The Taste Test of Two New Items!

October 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM | Posted in Food | 2 Comments
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I’ve been seeing the commercials advertising the new McDonald’s Mighty Wings and Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich and both looked soooo good I had to sample them! So for lunch today my Mom and Dad wanted to try them so I went out and bought Mom the Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich and Dad the McDonald’s Mighty Wings, and I got a small sample of both.


Arbys Smoke House McDs Wings 002

Start with the McDonald’s Mighty Wings; McD’s got their self a winner with these wings! Nice breading and a great spicy taste. The wings were nice size and very meaty and you have a choice of a variety of dipping sauces.


Nutritional Info – McDonald’s Mighty Wings – 3-piece – 3.3 oz (94g)
Calories – 290 (from Fat – 170)
Fat – 19g (Saturated Fat – 4g)
Sodium – 870mg
Carbs – 12g (Sugar – 0g)
Protein – 18g



Arbys Smoke House McDs Wings 004

Next the Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich; and another winner! Not only does this one look mouth-watering on TV but looks even better when buy one. The brisket is smoked for 13 hours making it nice and tender. Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket is piled high with slow-smoked beef brisket, topped with smoked Gouda cheese, crispy onions, BBQ sauce and mayo, and served on a toasted, bakery-style bun. I couldn’t believe how good it was! It was tender and went great with the BBQ sauce and Gouda which just melted in your mouth, and I love Gouda Cheese! But the bad part about it is the calories and carbs. It’s high in both with 610 calories and 42 carbs. It is one good sandwich though.


Nutritional Info – Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket sandwich (203g)
Calories – 610 (from Fat – 320)
Fat – 35g (Saturated Fat – 12g)
Sodium – 1230mg
Carbs – 42g (Sugar – 7g)
Protein – 35g



So both new items I sampled were winners!


Kitchen Hint of the Day!

August 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Believe it or not, you can successfully freeze many varieties of cheese without sacrificing taste or texture. Cut it into small blocks, place in sealed plastic bags, and then keep it in the freezer for when you need it. Cheese varieties that can be frozen successfully include Brick, Cheddar, Camembert, Edam, Gouda, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, Port du Sault, Provolone, and Romano. Small cheeses, such as Camembert, can even be frozen in their original packages. When removed from the freezer, cheese should be put in the refrigerator and used as soon as possible after thawing.

Healthy summer recipes for your next BBQ, picnic or potluck.

June 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Posted in cooking, grilling | Leave a comment
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From a good mix of healthy Summer recipes. Below are two of the recipes and I left the web link at the end of the post to get the full recipes for all of them.


Eating Well

Healthy summer recipes for your next BBQ, picnic or potluck.

Summer is filled with fun picnics, potlucks and outdoor parties. Instead of turning to the same dishes for every event, try something new with these healthy recipes for summer BBQ and picnic favorites. Enjoy our deviled egg recipes, cheeseburger recipes, coleslaw recipes, brownie recipes and more picnic-perfect recipes for a healthier summer cookout


Inside-Out Cheeseburgers
Why put the cheese on top of the burger when half of it just melts off? Instead, form the burger around the cheese so you can char the meat and safeguard the more delicate flavors. Use any mixture of hard or semihard cheeses–Emmentaler and Gouda or Asiago and Parmigiano-Reggiano also pair well.


Swirled Cheesecake Brownies
Made with whole-wheat flour, these decadent-tasting brownies have a beautiful marbled cheesecake topping. Cutting them into bite-size pieces helps to keep the calorie count in check.



* Get these healthier recipes and more by clicking the link below

Lasagna w/ Baked Garlic Knot Bread

March 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Posted in ground turkey, pasta, Progresso | 1 Comment
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Today’s Menu: Lasagna w/ Baked Garlic Knot Breadlasagna


This has become one of my favorite dinners , Progresso Kitchen Favorites Classic Lasagna! It’s very easy to make as the dinner kit contains the Lasagna Pasta, Tomato Herb sauce, Ricotta Sauce Mix, and Grated Parmesan Cheese. I added 1 lb. Jennie – O Lean Ground Turkey, 1 Cup water, 2/3 Cup 2% Milk, 1 (8 oz.) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (2 Cups), 1 cup Shredded dutch Gouda, and I also added a bit more seasoning (McCormick Grinder Italian Herb). I combined the Mozzarella and Goda Cheese. Gouda is such a great tasting Cheese and is a perfect melting Cheese. Basically you just layer your ingredients in a 8″ square baking dish and cover and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered. The product description along with full instructions are at the bottom of the post.


Prepared by the instructions it was 390 calories but I cut that and the calorie and carb count down by using Honeysuckle White Extra Lean Ground Turkey instead of Beef and Sargento Reduced Fat 2% Mozzarella Cheese. The Lasagna came out delicious every time! Everyone really loves this. The flavor as always is excellent. The Sauce is thick and well seasoned and the same for the pasta, perfect, plus plenty leftovers to freeze for later. I had a side of Walmart Bakery Garlic Knot Bread. Just heat on 425 degrees for about 6 – 8 minutes and serve.





Progresso Kitchen Favorites Classic Lasagnalasagna-21



Ready to bake in about 20 minutes. You Will Need: 1 lb lean ground beef; 1 cup water; 2/3 cup milk; 1 bag (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups); nonstick cooking spray and foil. Sauce: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Brown beef in 10-inch skillet, breaking up beef into small pieces; drain. Stir Tomato Herb Sauce and water into beef; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mix Ricotta Sauce Mix and milk in liquid measuring cup or small bowl, using whisk or fork. Layer: Spray 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Layer lasagna: Spread about 2/3 cup beef sauce in dish. Layer with 2 uncooked Pasta sheets (side by side), 2/3 cup beef sauce (cover Pasta with sauce), 1/4 cup ricotta sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers twice, starting with Pasta. Add remaining Pasta, beef sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Kitchen Tip: Substitute 1/4 cup dry red wine for 1/4 cup of the water.



Progresso Kitchen Favorites Classic Lasagna

Product Details
Add beef & cheese! Quality Foods. Quality ingredients included. Lasagna pasta; tomato herb sauce; ricotta sauce mix; grated parmesan cheese. Exchanges: 2 starch, 3-1/2 medium fat meat. Carbohydrate Choices: 2. Made with quality ingredients. Progresso Kitchen Favorites dinners combine high quality ingredients to create delicious meals that become family favorites!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 0.167 pkg
Servings per container: 6
Before Preparation

Nutrient Qty %DV

Calories 390 – Prepared
Calories from Fat 10
Total Fat 1 g 2%
Cholesterol -5 mg 1%
Sodium 510 mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 23 g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
Sugars 6 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 6%
Iron 4%

Roast Beef BBQ Sandwich w/ Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

September 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM | Posted in BEEF, Bob Evan's, JB's Fatboy Sauces and Rub, potatoes, turkey bacon | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Roast Beef BBQ Sandwich w/ Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Lot of rain in the area today and in fact for the next 3 days their saying. Wanted to come up with something new for dinner so I looked at some older recipes and scanned the internet and ended up deciding on Roast Beef BBQ Sandwich w/ Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole.

I used Hormel Slow Simmered Beef Roast Au Jus. It comes in a microwavable container. Just heat on high for 5 minutes and it’s ready! It’s very tender and delicious. I shredded it with a fork and added JB’s Fat Boy Haugwaush BBQ Sauce to it. Great combo to make a BBQ Roast Beef with! The Beef is juicy & tender and the BBQ Sauce fills it with flavor. I served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun.

For a side dish I prepared a Loaded Mashed Potato Casseroles. First time that I made these and won’t be the last! These turned out too good! I used Bob Evan’s Mashed Potatoes for the Potatoes. It’s loaded with Reduced Fat Philly Cream Cheese, Black Peppercorn, 2% Sharp Cheddar, Shredded Smoked Dutch Gouda Cheese, Turkey Bacon and Chives. All mixed together and baked and it comes out one delicious Potato dish! I left the full directions below. The directions will make 8 casseroles (ramekins). I made a 1/4 of the recipe that made 2 of them. These make a great Potato Dish, Mashed Potatoes with a kick! For dessert later a Blue Bunny Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl Frozen Yogurt Bar.
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole


2 Bags (24 oz. each) refrigerated Mashed Potatoes
1 Package (8 oz.) Philadelphia Fat Reduced Cream Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
2 Cups Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Smoked Dutch Gouda Cheese (Reserve a bit to top off Casseroles)
10 Slices Turkey Bacon, Crisply cooked and crumbled (Reserve a bit to top off Casseroles)
1/2 Cup Chopped fresh Chives


1) Heat oven to 375. Spray 8 (6 oz.) individual baking dishes (Ramekins) with cooking spray. Place dishes on a cookie sheet.

2) Cook Potatoes in microwave as directed on bag. In large bowl, mix potatoes, cream cheese, and Pepper. Spoon about 1/2 cup Potato mixture into each baking dish. Sprinkle each with about 2 tablespoons Cheese, about 1 tablespoon Bacon, and 1 1/2 teasooons Chives. Repeat layers of Potatoes, Cheese, and Bacon

3) Bake uncovered 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated and Cheese is melted. Sprinkle casseroles evenly with remaining Chives, Bacon, and Gouda cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Turkey Breast Panini w/ Chunky Potato Soup and Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

September 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM | Posted in cheese, diabetes, diabetes friendly, ground turkey, Jennie-O Turkey Products, soup, turkey, turkey bacon | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Turkey Breast Panini w/ Chunky Potato Soup and Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

Still fighting a nasty sinus infection but the Stuffed Jalapenos helped somewhat to clear that up! For dinner I prepared Turkey Breast Panini w/ Chunky Potato Soup and Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos.

I used Jennie – O Extra Lean Turkey Breast/Hickory Smoked. It comes packaged as a half Turkey Breast and it’s 98% fat free and only 50 calories and 0 carbs! For the panini wrap I used Flatout Foildit Flatbread and it’s 100% Whole Wheat with Flax and it’s only 90 calories and 15 carbs. I then put the Turkey slices and a slice of Borden’s Smoked Cheddar on the Wrap and grilled it for 5 minutes in the Panini Grill. First time I used the Jennie – O Turkey Breast. It’s very tender and flavorful. Plus you can freeze the remaining breast to use later. Thank you Jennie – O!

For sides I warmed up a can of Cambell’s Chunky Potato and Cheese & Bacon Bits Soup. A great tasting and thick soup. As Campbell’s says “It’s a soup that eats like a meal”. I also preapared a side of Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos. Stuffed with chopped fresh Cilantro, fresh grated Dutch Smoked Gouda Cheese, and Ground Turkey. Then wrapped with Jennie – O Turkey Bacon and broiled in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once. These are fantastic!! The Jalapeno, Ground Turkey, Gouda cheese and Cilantro make an incredible flavor. The Jalapenos have a bit of heat but are also a bit sweet from roasting. Looking for a great appeitizer give these a try! I left the full recipe at the end of the post. For dessert/snack later while watching Monday Night Football a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos.


1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Dutch Smoked Gouda
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
6 large jalapeno peppers
1/4 Pound Ground Turkey (99% Lean)
Sea Salt, Parsley, Roasted Ground Cumin, Ground Black Pepper; to taste
6 strips bacon, uncooked


1)Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2) Brown Ground Turkey until no longer pink. Season with Sea Salt, Ground Pepper, Roasted Ground Cumin, and Parsley.

3) In a small bowl, mix together the Ground Turkey, Gouda Cheese and Cilantro.

4) Using a paring knife, cut off the top of the peppers and reserve. Scoop out the veins and the seeds, discarding both. Stuff the cheese mixture inside the peppers, packing it tightly. Replace the cap on each pepper, secure with a toothpick if needed. Wrap the slice of bacon, top to bottom, around each pepper, covering the cap, and secure with a toothpick. Put the peppers on the baking sheet. broil, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the peppers are tender, about 20 minutes total. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Cheese of the Week – Gouda

July 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Posted in cheese, Food | Leave a comment
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Named after the Dutch town of Gouda, just outside Rotterdam. It accounts for more than 60% of the cheese produced in Holland and it has a very long history. Gouda is a traditional, creamery, hard cheese. It is round with very smooth, yellow, waxed rind. The flavor is sweet and fruity. As time passes, the taste intensifies and becomes more complex. Mature Gouda (18 months plus) is coated in black wax which provides a stark contrast to the deep yellow interior. Gouda is considered to be one of the world’s great cheeses. It is both a table cheese and a dessert cheese, excellent with fruit and wine. Gouda is now made globally in a style similar to the creation of Edam.
Country: Holland
Milk: cow milk
Texture: semi-hard
Fat content: 40 %
Gouda  is an orange cheese made from cow’s milk. The cheese is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, but its name is not protected. However, the European Commission has confirmed that “Gouda Holland” is to be protected (although “Gouda” itself is not). Cheese under the name of Gouda is currently made and sold all around the world.
The cheese is from cultured milk that is heated until the curds separate from the whey. Some of the whey is then drained, and water is added. This is called “washing the curd”, and creates a sweeter cheese, as the washing removes some of the lactic acid. About ten percent of the mixture are curds, which are pressed into circular moulds for several hours. These moulds are the essential reason behind its traditional, characteristic shape. The cheese is then soaked in a brine solution, which gives the cheese and its rind a distinctive taste. The cheese is dried for a few days before being coated to prevent it from drying out, then it is aged. Depending on age classification, it can be aged a number of weeks to over seven years before it is ready to be eaten. As it ages, it develops a caramel sweetness and sometimes has a slight crunchiness from salt-like calcium lactate or tyrosine crystals that form in older cheeses. After 24 months of aging, sodium chloride crystals start to form around the outside casing of the cheese. These crystals are usually removed with a soft cloth.
The term “Gouda” is now a universal name, and not restricted to cheese of Dutch origin. The term “Noord-Hollandse Gouda” is

Gouda at a cheese market

registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Status. The cheese itself was originally developed in Gouda which is in the Dutch province South Holland. The main distributor during this period of time was Pieter’s Kaas (Owned by Dutch priest Peter Haase)

Within the Netherlands, the cheeses vary based on age and additional ingredients. From young to old, these are: “Graskaas”, “Jong”, “Jong belegen”, “Belegen”, “Extra belegen”, “Oud” and “Overjarig”. Younger cheeses are creamier while older cheeses are harder and saltier.
Stinging nettle cheese, or “Brandnetelkaas”, is a type of gouda that contains stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). The small, green particles give the cheese a distinct flavour and appearance. Another variety of gouda contains small pieces of red capsicum, imparting a mildly spicy flavor.
Gouda is exported in two varieties: Young Gouda cheese, aged between 1 and 6 months, is a rich yellow in color and with a red or yellow paraffin wax coating. This cheese is easily sliced with a cheese slicer. Older Gouda cheese has a pungent underlying bitterness, yet is considerably creamier; it sometimes is discernible by a black paraffin wax coating. This strong-tasting cheese is hard and often brittle.
Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon paparika
4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese,
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10 inch casserole dish.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until a roux forms. Stir in the milk, salt and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth and thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
4. Combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce; transfer to prepared dish.

BBQ Chicken Pizza Night

March 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Posted in baking, cheese, chicken, diabetes, diabetes friendly, low calorie, low carb, pizza | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: BBQ Chicken Pizza!

It was BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner tonight! This is one delicious Pizza. The Chicken, Gouda Cheese, 2% Mozzarella Cheese, Pita Bread and J B‘s Fat Boy Sticky Stuff Sauce makes an incredible Pizza and then add in the Mushrooms, Pineapple Bits, and Black Olives, Too good! A note about the Gouda Cheese, I love this cheese! It melts perfectly. If you like ooey, gooey cheese you have to try this one. For the Chicken I used a Kroger Rotissiarie Chicken. I pulled all the meat and shredded it. I seasoned it with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. I also used Wheat Pita Breads from Meijer Bakery.Easy to fix and done in minutes from the oven. A lot healthier than frozen or Delivery Pizza also. I left the recipe below.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Makes 2 Pizzas

1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Rotissiaire Chicken or 2 baked Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce (recommended: J B’s Fat Boy Sticky Stuff BBQ Sauce)
2 Wheat or Whole Wheat Pita Bread
4 Medium Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablespoons of Pineapple Bits, I used Dole pineapple Bits
1 Can Sliced Black Olives, 1 Tablespoon on each Pizza
1 Cup Shredded Gouda, I used Murray’s Dutch Gouda
1/2 Cup Shredded 2% Mozzarella


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the skin and pull and shred all the meat from the Rotissiaire  Chicken and store in a bowl or plastic container. After pulling all the meat add 1/2 cup of the BBQ Sauce and mix until the Chicken is coated.

Build the Pizza. Brush Pita Bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add remaining 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce and brush it on the Pita Breads. Add layer of the shredded Chicken, Black Olives, Sliced Mushrooms, Pineapple Bits, Shredded 2% Mozzarella and Shredded Gouda Cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees until Cheese is melted and pizza is warmed. Enjoy!

Brat Burgers and Baked Crinkle Fries

January 18, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Posted in brats, Johnsonville Meats | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Brat Burgers and Baked Crinkle Fries

Brat Burgers?? That’s what I wondered when I ran across these at Walmart earlier today. I’m glad I did these Burgers are great! They come frozen, 6 to a box. These are big burgers, 1/3 lb. burgers! one is definitely a meal. A little high on calories at 350 and fat at 28g but the carbs are only 3g. You can grill them, broil them, or pan fry them which is the way I prepared them. Their ready in 15 – 18 minutes or until an internal temperature of 160 degrees, it was about 16 minutes. We topped them sliced Gouda or Sargento’s Reduced Fat Jack/Cheddar, French’s Golden Spicy Mustard, and Lettuce and served on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. Thank you Johnsonville, I love these! I left a recipe from the Johnsonville web site along with the link.  For a side I baked some Ore Ida Crinkle Fries. Dessert later a Smart Ones Chocolate Brownie Fudge Sundae. These are very good and only 140 calories!

Brat Burgers
Submitted by: The Kitchen at Johnsonville Sausage
Makes: 4 servings
1 pkg.
(16 oz.) Johnsonville® Brat Patties
Kaiser rolls
onions, to taste, chopped
pickles, to taste, sliced
spicy ground mustard, to taste
1-4 slices
cheddar cheese, sliced
Prepare brat patties according to package directions. Keep warm.
Split and butter Kaiser rolls and grill until nicely browned.
Place cooked Brat Patty on one half of the roll and top with sliced cheddar cheese.
Generously pile on the pickles, onions and mustard and enjoy!

Just a Basic Turkey Bacon, Double ‘Shroom, Smoked Gouda, Mayo Turkey Burger on….

November 5, 2011 at 5:58 PM | Posted in bacon, baking, dessert, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, Jennie-O Turkey Products, low calorie, low carb, mushrooms, turkey bacon, turkey burger | 4 Comments
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Today’s Menu:  Turkey Bacon, Double ‘Shroom, Smoked Gouda, Mayo Turkey Burger on a Whole Grain Bun

I really didn’t want a lot for dinner tonight so I had a  Turkey Bacon, Double ‘Shroom, Smoked Gouda, Mayo Turkey Burger on a Wholr Grain Bun. I used a Jennie – O Turkey Burger that I seasoned with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. This morning I had baked some Turkey Bacon for breakfast and saved 1 slice of it for my Burger, I used Oscar Mayer Low Sodium Turkey Bacon. I topped the Burger with the Turkey Bacon, Sauteed Mushrooms, a slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese, and Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil. The double “Shrooms is Mushrooms on top and bottom of the Burger, I like Mushrooms on anything! I served it all on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. No sides just the Burger. For dessert later a Yoplait 100 Delight Chocolate Eclaire Parfait.

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