Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pretty Little Puffs

For those of you that know me, I HATE TO BAKE. No really I would rather have a tooth removed, but as it goes  I often have to do it for a cooking class or a catering event. Today I am making many, many, many cream puffs. Now, this is my kind of baking. 4 ingredients, very little time, and the result is tasty little puffs of deliciousness. You can fill these little puffs with just about anything depending on how big you make them. Today I am filling them with a vanilla pudding mixture, but you could easily fill them with chocolate pudding  or fruit filling. Go savory with bigger puffs and fill them with chicken, egg, or tuna salad.

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Zucchini Sausage Crescent Bake

I had a wonderful class at Cooks'wares in Springboro, OH on Monday. It was so special to see so many familiar faces in the sold out crowd. One of the recipes that we discussed with the sautéed zucchini and squash.  I told the students about a quick and easy recipe that my family loves, that I would like to share. This is great serves for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For dinner I would probably serve it with a nice salad.

Zucchini Sausage Crescent Bake

8 oz can crescent rolls
1 Lb bulk sausage
4 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
4 T butter
3 T Italian Seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz mozzarella, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°
Cover bottom of 9X13 baking dish with can of crescent rolls.
Brown sausage and break up. Cover top of crescent roll with sausage.
In the same pan sauté zucchini and onions in butter, stir in Italian Seasoning. Pour and spread evenly over sausage.
Combine eggs and mozzarella and, pour over zucchini mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash

3 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 medium zucchini, cut into half moons
3 medium yellow squash, cut into half moons
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini, squash and onions, sauté until soft and just begin to brown. Season with CES to taste.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Slow Cooker 2 Ingredient Chicken

Sometimes you need a quick and easy foolproof recipe to save the day. I have been making these chicken legs for a couple of years now, and they are one of my kids favorites. I usually make it when I find the chicken legs on managers special. You simply can not beat a two ingredient recipe.

Teriyaki or BBQ Sauce

8 hours low
Serve these taste legs with rice and a steamed vegetable, and you have a complete meal. These are also great for parties if you use wings.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pub Roast

Please Forgive Me
I can not believe it has been since June that I have posted. I really do apologize to my followers. Sometimes life just comes up and bites you on the butt, and something has to give. I cant make any promises but I am going to do my best to post at least once every other week. So with that being said on to the recipes.
It is starting to get cold here in Ohio, so yummy comfort food that can cook all day is back on the menu. We love pot roast, but the kids have discovered that they do not like when vegetables such as carrots, and potatoes get all brown and mushy. That is why I developed this recipe without all of the vegetables that normally go in a pot roast. I always serve this dish with roasted vegetables on the side, and mashed potatoes.
The reason I call this pub roast is that beer is a main ingredient, of course you are more than welcome to omit it. I love adding seasonal beers to it, for instance today I added a Oktoberfest beer. I have even been known to use red wine instead for a richer dish, and serve it over polenta. Go nuts, and Enjoy! 
Pub Roast
 4 Lb Boneless Chuck Roast
Courtney’ Everything Seasoning
¼ Cup vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 bay leaves
3 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 portabella mushrooms, sliced thick (optional)
1 bottle of dark beer
Season both sides of roast with Everything Seasoning. Brown both sides of roast in oil and transfer to a large crockpot. Pour all the ingredients on top of roast and cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli.
Serves 6 to 8

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wine journal

Need a great way to remember great wines. Check out my new Pintrest board http://pinterest.com/the30minutemom/wine-journal/
This can also work for favorite store bought items as well.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Couples class take 2

Teaching tonight at Harpers Point Cooks'Wares. Not only do I get to be with my husband my Mommy will be in the audience.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Come See Me!

I have tried and tried to paste the link to my upcoming class with no luck. Clink on the link to see all the details.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pho Obsession

As you may know because of my love of Anthony Bourdain, I have also become very fond of a dish called Pho. This lovely Vietnamese noodle dish is truly food for the soul. The hot broth and wonderful aromas can cure all that ails you.

I totally by accident made a dish the other day with ramen, and condiments I had left over from taco night (tomato, red onion, and lettuce). Though this dish typically has meat like the above photo, it filled a need for that much loved soup. Pho typically is served with bean sprouts, basil and lime, but this is how my improvisation worked out.
 Start out with your favorite ramen brand.

 Cook noodles by themselves according to package directions.
 While the noodles are cooking gather and chop your additions. These can be anything you like. You can even add a protein if you would like.
 This a spice blend that I found at Krogers that intrigued me. It has a mild kick and a lovely lime flavor. It is a perfect condiment to this dish.
 When the noodles are finished cooking, drain and put in a bowl. To the same pot add 1 1/2 cups water, the seasoning packet, and whatever additions you come up with.
 If I add a leaf green , I usually add it in during the last couple of minutes.
Voila you have a tasty, inexpensive dish that took very little time.
Remember this dish is only as creative as you are so get thinking and ENJOY!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Heading home

Heading home from a wonderful trip to Florida with my family. Great food to be had everywhere we went ( except for the drive thru food which will not be named). As always my Moms home cooking is fabulous. Andrew and I got to sneak out to my favorite restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, Casablanca Cafe, to enjoy a wonderful meal and see some old friends of mine. Food at Disney was fine, but I think when your feeding hundreds of thousands of people something isn't going to be the greatest. The smoked turkey legs in frontier land will ways be a personal favorite. On our way back to Ohio we stopped off in Marietta, Georgia. There is a diner their named the Marietta Diner, if for any reason you can make your way through Georgia make a stop there, and bring a cooler. The food was amazing, and the portions were huge. The kids chicken parmesan, which came with a drink, and a choice of ice cream or rice pudding ( which was to die for btw)was enough for 3 kids and was only $6.75. Now seeing that I had no idea I ordered all the kids their own meal, oh well. Josie had mac and cheese, no kraft here friends, this was the real deal.I had the Greek sampler which could easily feed 3, was outstanding. Thank goodness we had an empty cooler. Its 10 am, and after writing this I'm thinking of that spinach pie right behind mein said cooler. So as you can tell this place really made an impression on me,and totally brought me back to my Jersey roots. Wish we had Greek diners in Ohio. Well, hoping everyone enjoyed some time off with their family. Back to working out tomorrow to work off some of this good food, it was totally worth it. Mariettadiner.com

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twitter account

I with much duress and no idea what I'm doing have opened a Twitter account. Follow me @the30minutemom

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Easter

I'm so excited to announce as of this minute I have 1005 page views on this blog. Even though I do not know most of the people that view this page, I'm thrilled to see so many people seem to be enjoying it.
Easter is coming up, and I hear something called Spring is also joining us, though looking out of my snowy Ohio window I don't believe it. I thought I would share a salad recipe with everyone that is great if you are to bring something to someone's house or for a quick dish at home.
Enjoy the recipe. Happy Easter!

Make Ahead Caesar Salad

2 heads of romaine lettuce

1 tsp dry mustard

2 cloves of garlic

S & P

1 Tbs anchovy paste

Juice of half a lemon

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, fresh grated (reserve some for the top)

Fill sink with ice cold water. Tear romaine leaves directly into sink. Spin dry leaves with a salad spinner.
In the bottom of the salad bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Using a fork thoroughly mix all dressing ingredients.
Place lettuce on top of dressing, cover tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
To Serve, toss lettuce with dressing, top with remaining cheese and croutons.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another dessert for the "tool box"

One of the reasons I love to teach cooking classes is because I forces me to think outside of the box. Now, anyone that knows me knows baking is not my forte. If I find a recipe with very little ingredients, and in the end will not throw me into a sugar comma, it wont take much convincing for me to try to make it. It also gives me a dessert to put in my "tool box" so that when I have guests over and they ask "what can I bring" I can ask for more wine instead of dessert. This is a great one that can be made in a tarte tannin pan, a cake pan, or a cast iron skillet.
Apple Tarte Tatin
 4 Tbs butter, cut into thin slices
2 cups sugar
4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 pound puff pastry or pie dough
Cut the butter into thin slices and arrange them evenly in the base of the Tarte Tatin dish.
Sprinkle with the sugar and melt on top of the stove over medium heat, until sugar begins to caramelize. Remove from heat.
 Peel, core and slice the apples. Arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the sugar in the pan. They should be overlapping.
 Heat on top of the stove over low to medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes or until a golden caramel is formed. Cook until the liquid produced by the apples is almost completely evaporated.
 Preheat oven to 425°
 Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick, and cut out a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the pan.
 Set the circle of dough on the apples so that they are completely covered.
 Bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is puffed and golden brown.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°
 Continue baking for 10 minutes or until the pastry is crisp.
 Let the tarte cool slightly 5 or so minutes. Cover pan with a plate, and flip. Don’t freak out if a couple of apples stick to the bottom, just use a spatula to get them off, and put them back into place.
 Serve with ice cream or homemade whipping cream
 Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is a fantastic vegetable to have on hand. It can be used as a side or a meal. It can also be used as a perfect substitute for pasta, hence the name.  With a mild flavor this absorbent squash can pick up and enhance any flavor. Getting into the squash can be kind of scary. You will need to cut it into two halves, a good knife is a must have for this one. If the squash is just too hard to get through don't despair, poke a few holes into the skin with a fork, and pop it into the microwave for 5 minutes. After it will be much easier to tackle.

Bake in a 375 deg. oven for 45 minutes, cut side down
Set aside and allow to cool slightly

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 polish kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces
sauté in EVOO for 2 minutes

1 Tbs. EVOO

 Substitutions for the kielbasa could be:
  • spinach
  • kale
  • parmesan cheese, and lots of pepper
  • diced tomatoes
  • brown sugar and butter
just to name a few. Have fun with this yummy and very kid friendly vegetable.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Easy as fried rice

 One of my families favorite dishes is fried rice. This dish can be served as a side or a main course depending on if you add a protein or not. Also it can be a great way to use up rice that may
be left over from a Chinese carry out. This dish can be vegetarian or add the protein of your desire. I am giving you my shrimp and chicken fried rice recipe. For anyone new CES is Courtney's Everything Seasoning.

Shrimp and Chicken Fried Rice

1 lb. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 chicken breast, butterflied and diced


1 tsp. corn starch, divided between shrimp and chicken

Blended oil

3 eggs, beaten

1 bunch green onion, chopped

4 cups white rice, cooked

¾ cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed

2 Tbs. soy sauce

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil


In two separate bowls, toss shrimp and chicken with CES and corn starch. Heat a large skillet over high heat; add 1 Tbs. oil to pan. First cook the shrimp making sure they are in one layer. Do not overcook; cook until the shrimp just turns pink on both sides. Transfer shrimp to a large dish. Repeat this process with chicken. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel. 

Turn skillet to medium heat, add 1 Tbs. oil pour in beaten egg, stir quickly for one minute and remove from the pan (the egg may still be a little runny).

Back in the skillet add 1 Tbs. oil along with the green onions, sauté for 30 seconds. Add the cooked rice and toss, continue cooking for two minutes until the rice begins to pop.  Add peas and carrots and soy sauce toss to incorporate throughout rice.  Finish with toasted sesame oil, serve immediately.


Serves 4 to 6


I used a julienne peeler to make these perfect carrots. I love gadgets that make my life easier.

Tada it really is a beautiful dish

Monday, February 25, 2013

Diane Phillips

I am excited everytime Daine comes to teach in Springboro, and honered that she agrees to let me help her out. I learn so much for her everytime she comes. Check out the blog that inspired me to start my own.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meatless Fridays

I have found it kind of fun to have food rules, one of them being Meatless Fridays during lent. Of course I chuckle knowing that it all started because the fish mongers were hurting, and a priest was related to one of these said fishmongers, and decided to help him out, or something along those lines. Never the less on Fridays we avoid eating anything that walks on four legs. Obviously the easiest choice would be to make your favorite fish dish, but wait there is so much more. Fritatas, omelets, pasta dishes. These are days to pull a page from all the vegetarians, and see what their all so darn happy about. Beans, beans glorious beans, I had a cold bean side dish last night that was beautiful not only to the eye but to my very hungry tummy (working on getting recipe, will share when I get it). It great to challenge yourself and think outside of the box, enjoy the challenge. Here is something to get you started. This a great dish, especially of cold nights, like we are having in Ohio.

Rigatoni with Mushrooms, Garlic and Herbs


4 Tbs butter

½ cup flour

4 cups milk

¼ tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper



6 Tbs butter

1 Tbs Oil

1 lb fresh mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

½ tsp Herbs de Provence

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

½ cup creamed sherry (Harveys)

1 cup Parmesan, grated


1 lb rigatoni

½ cup Parmesan, grated


Preheat oven to 400°

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

To make the béchamel, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and stir to make a smooth paste. Whisk in milk until the paste is well incorporated. Over medium heat stir the béchamel until in begins to thicken and comes to a boil. Allow to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

Melt butter and oil in a large sauté pan, add mushrooms, herbs, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender.

Add stock, and stir until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Add sherry, and sauté until syrupy.

Stir mushrooms into béchamel and add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Combine mushroom mixture with warm pasta, and toss to coat. Grease a 9 X 13 pan with butter and pour pasta into pan. Top with ½ cup Parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serves 4 to 6 people


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Always read, re-read, and read again all recipes

Everyone who knows me knows I hate to bake. That is why when I bake I should read the recipe at least 3 times. I was trying to make somebody else's recipes last evening and without reading the recipe properly ended up having to make it 4 times. If anybody would like some delicious orange cake let me know. Now if you would like some orange upside down cake you have to wait for that.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Courtney's Everything Seasoning

Instead of using salt and pepper I use a seasoning that I make myself. It's easy and give an pick up to all of my dishes.

1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ground pepper
1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/8 cup herbes de provence

Store in a air tight container.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Savona with Keith Taylor

Like I have said before I'm blessed to get to work with amazing people, and last was night I got to work with Keith Taylor of Savona in Centerville, Ohio. Keith is a smart, creative quick witted chef who blows my mind every time our paths cross. He can take the simplest ingredients, and take them to places they didn't even know they could go. My mouth is watering for more, so I'm taking my husband on a date to the one and only Savona. Here is one of the recipes that he demonstrated last night. He served a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin on top. YUM!

Mushroom Puree
·         2 lbs. of mushrooms finely chopped
·         ¼ cup of oil
·         ¼ cup veal stock
      ·         1 small onion finely chopped
     ·         1 tsp. garlic
     ·         1 Tbsp. fresh or dried thyme
     ·         1 Tbsp. truffle oil
Chop onion and mushroom in food processor.
Heat oil in a skillet and add mushroom and onion mixture and garlic.
Add thyme and sauté.  When tender add stock and truffle oil.

Cooks'Wares Chopped Challenge

Learn, Taste, Enjoy ~ It’s All Cooking at Cooks’Wares!

Cooks’Wares “Chopped Challenge”

Co-Sponsored by Wusthof

Sat Jan 26          Prelim #1         1-4pm        $40

Sat Feb 2           Prelim #2         1-4pm        $40

Sat Feb 16         Finals         1-4pm        $40

YOU be the JUDGE!

Each competitor will prepare three dishes: Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert. That’s where YOU come in! We need adventuresome foodies to judge our Chopped Challenge competitors on the following criteria: Taste, Originality/Use of Mystery Ingredients, and Presentation.


The Marketplace at Settlers Walk

756 North Main Street

Springboro, OH 45066

(937) 748-4540


Friday, January 18, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Now that we are a couple weeks into the New Year some are resolutions are slipping away. I tend to stay away from the gym in the month of January, it's crowded, and I can't get on the machines I want. So, I usually do a cleanse in January to flush out all the punishment I have put my body thru since November. My sister Debbie turned me on to this diet/cleanse a couple of years ago, and this was my second time doing it with great success. Now why they call it the Cabbage Soup Diet I have no idea seeing as there is only 1/2 a head of cabbage in the soup. It should be called the Yummy  Vegetable Soup Diet. Its quick, simple, inexpensive, and no you are not running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. All in all I have felt great at the end of this process, so I wanted to share it with you.

Cabbage Soup Recipe
§  6 large green onions (also called “spring” onions)
§  2 green peppers
§  1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
§  3 carrots
§  1 container (10 oz. or so) mushrooms
§  1 bunch of celery
§  half a head of cabbage
§  1 package spice only soup mix (In the US, Liptons is a good choice)
§  1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
§  1 48oz can Low Sodium V8 juice (optional)
§  Season to taste with pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc. (Little to NO SALT!)

Slice green onions, put in a pot on medium heat and start to sauté with cooking spray. Do this until the onions are whiter/clearer in color (about 4-6 minutes).
Cut green pepper stem end off, then cut pepper in half to take out the seeds and membrane. Cut the green pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.
Take the outer leafs layers off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.
Clean carrots, mushrooms, and celery, cut into bite size pieces and toss them in. Add tomatoes now, too.
If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.
For seasonings, you can use a spice soup packet of your choice (no noodles!) or use beef or chicken bouillon cubes. These cubes are optional, and you can add spices you like instead (make sure not to add much salt, if any at all).
Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the 48 oz of Low Sodium V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup simmer for a long time – about 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.
This is what you do everyday on the diet

Remember: This diet should only be followed for 7 days at a time, with at least two weeks in between.

Day One:
Fruit: Eat all of the fruit you want (except bananas). Eat only your soup and the fruit for the first day. For drinks- unsweetened teas, cranberry juice and water.

Day Two:
Vegetables: Eat until you are stuffed will all fresh, raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. Try to eat leafy green vegetables and stay away from dry beans, peas and corn. Eat all the vegetables you want along with your soup. At dinner, reward yourself with a big baked potato with butter. Do not eat fruit today.

Day Three:
Mix Days One and Two: Eat all the soup, fruits and vegetables you want. No Baked Potato.

Day Four:
Bananas and Skim Milk: Eat as many as eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup. This day is supposed to lessen your desire for sweets.

Day Five:
Beef And Tomatoes: Ten to twenty ounces of beef and up to six fresh tomatoes. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water this day to wash the uric acid from your body. Eat your soup at least once this day. You may eat broiled or baked chicken instead of beef (but absolutely no skin-on chicken). If you prefer, you can substitute broiled fish for beef on one of the beef days (but not both).

Day Six:
Beef and Vegetables: Eat to your heart’s content of beef and vegetables this day. You can even have 2 or 3 steaks if you like, with leafy green vegetables. No Baked Potato. Eat your soup at least once.

Day Seven:
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables: Again stuff, stuff, stuff yourself. Be sure to eat your soup at least once this day.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Gearing up to teach at Cooks'Wares

I'm getting very excited to teach to a sold out class at Cooks'Wares in Springboro, Ohio. http://www.cookswaresonline.com/Classes/01.16.13_Italian_Comfort_Rathweg.html
Here is a link to the menu I will be teaching. I love to share my enthusiasm of cooking with other people. One of my favorite things about teaching is seeing that ah ha moment in a students eyes when they realize "this can be easy, this does not need to be so hard, what have I been so afraid of". When I see that moment, and it happens almost every class, I get chills up my spine. I am sharing will you today the meat ball recipe that I will be demonstrating for the class.

1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (3 to 4 slices, no crust)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten

 Preheat oven to 375°

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out your desired size meat ball.

 Cover a large cookie sheet with tin foil, arrange meatballs so they are not touching. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are golden brown all the way around.

 I always double the recipe, and freeze what I do not use.

This recipe will make approximately 30 mini meat balls and 15 large.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Apple chips

So I'm going to see how far I can take this chip making thing. The girls love anything crunchy, even the vegetable chips at DLM which are very expensive and full of salt. The directions that came with my mastrad chips-maker set where vague at best. The whole tortilla idea wasn't even suggested, so I'm going to see how far I can push the envelope. The one thing I have found is you have to test the timimg with your microwave. For the apple chips I started off with the suggested 3m 30sec, and ended up cooking them for a full 6 minutes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Go Irish! Tortilla Chips

We are gearing up to watch the BCS National Championship game, and crossing our fingers that our Fighting Irish come out victorious. Along with everyone in the world after stuffing ourselves silly since Thanksgiving we are watching what we eat. But the party must go on. I made these adorable shamrock chips to go with hummus, and I didn't even have to turn on the oven. The supper cool chip maker was purchased at Cooks Wares, and I used spinach tortillas. 2 minutes in the microwave and tada you have chips. I cant wait to use my new toy on apples, carrots, and other fun stuff.
I used a rolling pin over the top of the cutter, my hand was beginning to hurt. I also stacked two tortillas for speedier results.

This is just too cool

Hope everyone enjoys these cuties. Looking forward to a Notre Dame victory!