at the bottom of this post on wordpress.

b.  Leave a comment about this post on my "A Delicious Melody" Facebook page.

c.  Post a link to this giveaway on your blog or on your facebook page. (When you post a link please let me know by leaving an additional comment on either facebook or at the bottom of this post on wordpress.  Otherwise I won't know that you posted it!)

A special thanks to for donating the Reisenthel EasyBag for me to giveaway! is the only retailer selling these bags in the US!  Be sure to check them out!  They have a great website full of reusable items like bags, baskets, lunch containers, water bottles, cloth diapers, well as a lot of useful tips for living a greener life!  :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Tacos.  Tacos.  Tacos.  You can get them so many places.  Hard ones.  Soft ones.  Chicken, Beef or fish.  The options go on and on.  :)  The best thing about making them at home though?  You can make them how you like them!  So here's how I made them tonight....and will probably from now on.  (Since this is the first time that I've made tacos since we've been married....I think I will probably make them more often than every 2-3 years too! ;)

Here's a way to make more Authentic Mexican Tacos:

Homemade tortillas

Shredded Beef (with seasoning of your choice)

Veggies (lettuce/guacamole/corn salsa/salsa/etc...)

Cheese, optional

Fill each tortilla with beef, then veggies and cheese if desired.  Fold and enjoy!  :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy Caramel Apple Crisp

Ok.  I'm admitting it's just about fall here.  I mentioned something about that last week....but now we're seeing leaves changing just about everywhere.  So, I reckon, fall must just be around the corner.  (Except hard for me to really comprehend since it got to 93 here today...)  Anyway, fall really makes me think of pumpkin everything, crunchy leaves, snuggling up with a blanket, book and cup of some chai.

Oh, and caramel apples.  Yum.  I used to work at a Coffee Shop in a Mall in Northern Colorado.  We made some great things there, and the aromas were were the smells that would come from our neighbor across the way.  The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  Can you say d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s?!?!?!?!  At least i think so....  Sometimes they'd give us some of their caramel apples...those were great days.

Ok, back to this recipe.  ;)  I wanted something easy, containing apples and caramel that was yummy.  So this is what I came up with!  It sure didn't dissappoint me or my husband either.  So, I think y'all will enjoy it as well!  :)

Easy Caramel Apple Crisp (This will serve 4.  In my pictures I made half this recipe since it was just for the 2 of us.)

2 apples,  peeled, cored and diced (any variety will work, I used gala--use what you have!)

3 T. whole wheat flour

3 T. sugar (if you are using tart apples, you may need to add more sugar)

4 T. quick oats

2 t. butter/marg.

caramel topping/sauce (found in the ice cream section)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the diced apples in the bottom of a small baking dish.  (8x8 or so)

2.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.  Then cut in the butter/margarine until it is a crumbly consistency.  (It's a streusel topping really.)

3.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples, and bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

4.  Remove from the oven, and serve immediately.  Place 1/4 of the crisp in each bowl and drizzle the caramel sauce on top like the picture below.  :)  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Healthy up!

Happy Weekend everyone! My husband and I have been busy today. We started the day out at the Farmer's Market--where we found lots of great finds, and then we went to another Arts Festival. We ate a late lunch at Chili's with a gift card (gotta love them!), and apparently I was really tired when we got home because I just woke up from a 2.5 hour nap. (And I never nap. Even when I'm sick and need that was interesting to say the least.)

Anyway, while we were at the market I got sweet potatoes, sweet banana peppers, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, a good-sized basil plant (had to leave ours in CO) and 2.5 lbs. of grass-fed beef.  We got the meat for a great price and 1 lb. is hamburger and 1.5 is stew meat--that I intend on using for stirfry, tacos and other things.  So, I'm excited we got away with what we did, and I'm more excited for our menu this week then!  :)

You know that I am getting healthier around here, partly because my hubby's cholesterol check a month ago and also just to be healthier.  Anyway, I don't think I mentioned this, but my hubby had another cholesterol check last week, and his numbers had already gone down significantly!  So, they could tell he had made healthy changes with his lifestyle!!  Isn't that great?!?!?!?  Also good motivation that everyday counts and helps!  :)

So, that's why I did a whole vegetarian week a couple of weeks ago.  That week we had things like:  tofu stirfry, eggplant parmesan, and vegetarian lasagna. My husband had never really had tofu before, so it was a good intro week to the wonderful world of their eating with different proteins!  Yummy!

This is also why, we've made a change in our lives and like to buy only locally grown/produced food.  Although not always possible, and I'm still learning, this is working out well!  We also are only going to buy grass-fed beef, because it's more sustainable, better for the animals and better for us.  In addition to that we're only buying chicken that is hormone/antibiotic free that's hopefully pastured as well.  (Chicken is a harder switch from store-bought to pastured because it's a huge price jump, but inevitably much healthier for, it'll be more of a whole transition process....)

So, this is us, eating much more sustainably and also much more healthily while loving it!  Because, food. is. good.  :)

My question for you is:  Do you know what you're eating?  Like, do you know where it was grown?  How it was grown?  Food for thought...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The joys of baking at sea level! :)

So, this afternoon I realized that I hadn't yet baked a cake in NC!  I was rather shocked to realize this fact, because before we moved here, that was something I kept thikning was going to be so different.  Growing up in Colorado, you have to use the high altitiude instructions for everything. (Ok, everything baking....)

So, I did in fact make a cake today!  It turned out very well out of the oven!!  I also worked on my decorating skills too.  Although I used buttercream this time, and I realized that it is very hard to work with once it gets warm.  (Also on a hot day, in a warm room, inside a bag inside a warm hand.)  :)

I just did the cake from a box because I wanted the joy of not having to add any flour, etc. for the high altitude instructions.  Next time I will make it from scratch though.  No worries.  :)

Spread the word...

Hello!  Hope everyone is having a happy Thursday so far!  :)  I just wanted to post a little hint that I will be doing a giveaway in the near (probably very near) future.  So be on the lookout for that!  :)

Hope everyone has a great day!!!!!!!!!!!  Make something yummy. ;)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back in the kitchen!

Hi there!  I'm back.  I hope that makes you as excited as I am!  :)  I've been rather sick since Friday and have missed my kitchen.  So today, I made some yummy (and therapeutic) soup to get back in the groove.  :)  I think it worked too.

Plus, I got a package yesterday from my MIL who sent me these cookbooks I've been wanting!  So, I even have more excuses to spent time in the kitchen making great food!  ;)

(Joy of Cooking--a super great all american cookbook!  and Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking!!!)

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup with Lime Sour Cream

Fall is almost here, and what better way to ring it in than with a healthy squash soup!

Butternut Squash Soup:
4 lb. butternut squash
4 carrots
1 small onion
1.5 c. water
3 c. milk, skim or 1%
salt and pepper to taste
(Immersion blender or blender/food processor needed)

Lime Sour Cream:
1 c. nonfat sour cream
1 small lime

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.
2.  While the squash is baking, boil 2 c. of water on the stove.  Peel and cut up carrots.  Then dice the onion.  Once the water is boiling put the carrots and onion in, and cook for about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Drain.
3.  When the squash is done baking, place it on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.  Then once it has cooled done somewhat scoop out the seeds and discard.
4.  Scoop out all the flesh of the squash and place in a large stockpot.
Steps 1, 3 & 4.
5.  Then add the cooked carrots and onions, as well as the water.  If using immersion blender blend it up right in the pot.  If using blender/food processor put smaller amounts in at a time.
6.  Continue to blend until it is smooth and creamy like the picture below.
7.  Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil.  Then turn down to simmer, add milk and stir to combine.  (It should look something like below!)  Simmer for 30minutes or up to 2 hours.
Steps 5, 6 & 7.

8.  Put the sour cream, zest of the lime and lime juice in a bowl.
9.  Whisk until combined, and viola!  Delicious lime sour cream!  :)
Steps 8 & 9.
10.  Serve in bowls with a dollop of lime sour cream in the middle!  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never forgotten

Just where were you 9 years ago today?  I remember so vividly, as it was the beginning of my senior year in high school.  Living in Colorado, it happened before I had left for school.  My Mom came into my room to tell me about it and we sat and watched the news about it for a few moments.  We were both in utter shock.

I had to go to school, so I left and drove there.  Once I entered the doors of  the choir room I noticed the TVs were on.  (Something that never was the case in there especially.)  It was then that the twin towers went crashing down.  I had never before, and never have since seen a room of young people be so distraught at what had just happened.

Such a tragic day, that will never be forgotten.  A day that so many people lost their lives.  The everyday heroes--the men and women working in those buildings.  The extraordinary heroes--the emergency workers who risked everything to save people.  And the poor innocent passengers on the planes just trying to get from point A to point B.  (And those who have lost their lives fighting the war on terrorism as well.)

All I know is that it is interesting how something so terrible can still be used for good.  Americans united that day, and to this day there is still a stronger bond between us than ever before.  When awful things happen, we do need to stick together and use it for good.  Whether that is hugging our loved ones while they are still with us, saying hello to a neighbor, giving 110% at your job, or whatever it might be.  Let's be thankful and proud to live in the U.S.A.

Much more could be said, but in fact I've already said too  much.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do you believe in Magic?

:) I just whipped these up for an after dinner/weekend snack! Yum!

Here's the recipe.  I know they are no big secret, but they really are a bit of magic!  ;)  And oh, so, yummy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Vegetarian Lasagna

This is something that I've been meaning to make for years...but just hadn't.  So, when I made pasta yesterday I thought this was a perfect time to do it!  :)

Vegetarian Lasagna:

Lasagna Noodles (Homemade or store bought)

3 cups veggies, I used 1 c. carrots, 1 c. zucchini and 1 c. eggplant

1 c. cheese (ricotta, cottage cheese, goat cheese or other)  (I used goat cheese this time, and we both loved I will probably stick with that, feel free to experiment though!)

Sauce of your choice (Use what you like, homemade or store bought)
1.  Start by filling two rather large pots with water and heating them to a boil.  Once they are boiling cook the pasta in one and the veggies (Cut up)  in the other.  Times will vary, so check them both frequently.

2.  Once the pasta noodles and veggies are cooked and drained you can start assembling the lasagna! :)

3.  Alternate layers of veggies, pasta and cheese until everything is gone. (Obviously it doesn't have to look you can tell from mine. :)  I had three layers in mine and used 1/4 c. of cheese on the frist two and then 1/2 c. on the top.

4.  Pour the sauce over the top making sure that all the pasta is covered.  (You could also top this all with shredded mozzarella.  I just didn't.)

5.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

6.  Enjoy!  :)

Peanut Butter (Clif - like) Energy Bars

Peanut Butter (Clif - like) Energy Bars

2 c.  quick oats

1/2 c. instant non-fat dry milk (powder)

2 T.  seeds (sesame, sunflower, flax....)

3/4 c. honey or agave nectar

1 c.  peanut butter

This makes 6  half cup bars.

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the honey and peanut butter to a boil--stirring constantly.

2.  Mix together dry ingredients.

3.  Once the honey/peanut butter mixture boils immediately add it to the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and either use a mixer or large spoon to combine.

4.  I came up with this technique today when making these.  Just put plastic wrap over a 1/2 cup measuring cup and fill pressing it to ensure it sticks together.  Then wrap and viola, mega cookie looking energy bars!  :)
That taste just like clif bars!
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