Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Baking with Son: Joe's Birthday Chocolate Poke Cake with Cherry Pie Filling and Chocolate Glaze

We missed baking on Joe's birthday, but we did make a Chocolate Poke Cake to celebrate.

1.  Make cake in 9 x 13 pan.

2.  Let it cook just a little while you microwave the contents of a can of frosting - 30 seconds was all it needed for us.

3.  While it's in microwave, we used a straw to make holes in the top of the cake.

4.  Then we poured the melted frosting on top of the cake and put in the frig to cool to room temperature.

5.. Opened a can of cherry pie filling, and poured that on the top of the cake.

6.  In frig again for a bit.

7.  Frost with Cool Whip and or whipped cream.

8.  Use nuts to write "Joe".

9.  Enjoy!

A piece for Joe!

Wishing Joe a happy birthday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Chickpea Tomato Soup with Rosemary (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker and Stove Top)

 This was very good.

Chickpea Tomato Soup with Rosemary (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker and Stove Top)

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 10 mins 35 mins 45 mins

COURSE: Lunch, Soup CUISINE: Italian

This Chickpea Tomato Soup is an easy, hearty soup, loaded with chickpeas and vegetables in every bite. Stove, slow cooker and Instant Pot directions provided.


1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves (minced)
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (0r about 3 cups of soaked chickpeas)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians) 1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
fresh black pepper (to taste)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (plus extra optional for garnish)

Instructions Crock Pot Version

YIELD: 6 servings 5 from 37 votes

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the crock pot along with the broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, parmesan cheese, and pepper. Add the rosemary, bay leaves and basil, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

  2. When done add the spinach. Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Stove Top Version

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, parmesan cheese, and pepper. Add the rosemary, basil and bay leaves, cover and cook on low 30 minutes. Add the spinach, cover and simmer until wilted, about 2 minutes.

  2. Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Instant Pot Version

1. Follow same recipe as above except cook 15 minutes high pressure, natural release.

Serving: 11/2 cups, Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 2.5mg, Sodium: 387mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g
Blue Smart Points: 1 Green Smart Points: 4 Purple Smart Points: 1 Points +: 5

Printed from Skinnytaste:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Pizza: Mushroom, Onion, Broccoli, Asiago Romano Alfredo Sauce

DH and I made the nicest pizza last night.

Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust 13.8 oz (comes in a tube) - Set oven to 400 degrees and preheat oven then put dough on pan, and in oven until starting to brown - about 8-10 minutes. While waiting for the oven to preheat and crust to cook prepare the other items.

Costco Organic Crimini Mushrooms, 24 oz - wipe and slice each into around 6 or 7 slices. Put in a dry pan and cook down until starting to brown. Drain the resulting water - or save for a soup! I cooked all of them, used all except about 1/2 cup for the pizza.

Large Sweet Onion - slice and then cut to make small pieces. Heat another pan with some oil and cook the onion until it starts to turn light brown.

Broccoli - Cut into very small bits - microwaved to soften.

Galbani, Whole Milk Low-Moisture Mozzarella, 16 oz - 1/4 inch slice then cut each into 1/4.

Classico Light Asiago Romano Alfredo Pasta Sauce 15 oz Jar

Top the precooked crust with the sauce, broccoli, most of the cheese, onions, mushrooms, top with remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese starts to brown - about 8 - 10 minutes.

We had a little container of cooked bacon from Marketside Sunflower Bacon Crunch Chopped Salad Kit 13.4 oz so sprinkled that along with seasoned pepper on the top.

Served with remaining half of the Sunflower Chopped Salad Kit - added some tomatoes.

We all enjoyed - only have two pieces of 12 left!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Baking with Son: Brownies

 We made brownies tonight.  With cream instead of water, and added walnuts to the pan. Used a knife to tuck them under the batter.  Very tasty!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Baking with Son: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 We made delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - just from a mix so not a lot of anything.  We timed the baking correctly though so the cookies were soft in the middle.  And we did bake something.  So that is good.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter 2021

 We have no usual for Easter dinner.  This year decided to try to make a special old fashioned meal to remember.

Calories from MyFitness Pal Meal = 289 + 303 + 155 + 433 = 1180

Plan for Preparing the Meal

1.  Make the pretzel crust.
Food process pretzels until about 2.5 cups.  It never ground down to meal - still could see the pretzels.  Add 2 T brown sugar.  Melt about 12 T butter.  Add and pulse until it comes together.
Press in the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for around 12-15 minutes. Cool to room temp.

2. Food process about a pound of strawberries.
In a bowl put 6 oz of strawberry jello powder and mix with 1 c boiling water.  When mixed, add 1 c room temp or cold water and add the strawberries.  Put in frig to chill and start to thicken.

3.  Put about 30 oz of frozen hash browns on the cookie sheet to defrost. 200 degrees for around 6 minutes. (Or remember to put the potatoes in the frig to defrost over night!  Set it up so they can drain too.)

4.  In a large bowl, mix 2 c plain Greek yogurt, 1 ~10 oz can of cream of chicken soup, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, 1t salt, 1/2 t pepper and 1t dried onion– in a bowl and mix them up.

5.  Add the 30 oz of potatoes, and 2 c of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar). Mix and then Put in baking dish. (I used 11 X 7 dish - very full)

6.  Crush about 2 c corn flakes, combine with 4 T melted butter and put on top of the casserole.  Cover and refrigerate while working on other things.

7.  DH made the string bean casserole.  Rinse and then drain 2 (~15oz) cans of canned string beans.  Combine with 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/3 c French's Onion Rings, Salt and Pepper to taste. Put in 8 x 8 casserole. Cover and refrigerate while doing other things.

8.  Combine 8 to 12 oz of softened cream cheese with 1 c of sugar.  Fold in 8 oz of whipped topping. "Frost" the cooled pretzel crust - be sure it seals the crust completely.  Then put the partially thickened strawberry jello mixture on top. Cover and refrigerate.

9.  In a small bowl, combine 1/3 - 1/2 c pineapple juice, 2 - 4 T brown sugar, and  2-4 T honey.

10.  Slice ham if needed.  Make a foil bowl (I made by forming over the instant pot bowl.)  Then put 1 1/2 c water in the bowl and place in the instant pot and put the trivet in too.  Put the ham in the foil bowl - and use a turkey baster to put the sweet mixture in between the slices.  Then put the bowl with the ham in the instant pot.  Cut back foil if needed.  Spoon a little brown sugar on the top of the ham.  Pick the option for High Pressure for 20 minutes.  I bought 7 lb unsliced but precooked ham from Costco.

11. Preheat the oven to 350.  Set the table.  Put the potatoes in the oven for 25 minutes.  Then add the string beans to the oven for another 20 minutes.  Add the rest of the french's onions (about a cup) to the top of the string beans after stirring them.  Keep both in oven for another 5 minutes.

12.  Remove casseroles from the oven and the ham from the instant pot and put on platter - slice completely thru as needed.

13.  Plate the meal.  String beans, funeral potatoes, and copycat honey baked ham on plate and the strawberry mixture gets sliced onto a smaller plate.

Very nice meal - it helped a lot to clean the dishes during the preparation so there was not a lot of clean up after the meal. 

To remember for next time: 
  • Could make all except the ham the day before.
  • Pick something else for dessert or try refrigerating the crust before filling it, and making the cream cheese part with no-bake cheesecake mixture.
  • Could take some of the ham juice and heat to thicken it and put on top of the ham - didn't think that was necessary this time.
  • Would be okay to use different soups for the two casseroles.
This was a hearty meal with lots of leftovers!  I have asparagus to serve when the string beans run out - and green salad.  

I don't remember what time I started making the meal - around 11 or noon I think.  We ate around 3 or 4pm and just had cereal or yogurt for dinner around 8pm.  I already put some of the ham in the freezer as I had to cut it to get it to fit in the instant pot!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 2021 - Self-Isolation Meals and Notes

We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Only our son needs his second vaccination - then I suppose - I hope - we will feel like we can go out and about again.  Since our trip to Africa November 2019, I haven't been able to smell or taste much so going out to restaurants will not be top of my list - although I suspect my DH and DS are dreaming about that.  We'll see what happens.

What a shame that I do not have any grand things to point to as accomplishments during this strange last year.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

B - J only yogurt and jam

L - Lentils topped with yogurt and apricot jam (they were premade in the yellow pouch)

D - Costco Stuffed Salmon and Salad

Walk with P, online class with Lauren - this week was courtyard steps.

Friday, April 2 2021

L - Black Beans with veggies and shrimp on top of salad

D - Chicken, Rice, Squash

T - Lemon Pound Cake with ice cream

Saturday, April 3, 2021

L - Black Beans, Chicken, Rice

D - Shrimp Cocktail, Shrimp Caesar Salad, and Tomato Toast - I did not blend the tomatoes.  

T - Lemon Pound Cake - made from a Krusteaz mix.

Sunday, April 4, 2021 - Easter

T - Lemon Pound Cake and Coffee

L - Copycat (Instant Pot) Honey Baked Ham, Funeral Potatoes, Campbell's String Bean Casserole, Strawberry Pretzel Salad - a real old fashioned meal!  

D - Cereal for B, Yogurt with Fruit for A & J

Irish Cousins on Easter

Monday, April 5, 2021

L - Leftover Easter Dinner

D - Cereal or yogurt

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

L - Leftover Easter Dinner

D - Cereal or yogurt

For Wednesday - still have potatoes and strawberry pretzel dish - just a little ham.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

D - Easy Chicken Enchiladas, refried beans (I added a little bacon fat that made them taste a lot better!) + salad

Thursday, April 8, 2021

L - pastrami sandwiches - goofed and served with left over chicken enchiladas instead of the leftover potato!

D - Doordash Fish Restaurant

Friday, April 9, 2021

D - Pasta with Bocca and pasta sauce, broccoli and salad  (Next time do not use as much Bocca)

Saturday, April 10, 2021

L - Scrambled Eggs with Pastrami and sauerkraut and rye bread and the last of the strawberry pretzel 'salad'

D - Pizza with pepperoni, onion, bell peppers + salad

T - DS and I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

L - Scrambled Eggs with Pastrami and sauerkraut and rye bread B & A, and the last of the lazy chicken enchilada and refried beans.

D - Sheet-Pan Spiced Cauliflower and Tofu With Ginger Yogurt Recipe _ Serious Eats.pdf

Very interesting result!  Something to make again - only need half a recipe for three people.  B & A also had the last of the pizza.

T - DS and I made brownies!

Monday, April 12, 2021

B - J only Oatmeal with peaches and blueberries

L - Lentils with rice and Nan

D - DH and I made Mushroom Pizza - Recipe here with salad

T - brownies and ice cream

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

L - Lentil soup with K-Sandwiches we each had 1/3 of a sardine and grilled pork sandwich.

T - brownies

D - Libby's Sausage Gravy with 2-ingredient biscuits and frozen peas - always a winner!

Biscuits made with 1 c self-rising flour, 1 c plain yogurt, 1 pad of cut of cold butter.  Mix and drop into three piles on cooking sheet.  350 for around 30 min.  Can use sour cream or buttermilk instead, okay to add egg too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

L - Chick Pea Tomato Soup with beer bread

D - Pork, Apple Sauce, Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, Hasselback Potatoes and Wine!

Beer Bread - first in the oven, then just before removing it!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

L - Tomato Chick Pea Soup with Beer Bread

D - Braised Cabbage

Friday, April 16, 2021

L - Carry in Deli Sandwiches

D- left over pizza and tomato chick pea soup

Saturday, April 17, 2021

L - Carry in - KFC each had our own boxed lunch, chicken, salad, mashed potatoes, biscuit

D - We were all full so skipped

T - Ice cream later in the evening

Sunday, April 18, 2021

L - Last of the Chick pea and tomato soup and last of the leftover pizza and pizza from the deli

D - Hot dogs, Hawaiian Bun, potato salad and baked beans

T - Pudding

Monday, April 19, 2021

L - Leftovers.  B had last of the hotdog and baked beans, A & J had the last of the braised cabbage.

D - Chicken Pot Pie (used up cans: veg-all, chicken, string beans, cream of celery soup - added some wine and better than bouillon chicken) Topped with Sour Cream Crust - added wine to the dough and brushed with beaten egg before baking at 400 for around 40 minutes.

T - Joe's Birthday Cake - this year we made a chocolate poke cake.  Heated chocolate frosting for the holes, then added canned cherry pie filling and topped with cool whip and whipped cream. Used Pecans to write Joe on the top of the cake!  Will send photos tomorrow to Joe and again wish him a Happy Day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
L - Chicken Pot Pie + Salad + Joe's birthday cake
D - Chickpea Curry  (coconut, apple, apricot jam, almonds for toppings) + Salad + Joe's birthday cake with ice cream

Wednesday, April 21, 2021
L - Chicken Pot Pie + Salad + Joe's birthday cake
D - B & J had cereal, A skipped

Thursday, April 22, 2021
L - Chickpea Curry  (coconut, apricot jam, almonds for toppings), Nan + Salad
D - Scrambled Eggs, Easter Ham, Cheese in Cornbread bowls + Salad

Friday, April 23, 2021
L - Curry chick peas with rice and condiments - Bernie really liked this meal
D - Alex's Chicken Pot Pie (except added parsnips and ham)

Saturday, April 24, 2021
L - Costco Turkey Croissant sandwich and cesar salad
D - Stuffed Salmon topped with extra panko, asparagus + salad

Sunday, April 25, 2021
L -B&J split a Costco Turkey Croissant Sandwich, A had a ham and cheese sandwich and we split a Cesar salad
T - last of Joe's birthday cake - still very good!  Added fresh whipped cream to freshen up the looks.
D - Stuffed Salmon rolled in panko, zucchini squash sauted in butter and grape tomatoes + salad

Monday, April 26, 2021
L - Salad - made by placing cooked shrimp on top of lettuce with some cheese, then adding a spoonful of cesar salad dressing and cocktail sauce, a squeeze of lemon and croutons.
D - Carry in Pancho's Mexican - J had EBHQ Lecture to attend!

Beer Bread when first put in the oven and when done 20 minutes later!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021
L - "Spicy' Bean soup with quesadillas  - soup was spicy when made, but I froze as we got meals from Costco - when defrosted and eaten no longer spicy.
D - Chicken Pot Pie + Salad

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
L - "Spicy' Bean soup with carne asada from tacos- fried tortillas with cheese - soup was spicy when made, but I froze as we got meals from Costco - when defrosted and eaten no longer spicy.
D - Pizza with two ingredient crust (next time add sugar), alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, onion, mushrooms
T - Brownies with ice cream

Thursday, April 29, 2021
L - Egg Drop Soup with frozen peas added and Beer bread
D - Spaghetti with snap peas and sausage sauce
T - Brownies with ice cream

Friday, April 30, 2021
L - Leftovers!  Chicken Pot Pie, Hot Dog, Pasta+Sauce, Potato Salad
D - Beans and Rice
T - Brownie and Ice Cream