Cooking, Baking, & Photo-taking

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Stuffed Peppers February 13, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Cooking,Photo-Taking — Angie S @ 6:11 pm

Stuffed peppers (and stuffed cabbage) are a Levesque family favorite.  Mike and I decided to change the recipe up a bit to give it a new twist.   We are happy that we did.  This adapted recipe was delicious!




4 peppers (green, red, yellow.. whatever you like)

Pepper for rice mixture (1/4 cup / chopped)

A box of Zatarain’s dirty rice

1/2 onion (diced small)

1-2 garlic cloves (diced small)

3/4 lb. ground beef

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Bella mushrooms (chopped)

3-4 tbsp. tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Cook rice according to package directions.

2.  Heat olive oil, add onions and red peppers.  Cook for 3-5 mins. until translucent and soft.

3.  Add garlic and mushroom.  Cook for another 1-2 mins.

4.  In another pan, fry ground beef.  Once the beef is done cooking, drain, bring it back to the pan, and then add worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

5.  Choose your pan for baking, and add a little olive oil to lightly cover the bottom.

6.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

7.  Carve out the insides of each pepper since they will serve as a bowl for your rice.

8.  Once the rice is done cooking, add the tomato paste, and mix good.

9.  Then mix rice mixture into beef mixture.

10.  Start filling the peppers until stuffed 🙂

10.  Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.



Weekly Recipe Round Up – 9.15.12 September 15, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Cooking,Meal Planning,Photo-Taking,Uncategorized — Angie S @ 5:31 pm

What’s New?

1)  Eggplant – I cut it into small pieces, tossed it in egg, and covered it with bread crumbs.  Then cooked it at 350 degrees in the oven for about 30 mins.  I added it to some pasta sauce and it was delicious with spaghetti.  I ended up cooking up Mike some sausage and ground beef pasta sauce instead, and it was missing some cayenne pepper and some red pepper flakes to heat it up a little.  I’ll add them to my grocery list…

2)  Chili garlic sauce and Soba noodles.  We made another stir-fry this week and used two new items.

Chili garlic sauce is a great addition to a stir-fry.  It adds delicious flavor and a little heat.  We have been eating stir-frys a lot lately since they are easy to make, full of veggies, and just tasty!

Another addition to our stir-fry was Soba noodles.  These Japanese noodles have a lot more protein than rice and the same consistency as spaghetti.  I liked them, but Mike wasn’t very impressed.  They were worth a try and I would eat them again.

3) Tofu- I’ve maybe had it once before, but never bought it at the grocery store to use at home.  So I bought some of the softer tofu and added it to a salad and a shake during the week.  I used quite a bit in both, and noticed that having shredded cheese and a little dressing covered the mild flavor in the salad.  I could taste it a lot in the shake, but I did use a lot, so maybe a little less next time to get some extra protein and not overdo it with the flavor..

Tacos- are an easy and tasty meal.  We fry our taco shells in a little vegetable oil on the stove, For filling we add ground beef, refried beans, lettuce, avocado, salsa, tomato, and a little sour cream.  The avocados have to be just ripe…I have definitely learned how to pick ’em.  I prefer the larger flour tacos over the corn, but we use both.  We were in a rush last night, so I’ll post a photo next time I make them.

Kitchen Canvas Art- I am working on some canvas art for my now bare yellow kitchen walls. I’ll be incorporating red, yellow, brown, black, and white into my designs.

Last but not least:  “Water”.  San Jose is very hot right now, so it is very important for us to drink a lot of water.

I’ve been filling up the container below and adding fruit like lemon or orange slices.  Putting water in this container earlier in the day gives me a set amount to drink and the fruit adds a nice refreshing flavor..

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!




Weekly Recipe Round-up September 8, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Cooking,Photo-Taking — Angie S @ 9:37 am

Happy Saturday!!

Welcome to my Kitchen,, It is not decorated yet, but I want to show it off anyway 🙂  It’s nice, bright and yellow!!


Click on the recipe titles below for the Printable Version.

Chili Beef Stir-Fry with Scallions and Snow Peas – Great recipe!! Stir-frys are a good way to get a lot of veggies into your life.  Here are some adaptions I made to this recipe:  I used taco seasoning for the chili-garlic sauce, I added an extra tsp honey, 1 tsp sugar, skipped the mirin or sherry, skipped garlic, added a tab bit less ginger, and  instead of just the snow peas, I added a bag of pre-packed stir-fry veggies that included broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, and carrots.  For next time, I would cut the meat smaller into bite size pieces, and add more garlic – I had run out and not realized 😦

You and Me Chicken Pot Pies – Instead of making individual pot pies, I just made one big one.  I was looking for the phyllo dough, but couldn’t find it so I grabbed some pre-made frozen pie crust instead.  This was way too much filling for 1 pie so I still have filling in the fridge and may make a couple more pies.  Next time, I would use a pie pan to measure the amount of veggies and potatoes in advance and adjust the gravy accordingly to fill one pie.  It could have used a little more seasoning, but all in all this was a great recipe.  Maybe better saved for a weekend night when you are not starving!

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce – This recipe was just Ok… I could see it more as a cold pasta salad and less as a nice, hot dinner.  I added a little too much garlic – if that is possible.  I love the roasted red peppers in the jar. Delicious and I still have some leftover for another recipe.

I hope you enjoyed my recipes and photos, and I am looking forward to another week in the Kitchen.



August Recipe RoundUp September 2, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Photo-Taking — Angie S @ 5:03 pm

Hi There!

I’ve been cooking since mid-August and It’s Not-So-Bad.  I’ve also started a cooking journal where I can review dinner and record food spending- Our #1 Expense.  I spend about 5 minutes each night writing about my “learning” experiences.  I understand that not every recipe is going to go as planned and sometimes I will just completely fail, but I just gotta keep at it.  Keep Moving Forward..Keep Building Confidence in the Kitchen.

August Recipes:   (Click on the recipe name for the Printable version)

American Chop Suey – We made our own sauce, but the sauce recipe wasn’t so great, so I won’t bother sharing.  I am very much looking forward to making homemade sauce again.

Butternut Squash Soup – I would definitely make this recipe again…YUM; however, next time I would chop the squash up nice and small before throwing it in the oven to cook.  It took over 40 mins and it could have cooked longer.

Meatloaf – I enjoyed this recipe a lot!  The red pepper and diced tomatoes made this meatloaf delicious.  Not to mention the brown sugar topping.  I switched out the oatmeal for Ritz crackers.

Hawaiian Style Boboli® Pizza (with Pepperoni & Pineapple) – Looking for a quick, delicious, and easy dinner?  Grab some Boboli Pizza crust and make your own pizza.  I will be looking for fresh or refrigerated dough for next time!

Pork Chops (Jeff’ Recipe) – Recipe to be posted.  We love Jeff’s recipe and we will be making these again.

Ravioli Caprese – This was my complete “FAIL” recipe for the month.  We ended up getting dinner at In & Out Burger and throwing these out.  I made the ravioli way to thick and it ended up not cooking well and very doughy.  I would try again..just need to make sure I read all directions before beginning.  Cooking 101:  Read your directions throughly first so you know exactly what the recipe wants you to do before you get started.

Spaghetti (with Sausage) – I whipped up some pasta and canned sauce and just added sausage.  Easy recipe.  Don’t forget the garlic bread.

Tacos (Jeff’s Recipe) – Using freshly fried corn tortillas, ground beef, and fresh veggies.  – Recipe to be posted.

Teriyaki Chicken – This recipe sounded delicious, smelled good, but didn’t taste very good.  I made a large batch so I have some extra in the freezer and I’ll give it another shot.  Maybe cooking it on the grill next time around would be better.

Swedish Meatballs – Great recipe if you enjoy swedish meatballs.  This could be a good dish to make for Super Bowl Party.  I paired these meatballs with mashed potatoes.  We enjoy IKEA’s swedish meatball dish when we shop.


Beef Stew & Cornbread January 23, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Photo-Taking — Angie S @ 8:13 pm

My colleague and my parents recently made beef stew, and it sounded so good to me.  It’s been raining here for the last few days, and it has been cold and raw.  The perfect kind of day for some beef stew!  I picked up the ingredients yesterday when I went shopping, and today I got to work.

Slicing and dicing and simmering and tasting..

Printable Recipe


2 lbs. stew meat

4 carrots

4 celery stalks

5 red potatoes (skin on)

1 onion

1 – small can Hunts tomato paste

1 – 14 oz can Hunts stewed tomato

3 – tbsp. flour

1 tsp. cornstarch – mix with 1 ladle full of hot soup/repeat until desired thickness

salt & pepper to taste

enough water to keep meat & veggies covered at all times

I skipped the bacon and the toppings.  I kinda wished I had some thyme and some bay leaves; however, the soup had a nice flavor when it was all said and done.

1) First I cut up the stew beef into small cubes, fried it in some oil until browned, and then I tossed it in the flour to coat it lightly.

2) Next I cut up the carrots, potatoes (leaving skin on), onion, and celery.  Keep in mind:  cut the carrots and potatoes thin and small.  They take forever to cook!

3) I put the meat and veggies in a big pot and covered with 1 can stewed tomatoes, 2 tbsp. tomato paste, and enough water to cover everything.

4) I simmered for about four hours, making sure there was enough liquid covering the stew.  Just about 30 minutes before I finished cooking, I took a ladle full of soup and added a heaping tbsp. of cornstarch.  I stirred until the cornstarch dissolved into the liquid and then I stirred it into my pot.  I repeated this about 2-3 more times to thicken the soup up and make a nice consistency for a stew.  I let the stew finish simmering for the remaining 30 minutes.

5) I baked up a box of Jiffy cornbread on the side.  I used a 6″ baking pan and cut it into quarters.

Recipe Courtesy of  By Rachel Ray 🙂



Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge December 18, 2011

Filed under: Cooking,Photo-Taking — Angie S @ 4:03 pm


Mike needed something to bring to his work Holiday party, so he decided that he wanted me to make fudge.  So today, I made Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge.  I tried a new recipe I found on, for Chocolate Fudge, and it is a very good one.  We decided on using dark chocolate and adding cherries and it made a delicious combination.

Here’s a photo:

I originally covered one of my loaf pans in foil, spayed the foil with nonstick cooking spray, added the fudge, let the fudge set for three hours, and then removed it from the pan.  The nonstick cooking spray made it very easy to remove.  I then cut the fudge into bite size pieces and transferred it to a disposable foil pan so it’s easier to transport – and not have to worry about getting the pan/container back.  I like using foil pans for Thanksgiving sides too, it makes it nice and easy for storage and cleanup.

Here’s the Printable Recipe.


1 pound semi-sweet chocolate (I used dark chocolate)

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional mix-ins: chopped nuts,

dried fruits, mini-marshmallows (I used cherries)

Serves 12


Line a pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Heat the chocolate on a double boiler on the stovetop. Heat the condensed milk, vanilla and salt on the stovetop in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and combine – the mixture will be thick and hard to stir. Add the chopped nuts and/or other mix-ins and pour into the lined pan.  Allow the fudge to cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 3 hours or overnight.

As for the rest of the week, Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods and Aunt Missy’s Cut-Outs are on my list of desserts to be made before Christmas.  I also want to make another batch of fudge – milk chocolate – next time.

More posts and photos to follow.



Blueberry Coffee Cake December 17, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Photo-Taking — Angie S @ 10:17 am

Happy December!!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year. I’ve been so busy with work throughout the year that the time just flew by for me. When it gets to be close to the holidays, I love to bake, so this morning I tried out a Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe that my Uncle Ben loves. I can definitely see why. I am eating it as I am typing. It is light, fluffy, sweet, and overall just delicious. I would certainly make this recipe again. Feel free to print it out here, and try it for yourself. You can also find it under Desserts/Blueberry Coffee Cake.

Here are a few photos:

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!