Author Archives for noltegaja

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I will be the first to admit that this is not the same as regular pizza crust, but if you are willing to give it a try and understand it isn’t a crust made with flour and yeast, it really is pretty tasty. It’s also an easy way to get extra veggies.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust


2 cups raw, riced cauliflower*

2 egg white or 1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (more can be added)

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

Mrs. Dash or Nature’s Seasoning (or any other diced veggies or seasonings) to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Steam raw cauliflower for about 2 minutes in the microwave. I usually do this in a Ziploc bag after the cauliflower has been grated. Dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel. It is very important that the cauliflower is as dry as possible.
  3. In a large bowl add remaining ingredients and mix well. I added some diced red pepper and green onions to the crust.
  4. Press the mixture onto the parchment paper to resemble a pizza crust.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Baking time may vary depending on your oven temperature and how crispy you like your crust. Cauliflower Pizza Crust 1
  6. Remove crust from oven and top with your favorite toppings. My favorite way to top this crust is with BBQ sauce, Mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken and white and green onions. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before cutting.Grilled Chicken on Cauliflower Crust

*For this recipe one head of cauliflower will yield about 4 cups of riced cauliflower. There are several methods of making the riced cauliflower, but I just grate it with an all purpose grater onto a plate.

Pico de Gallo

This is a simple twist on an easy and delicious Mexican salad. I almost always have this in my refrigerator and spoon it into lettuce leaves and mix it in with salad.

Pico Salsa

Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 6-8
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Pico de Gallo


2-3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 bunch of green onions, diced

1 white onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh garlic (I use the minced garlic in a jar)

3-4 packets of sweetener or sugar to taste, optional


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and chill for several hours to allow flavors to blend. This will keep for several days.

Prime Rib

We have started a new tradition for Christmas Dinner and that would be a delicious, tender and juicy Prime Rib of Beef. I made my first one about 3 years ago and was amazed at how easy it truly is, completely foolproof!


Prime Rib

  • Servings: 6-8
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1 6-7 pound prime rib of beef
5 Tablespoons of seasoning (1 cup of salt, 1/3 cup garlic powder, 1/3 cup black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Allow roast to sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Place rib side down in a greased roasting pan. Generously rub seasoning mixture over the top of the roast. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast. Place on the center rack of the oven and heat bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave in the oven for 3 hours. DO NOT open the oven door. The roast will continue to cook. During the last hour, turn oven back on to 375 degrees and heat for about 30-45 minutes, until heated through. Remove roast from the oven and place a piece of foil over the top to keep warm. Allow roast to rest for 30-45 minutes. The temperature will rise about 10 degrees during the resting time.
Carve with an electric knife and enjoy!

No Fooling, a New Post!

So as today is April 1st I have decided to make a post and try and revive the very short-lived Peanut butter and Banana Pancakes from last year. I decided that today was going to be the day I returned to this blog I created over a year ago and then let it go. I stopped trying to create a blog for a number of reasons, the main one being that my laptop crashed and way too hard to do from an iPad! Then the more I looked around at other blogs I became discouraged that I didn’t have the right camera, enough to talk about and create anything interesting that anyone would care to read. Then I decided that this blog is mainly for me to share recipes and blog about my life so that I am able to have an outlet and hopefully have some fun while doing it. I’ve also given myself permission to not follow a specific format and my posts don’t have to be grammatically correct, hard for someone that is highly OCD. And I can’t lie, a few followers would be pretty awesome too.

Easter Crown of Pork Roast

Crown of Pork Roast-Done

This Easter we had the opportunity to spend it with family in Indianapolis and we certainly took advantage to spend the holiday “at home”. My mom and I had planned on making the traditional ham for Easter dinner after church. Things quickly changed though once we went shopping for groceries and my dad spotted a crown of pork roast. Since neither my mom nor I had ever made one we decided to give it a try. Continue reading

Two Ingredient Taco Tuesday

Shredded Chicken Tortilla

I have always loved tacos, but growing up it rarely made it onto our regular menu. Later after Gaar and I got married we relied on this quick and economical meal as a weekly staple. Over the years as I have become more concerned about creating healthy meals I have traded the traditional beef taco recipe for healthy chicken. While I still make tacos with ground beef this two ingredient chicken recipe is a tasty alternative. And yes, I did say two ingredients.

I am very loyal to the products I like, but I have never found one that has really changed some of my favorite recipes including spaghetti, chili and these tacos. That product is the salsa  called Salsa Rose made locally in Mascoutah, Illinois. I found it by chance after moving here a few months ago and I am totally addicted!

Salsa Rose


As for the tacos, all you need to do is combine your favorite salsa with 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a 5 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Shred with two forks when done and top with your favorite taco toppings. I enjoy this seasoned chicken over lettuce for a delicious taco salad. It is also great served on buns, flatbreads or quesadillas.

Shredded Chicken

Two Ingredient Chicken Tacos

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
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Shredded Chicken Tortilla


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 jar salsa of your choice (I use Salsa Rose, hot)

Taco toppings-lettuce, cheese, tomato


Place chicken in a grease 5 quart slow cooker. Pour salsa over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Shred with a fork. Serve on tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.

This is also great on flatbreads, buns and salads or as a filling for quesadillas.

Monday Muffins

A usual Monday task for me is to clean out the pantry and refrigerator before the garbage comes later in the day, This morning was no different. Today i noticed about 3 over-ripe bananas, 1 egg, a little more than a cup of brown sugar and 2 sticks of butter. I was just going to make banana bread, but then the thought of 2 sticks of butter lured me into making turning the usual banana bread into my family’s favorite-banana crumb muffins. I gathered all of the ingredients and began the muffin making. Not long after,  the smell of delicious banana muffins was irresistible (I am glad to say that I stuck with a snack of strawberries).

Banana Crumb Muffins

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Banana Crumb Muffins

Muffin Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3 large bananas, mashed

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup melted butter

Topping Ingredients:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin tin.

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, egg and butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Fill  muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine the first three topping ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Spoon over muffins.
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Tip: I find it easier to make the topping by grating the butter with a grater before adding it to the sugar and flour mixture.



From Dinner to Lunch…..

During the warmer months we use our grill no less than 3-4 times a week to cook anything from steak and chicken to vegetables and pizza. While I enjoy experimenting with different marinades for meat and simple all-in-one meals, our typical grilled dinner consists of either steak, chicken or pork chops with no special prep.

Because the weather was so unbelievable fantastic on Saturday, a grilled dinner was a must. Gaar bought Filet Mignon along with thick bacon to wrap around each steak. After wrapping the steak with bacon he secured it with a toothpick and then seasoned with Nature’s Seasoning before placing it on the grill. Fifteen minutes later we were enjoying a very tender piece of steak. However, I’m pretty sure anything wrapped with bacon tastes delish!steak

The best part of this dinner was the super leftovers it made for lunch today—you’d be right to guess a super steak sub!


Bacon Wrapped Steak Sandwiches

steak sandwich


leftover bacon wrapped steak (I used filet from dinner the night before)

sub sandwich rolls, split and toasted

Provolone Cheese


tomato slices

shredded lettuce


1. Slice steak into thin strips and heat in microwave for 30-45 seconds or until warm.

2. Spread mayonnaise onto the bottom of toasted sub roll and layer steak and bacon on bread.

3. Place a slice of cheese on top of steak and bacon and heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds or until cheese is just melted.

4. Top with tomato and lettuce.

5. Replace top slice of bread. Enjoy!

*This is a versatile sandwich. Try experimenting with different condiments and cheeses.


Springtime and loving it!

I found myself spending much of my afternoon outdoors. After living in Tampa for many years and rarely needing a sweatshirt, it feels great to be outside in Illinois in short sleeves. I actually took one walk in the afternoon by myself and another when Gaar got home from work. We decided to fire up the grill and have chicken that I had been marinating all day. Needless to say it was relaxing to enjoy a glass of wine with some cheese and crackers on the patio while our meal was cooking outside. I used the oven to roast some veggies and decided to have my chicken cut up over salad. The end result was both refreshing and healthy.

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Veggie Salad

  • Servings: 4
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4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Assorted vegetables, cut up-red and yellow onions, red and green peppers, asparagus or other vegetables you have available

Romaine lettuce or lettuce of your choice

Salad dressing

Additional salad topping (cheese, croutons, almonds, etc.)


If marinating the chicken, allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare grill for medium direct heat. If using charcoal this usually takes 10-15 minutes to allow coals to “ash” over.

When grill is ready, grill chicken until temperature reaches 190 degrees. Remove from grill and slice into strips.

Meanwhile place cut up veggies on a greased, foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Place in oven for 25-30 minutes.

Separate lettuce between chilled plates. Top with grilled chicken and roasted veggies. Top with your favorite dressing and salad toppings. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Salad

Power-Packed Breakfast

I know I’m not alone as a mom when I say that I worry my child does not get enough to eat at school….seems kind of odd though since Abby is 17, but I’ve seen the school lunch menu and with her having a picky palate I’m bothered that she is hungry throughout the day.

These waffles are not only great tasting, but they also pack a little  more of a punch with the added packet of oatmeal. I use mixes for an effortless breakfast, but homemade batter works just as well.

Oatmeal Waffles

  • Servings: 1 waffle
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup of prepared pancake/waffle mix

1 packet of any flavored oatmeal

1 TBSP oil

3/4 cup of water (add more as needed to achieve desired consistency)

Butter, syrup or other toppings of your choice.Oatmeal Waffle Ingredients


1. Prepare waffle grid with cooking spray and begin heating according to manufacturer’s directions.

2. Combine waffle mix, oatmeal, oil and water until combined.

3. Pour onto griddle and let cook until done (my waffle iron usually takes about 3 minutes).

4. Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

Oatmeal waffles cut with fork