Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

This is a Hazelbaker family recipe, that is most requested by my sister for nearly every birthday that I can remember.  It's simply scrumptious, and so easy to through together.  I have to admit that I use store-bought frosting, but who can blame me?  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in given order until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Bake in a floured and oiled bundt pan for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then take out of pan and allow to cool completely.  Frost cooled cake.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tostadas

We've been rather busy lately, so I'm always looking for a good slow cooker meal to come home to after a long day.  Chicken can be kind of hard to judge in a crock pot because you don't want to overcook it and make it too dry.  I found that 4 hours worked great for this recipe, especially after I shredded it and poured the juices on top.  I couldn't find tostada shells at the store, so I just broiled corn tortillas about 4 minutes on each side.  This is a simple, delicious, weeknight meal.  I hope you enjoy!


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 tostada shells
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • desired toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro)
  • In the bottom of a slow cooker, combine the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in the vegetable oil and lime juice. Add the chicken, and turn to coat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
  • When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the slow cooker and shred with 2 forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir to soak up the juices and spices.
  • Top each tostada shell with equal amounts of the chicken mixture, then top with cheese and desired toppings.

Recipe found through Food Gawker: Taste and Tell blog

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lemon Orzo with Sauteed Zucchini and Tomatoes

I'm not often too creative with side dishes, but when I saw this recipe on food gawker, I knew I had to try it.  I usually focus so much on the main course that I forget to have fun with the sides.  I love the fresh citrus taste of the orzo combined with the zucchini and tomatoes.  I served this with crusted tilapia for a healthy, and delicious meal.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 cup tri-color orzo 
  • 8 cups water 
  • 1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped 
  • 12-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 
  • 1 large shallot, sliced 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest  
  • salt and pepper

Bring water and bouillon to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add orzo and cook according to package, about 9 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, set aside. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Wait for the skillet to heat up a bit. Add zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot and garlic. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. 

Remove from heat and add thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, stirring well. Then toss with orzo until well combined. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Irish Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I found this delicious stew on Food Gawker and thought it looked particularly delicious.  Serving stew over mashed potatoes is a great idea!  It was delicious!  I altered the recipe to make it in the crock pot and save time.  I prepped everything the night before and simply put the crock pot on a timer the next day.  I will definitely be making this again.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves, garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary 
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup peas
  • homemade mashed potatoes
Altered directions for crock-pot: (For original directions, click here)
Prep all vegetables, and place in lined crock pot.  In a large skillet, brown stew meat in olive oil until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.  Spoon meat and drippings into crock pot.  Add garlic and remaining spices, mixing well.  Pour beef broth over meat and vegetables.  Cook on LOW 4-6 hours.  In a small bowl, mix together softened butter and flour until smooth and incorporated.  Stir butter mixture into the stew with the frozen peas.  Once gravy thickens slightly, it's done.  Serve over mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Marinated Flank Steak

This was my first time to cook flank steak, which is a very affordable alternative to your other cuts of steak.  After doing a little research, the flank steak is meant to be marinated otherwise it'll be a little tougher by nature. I kind of made up this marinade based on things I had on hand and the fresh herbs growing in my new herb garden.  It ended up a little on the rare side for my taste, but possibly because I cooked it on an indoor grill rather than on a regular outdoor charcoal or propane grill.  But, the flavors were delicious!  I hope you enjoy.

  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp, each, chopped fresh basil and oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Trim fat from flank steak.  Mix together all ingredients with a whisk until well blended.  Pour over steak in a shallow bowl and marinate 8-24 hours, covered tightly.  Before grilling, bring steak to room temperature.  Grill steak on a preheated grill 4 minutes each side or until cooked to desired level.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

On Tuesdays, I'm always looking for a good slow cooker recipe to speed up dinner preparation, as I do a later workout class.  This recipe is really simple and satisfies my hunger for a warm, comforting taco soup.  I assembled everything the night before, refrigerated it overnight, and simply started it in the morning.  Since my slow cooker does not have a timer, I plug it in to a wall timer to start at the right time.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 16 oz canned chili beans, drained
  • 15 oz canned kidney beans, with liquid
  • 15 oz whole kernel corn, drained
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz canned chopped green chili peppers
  • 1 envelope of taco seasoning mix or homemade seasoning*
*homemade seasoning:
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Brown the ground beef until cooked.  Drain well.  Place the browned beef plus all of the other ingredients in a the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos

Yum!  This is yet another great recipe from  Fish tacos are such a great healthy alternative to beef or chicken tacos, and take about half the time to prepare.  I'm sure you will enjoy!
**I finally figured out how to put a printable button on my blog, so I hope you are able to print these recipes out and enjoy them in your kitchen!

  • 1 lb tilapia filets, rinsed and pat dried
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 5-inch wide corn tortillas (I used flour which I had on hand)
  • 1 medium Haas avocado, sliced
  • lime wedges for garnish
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute onion until translucent, then add garlic; mix well.
  2. Place tilapia on the skillet and cook until flesh starts to flake.  Add jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice.  Saute over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, breaking up the fish with the spoon to get everything mixed well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat tortillas on a skillet a few minutes on each side to warm.  Serve a little over 1/4 cup of fish on each warmed tortilla with a slice or 2 of avocado.
Servings: 4 Serving Size: 2 tacos Calories: 319