Showing posts from 2009

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant - Recipes - Featured Recipe

Diet Information

Ever typed diet into the internet search? Well I did today and got 613,000,000 hits. OK, granted not all the links have to do with diet and exercise. My point is t here is a lot of information out there about dieting and exercise. Especially this time of year. Believe me marketers know just when to release the ads.
You know New Year's Resolution time? I think more people sign up for these programs at this time of year. Of course, they will drop out by Feb 1st. Not all will. but enough. So if you are serious, or even if you are not, there is one website t hat really breaks it down. They have bought and tried several diet and exercise prorgrams and they have put together a really nice website. They are Here is one of thier videos.

New Year's Resolutions and Feasts.

Are you making your New Year's Resolutions yet? Or did you give up on that stuff years ago? Well if you do, did, are planning too keep reading.

Many of us tried on our favorite party clothes this Christmas Party season, looked in the mirror and grimaced. If we could put the thing on at all.

See most of us gain a couple of pounds a year if we don't do anything to keep it off. We're such couch potatoes, and junk food addicts.

I don't know how many of you are aware of this but there is even what I call Vegan Junk food. Ok so it doesn't contain any animal products or bi-products, but there is still no point to eating it. Except that we re such junk food junkies. I'm sorry but a cookie is a cookie whether it is make the traditional way with white sugar flour, eggs and butter or not.

So what about that New Year's thing?

Who’s going to stop smoking?

How about loose weight?

Notice how most of our resolutions are health related?

Ok, who’s concerned about debt?


Too Cool

Happy happy happy as a girl in chocolate!. Google Blogger and Amazon Associates have teamed up. Now I can add my favorite cookbooks right into my blog with no hassle.

just like this!

or this!

or whatever from amazon, without going through the thrid party widgets on my side bar. too cool.

hum, what's for dinner?


Hello Kansas City BBQ!

Ok, my big news of late is moving to the Kansas City area. As a foodie I am thrilled, because I can't wait to try the BBq!
Kansas City is one of the BBQ capitals of the world, (the other is Memphis) there are big countests, and at least 50 restaurants in the city with feature the saucey stuff. I have to metion Memphis because the worlds biggest contest is on Mud Island every spring. people compete from all over the world. My family being from Arkansas, Memphis style bbq was my first.

KC is known for the sauce, sweet and tangy. I found this on Wikipedia:

Kansas City barbecue refers to the specific inner city style of barbecue that evolved from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is renowned for barbecue. Kansas City, Missouri has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as "world's barbecue capital." There are large, well attended barbecue cooking contests, the two most notable being i…

Orzo and Meatballs

Everybody loves pasta.
today's recipe is includes "Orzo". it is a rice shaped pasta, and is quite versitle. It can be used in soups and stews, or can be the main dish like todays feature.
Orzo and Meatball salad.

Start by cooking 1/2 a box of orzo pasta
chop 1/2 a cup of celery
1/2 cup of bell peppers, mix the colors, red, green and yellow
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 oz of chicken breast

to the cooked pasta add the veggies, chicken, peas, and about 16 cooked meatballs, about 1 1/2 in diameter.

For the dressing,
1/2 cup mayo
3 Tbls of grain mustard
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup marinara sauce
(for a spicy kick substitute barbque sauce for the marainara.

toss together cover and refrigerate. this makes a lot, so why not take it to your next bar-b-que or pot luck.

Candle of Month

Hello! I wanted to let you know about this month's Candle of the Month fragrance. Check it out below! If you would like to order, please contact me by replying back to this message or order directly from my Web site:
Candle of the Month Notice

Fragrance: Harvest Time 16oz Jar
Stock Number: 244
Description: Experience this comforting fragrance combination of warm apples and spices reminiscent of a crisp autumn day

If you would like to read more news about what is going on with Scent-Sations, Inc. & Mia Bella's Gourmet Products, check out the monthly company newsletters:

Are you interested in our products? Go here to see a full line of all the products we have to offer:

Are you interested in becoming a Candle of the Month member? Go here to read more information about the great Scent-Sations, Inc. bus…

Good Morning from the Resaurant

I just wanted to share a little about my life, and my cooking experience.
I was in my Grandma's kitchen from the age of 2, and helping my mom cook from about the age of 8.

there was always something to help with. at gram's, I had my own table and apron. My mom was teaching about food safety at 6.

I was making "Bubble Gum casseroles" at 10. What is a Bubble Gum Casserole? Ground meat, cheese, rice or potatoes, and veggies, don't forget seasoning. At that time, I think it was seasoning salt.

I think Chili and Spaghetti may have started out that way.

I worked in many fast-food types growing up. When I got to California 18 years ago I hung up my apron for administrative work for the resort.

But now I am in the restaurant, and having fun. It's so different to work at job, and be in charge of the operation.

Skip ahead.. About a month ago, I started working as a cashier in a resort/retreat restaurant. We serve breakfast and dinner. there is always something new.
We use…

Great Grillin'!

Hey Gang- I found another great website full of helpful infromation. As grilling season is in, and the fourth is this weekend here are some great tips form Enjoy and and have a happy holiday

Basic Grilling Tips
Grill season is just around the corner. Before you start cooking, make sure that you get your grill cleaned and in tip-top shape. Be sure to check back often as our Grill series continues.

Clean Your Grate

Make sure that you purchase propane or charcoal so that you are ready to clean your grate. Then if your grate has burnt-on food from your last grilling extravaganza, you’ll be ready when it’s time to fire up the grill. After about 15 minutes, scrub the grate with a stiff wire grill brush until all food particles are burned or scraped off. Let it cool down and cover.
Spray the cold, clean grate with PAM® for Grilling Spray (and your utensils, too). Then preheat grill about 15 minutes before starting to cook.
After cooking, scrape grill down with…

Beef and Blue Salads

Today let's talk about salad. It is another of those quick meal ideas. i love salads, but i can never make enough of them.

For a Beef and Blue salad you just need a few ingredients and you have a delicious meal in a bowl For a twist use sandwich steaks. Some of you may know the joys of a Philly cheese steak. They use a very thin cut of meat the cooks quickly and can then be torn apart like the lettuce.

For one salad:
2 "Steak-Um" slices
1 Roma tomato
1 oz blue or Gorgonzola cheese
1 thin slice of red onion with its rings separated,
1/4 celery
a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts
2 cups romaine lettuce

cook the meat. it just takes a minute each. salt and pepper to taste. Set them aside to cool. slice the onion, and dice the tomato. slice the celery

tear the lettuce leaves to bite sized pieces. add all the ingredients. top with the nuts and serve with your favorite dressing. I like buttermilk ranch with this salad.

Now who said you can't have your steak and eat it too?

thanks for sto…

The Joy of Pasta

More pasta!

How to create love and magic in the kitchen.

Sometimes success in the kitchen depends on being kind of fearless, you can’t be afraid to make a mess, and you have to be willing to throw out the occasional disaster. You can be creative, and have fun. Like anything else you get better with practice. Don't be afraid, have fun. Just pay attention, and you won't set your hair on fire or scare the dog.

How many people were allowed in the kitchen as children? Were you turned away from the door because your mother was fussing about getting dinner on the table, and you needed to occupy yourself elsewhere?

Don’t worry. That other room in your house shouldn't be scary. Your mom did ok, didn’t she? Or was dinner often bad? And you learned early not to complain? Feed the burned beans to the dog?

OK, that part of your life is over. Can you pour milk on cereal? Can you make a cup of tea? Good, that is not scary is it? You can warm up a can of soup? Excellent!

Let us begin….

This …

Splenda anyone?

I know, I know, there is a lot of controversy around artificial sweeteners, but there is an epidemic of diabetes in this country, and they need to eat well. Some guide lines to pay attention to when you are cooking for a diabetic are.

Diabetes Friendly recipes have:

No more than 35% calories from fat
No more than 10% calories from saturated fat
No more than 3 carbohydrate exchanges per serving (45 grams of carbohydrate)

A recent small study done in 27 rats using saccharin ("A Role for Sweet Taste: Calorie Predictive Relations in Energy Regulation by Rats") alleges a link between low-calorie sweetener consumption and weight gain. However this study needs to be considered in the proper scientific context, especially since there are many other previously published research studies in humans that reached the opposite conclusion. In fact, a 2007 study published in Pediatrics®, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that using sucralose (SPLENDA® Brand Sweet…

What's for Dinner?

Do you hate asking that question night after night? Or, maybe you are the one asking? Do you get the same response? "Oh, What ever you decide is fine" (grin)

Well tonight, how about a little salad? Salad? yes, we can make this fun...

grab some of your favorite greens.
some sliced tomato
a grilled chicken breast
a little green pepper
crumble a little bacon

and voila! dinner.

now for the dressing...
apple cider vinegar
the smooth Dijon mustard
some olive oil
and salt and pepper.

a great light dinner... feel free to add anything else you like. For instance, beans, and avocado for a southwestern touch.

or how about olives and feta cheese for more of a Mediterranean meal?

That is the beauty of a green salad. It can be what ever you want.

Ciao. bellas.


Orzo Salad

This is not your ordinary pasta salad. but it is so simple. It can be served hot or cold. Why not do something different for dinner? A Pork and Orzo salad. Simple to put together, and tasty. Why not make a little extra for lunch? Take this to work and your co-workers may be jealous.

Peppered Pork tenderloin, I like buy them already marinated. cut into bite sized pieces.(Turkey and be substitued if you can't/don't eat pork.)
One medium onion, minced
2 cups of bell peppers-mix green, red and yellow, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
Chinese 5 spice.
One box of Orzo pasta.
One cup of sliced mushrooms
½ a bag of frozen pineapple chucks
2 tablespoons of apricot/pineapple jam
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Bring a big pot of water to boil and salt and a tablespoon of sesame oil.

Chop up green beans. Be sure to remove the tip and strings add to the pork

Add mushrooms

Add pineapple

Heat until the mushrooms and cooked and the pineapple is hot.

To finis…

Easter Dinner

Almost Easter- Do you have favorite dishes for this holiday meal? How about a spiral cut Ham and scalloped potatoes? Do you make homemade rolls?

Our family sort of does. Call it a new tradition. Mom get a honey baked ham and reheats with the glace. She puts champagne mustard on the site for who ever want it. Yummy. Of course peas. I think spring peas are her favorite food.

A few years ago, when the series The Mitford Years, was popular she added the orange cake.

Every Easter dinner is different. In more traditional homes its lamb. After all, lamb is served at Passover, which is closely tied to Easter. After all Jesus was Jewish. The “Last Supper” was the Seder meal for Passover when he made the new covenant with his apostles.

Here is a great Lamb recipe:

Lamb and rosemary is a match made in heaven. Meat will be tender and oh-so flavorful, with a wonderfully caramelized exterior.
Butterflied Lamb with Fresh Rosemary

6 pounds boneless leg lamb roast, butterflied
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tabl…

Southwest Mac and Cheese

Sometimes when you're just learning to cook it is easy to take prepackaged meals and add things to them.
This is my "Adult" mac and Cheese dinner.

1 package of macaroni and cheese. Kraft is the best.
1 lb of ground beef
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 diced onion
1 clove a garlic
1 small package of frozen veggies-something with a southwest theme
taco seasoning
vegetable oil

Get everything out of the pantry and refrigerator before you start. Carefully dice the onion and garlic. Set them aside. Put about 1 quart of water in a large pot and start it to boil.
In a large skillet and the oil, and heat it slowly. Add the onion and garlic. keep stirring them occasionally. don't let them stick to the bottom or burn.
When the water is boiling add about 1 T. of salt and the macaroni. set the cheese pack aside. stir the pot so the macaroni don't stick together. turn down the heat to low and cover the pan.
add the ground beef to the onions. break it up wh…

Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff

Everybody loves a good beef stroganoff. My favorite is a blend of recipes The first I found in an old cookbook called “My Favorite Recipes”, and the second part is my Mom’s.

This is a true definition of comfort food. It is warm and creamy, and can be served over rice, noodles, or even mashed potatoes. I believe the cook book called for egg noodles. My Granny (father’s side) made a stroganoff to serve over both noodles and mashed potatoes.

Ok, I think I got my bubble gum casserole ideas came from a combination of lots of sources--.One of them being Granny.

1 lbs of round steak
Flour, salt, and pepper for dredging
1 lb of sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic (2 if small)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups of beef stock
1 cup sour cream
1 tbls of Worcestershire
1 tbls of Balsamic vinegar
1 pinch herbs de Provence
2 tsp of Lowry’s seasoning salt.

Slice the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Set them aside. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces. Dredge them in the salt, pepper, flou…

Cabbage Salad

Do you remember the ½ a head of cabbage from the corned beef? Well this is something you can do with the rest of it.
Make a fun slaw.

But this one is special. It’s almost like ambrosia.

½ head of green cabbage
1 apple
1 cup shredded pineapple
1 cup of seedless green grapes
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 Tbs. of lemon juice
½ a cup of mayonnaise
½ Tbls. Of sugar.

Tear the cabbage into small pieces. Place in a medium bowl. Chop and seed the apple, add to the cabbage. Add the grapes and nuts. In a small bowl mix the lemon juice, mayo sugar and salt to taste.
Pour over the cabbage and mix. Chill in the refrigerator for about ½ hour before serving.

This is a good side dish with any picnic food. It is even nice enough to take to a pot luck- which is where I first discovered this treat.

Mistress Kimberly

One pot wonders

Caracoles are great. Ever wonder what to do with left over’s? Why not put it all in one big pot. Of course if you do this you have to watch out not over season. Sometimes mixing ethnic spices is a bad idea.

Herbs de Province and oregano don't really go with the plum sauce or the teriyakis of Japanese cooking.

Other times things are good together, like balsamic, Worcestershire and teriyaki can make a wonderfully bold statement in a hearty stew. You just have to experiment.
One experiment I am interest in trying is called a tomato soup chocolate cake. My assumption is that the condensed soup helps the cake stay moist.

Any way we humans have been doing one pot meals since the days of fire pits and the big cauldron hanging in the middle of it.

The French cassoulet is an example. The pot and the family recipe would be handed down from generation to generation. Generally the cassoulet is lamb, pork, partridge. The meat would also depend on the season, and region of France your family was…

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is here!

Spring always reminds of light suppers and different types of salads, and meals that take no time to make.

Why not do something different for dinner? How about an orzo salad with a Chinese twist? Simple to put together, and tasty. Orzo is always fun. It is this small rice-shaped pasta. Sometimes you can substitute it for rice, and visa versa. The cool part of this dish is that it can be served hot or cold.
Why not make a little extra for lunch? Take this to work and your co-workers may be jealous.

Pork tenderloin marinated in teriyaki cut into bite sized pieces. (Turkey and be substituted if you prefer)
One medium onion, minced
2 cups of bell peppers-mix green, red and yellow, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
Chinese 5 spice.
One box of Orzo pasta.
One cup of sliced mushrooms
½ a bag of frozen pineapple chucks
2 tablespoons of apricot/pineapple jam
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Bring a big pot of water to boil and salt and a…

How to make Corned Beef and Cabbage

Top of the Mornin' to ya'. March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day.

This is a semi favorite for St Patrick’s Day—although not exactly a traditional Irish meal. It was definitely born here in America. Next to all the beer and whiskey you can drink, and the "wearin' of the green".

This is a variation of the “New England” Boiled dinner. Basically every thing went in one pot the beef or pork shoulder, some vegetables, and what ever root vegetables were on hand. Most of the newly immigrated Irish were poor, so they couldn't’t but the best cuts of beef or meat, so they improvised, and learned that if you cook shoulder and brisket for a long time, it will come out tender. The more traditional dinners were just boiled in water. Later we learned, things taste better when cooked in stock or beer.

I spend part of my childhood in New England, so maybe that is why I relate to the one pot meal. Mom called my early versions of the one pot meal “Bubble Gum casseroles”. More on that to…

Rice Ole

I think it is time to take one direction and follow it. I admit I have been all over the place lately. It feels rather chaotic. I think the direction this is going to take is cooking.

I know, type cooking into any search engine and you will get thousands of hits. Well, cooking is one of first passions, My Mother, and Grandmother have let me "play" and create in the kitchen since the age of four. I remember in my Grammy's kitchen, I had my own work table and apron. Somewhere in the family albums is a picture of me being my "creative" self. So this is my tribute to her. If she were still live, Gram, it would probably embrace her. She was a very modest woman. And she knew how to make dishes "quick and tasty" on a budget.

So first up:

This was a favorite. All you need is one skillet. i am glad this recipe is still around.

Riceland Rice Ole'
1/2 cup uncooked Riceland Extra Long Grain Rice
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 …

adventure time!

It's adventure time! It's raining, and this is a good thing. Northern California really needs the rain. I think our reservoir, Indian Valley, is only about half full. Any way, sitting inside- I have a little cabin fever perhaps. maybe.

Well I started going through and touching up some photos. I'm really excited because I didn't think some of the would be too dark, as they were taken inside Il Duomo di Sienna. Magnificent place, beautiful place, awe inspiring.

Actually my whole week in Tuscany was. i can't wait to go back. Who goes and only spends a week? Well that was the budget then. Next time it is a month.

When we were there, in 2006, the cathedral was getting a face lift.

I know you've heard of Sienna: that is where the famous horse race around the city is every July.

I went to Wikipedia for a little history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Siena Cathedral.
The Cathedral of Siena (Italian: Duomo di Siena), dedicated from its earli…

Your 7 day program

I read and download so much about self improvement, This is part of a series I found. I don't remember the source. Sorry, but it came with 39 others. 
It is still January and many of us have not yet broken our new year's resolutions to work on ourselves this year. So... KEEP GOING! and enjoy.
"A Better You" Your 7 days program to self-improvement
I seem to lost count on how many times I've read and heard of celebrity marriages failing almost left and right. Not that I care (and personally I don't), it seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairytale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop sticking our heads in the clouds and face reality.
There are many ways to lose your sense of self-esteem despite of how trivial it could get. But whatever happens, we should all try not to lose our own sense of self.
So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? Here are some of the things you can think and improve …