Monday, November 8, 2010

New Blog

For a while now, Jennie and I have been talking about starting a blog where we would put our family recipes along with our most used recipes. We we're thinking it would be a good way to put together all of our best recipes (not just ones we make once or twice). We finally did more than just talk and started a blog called PJ’s Recipe Box. We invite you all to check it out! We’ve been trying to post something new every day so it’s always changing.

We’re going to keep this blog going as well since it’s such a good resource and has so many recipes that I make all the time (you will notice there are a lot of repeats on the other blog). It’s also so nice to be able to see what delicious recipes other people are making.

The link to our new blog is:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Minestrone Soup

As the weather cools down I’ve been pulling out my soup and chili recipes.  I’m so excited for fall and the recipes that come with it.  This is a recipe that I’ve made many many times.  If you like minestrone soup, you’ll like this one.  It’s very easy and involves close to no chopping.  Opening cans is as hard as this recipe gets.

We’re still getting used to the lighting in our new house.  So this isn’t the best picture, but don’t judge it!  It really is tasty. I served these cool rolls that don’t require kneading on the side.  By the way, this soup taste best the next day.  I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.


3 14-oz. cans beef broth
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes, undrained*
1 11.5-oz. can vegetable juice (V8 juice)
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried italian seasoning, crushed
1 1/2 frozen mixed vegetables
2 c. cooked pasta (small shell, macaroni…)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, cut into strips
Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large pot combine beef broth, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, undrained tomatoes, vegetable juice, tomato paste, sugar, and Italian seasoning.  Bring to boiling; add mixed vegetables.  Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in cooked pasta and spinach; heat through.  Serve with a little parmesan sprinkled on top if desired.

* I like my tomatoes to be small so I either used petit diced tomatoes or I chop the stewed tomatoes.
* The recipe suggests making the soup the night before up to the point where you add the pasta and spinach.  Then chill over night.  After chilling, reheat the soup and add the cooked pasta and spinach.  It really is better the next day.
*This recipe makes a lot.  The recipe says it serves 8.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Jennie recommended this recipe to me and we loved it!  It’s a really fun and delicious alternative to pizza.  I’ve made it twice already and hope to experiment with different fun toppings.



1 roll refrigerated pizza dough or homemade  (Jennie and I both used this recipe with great results)
marinara/pizza sauce
2 T grated Parmesan cheese*
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder*
1 t dried Italian seasoning*
mozzerella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice

*The recipe suggested that garlic bread seasoning can be substituted for these ingredients (recipe to follow). 

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees. If you make your own dough, 400 is usually a good heat as well.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square (not the marinara sauce, that’s for dipping after).  You need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.

When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).  Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese (or sprinkle on garlic bread seasoning).

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Garlic Bread Topping

1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Combine ingredients in a jar (preferably one with a sprinkle top) and shake.

Marinara Sauce

1 6-oz. can tomato paste
6 oz. water (just use the empty tomato paste can)
3 Tbsp. garlic bread topping (recipe above)
1 Tbsp. sugar or honey
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Empty tomato paste into a bowl and add water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly until combined. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and allow to stand until ready to use. Covers two average-sized pizza or, obviously, can be used to dip breadstick/pizza rolls.

*Jennie and I both used the garlic bread topping and marinara sauce recipe and loved them.  But I’m sure it would be delicious without

These recipes were found at:
(There are some really good step by step pictures)

Teriyaki Meatballs

I love this recipe. It’s very flavorful and I had basically all of the ingredients on hand. Also, it’s easy and involves no chopping. I’ve made it twice (once on my sister’s birthday at her request) and plan to make it many times in the future.


1.5 pounds ground beef (at least 90% lean)
2 eggs
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

For the sauce, in a medium bowl mix the soy sauce, 1 3/4 cups water, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey together. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup cold water. Set both bowls aside.

For the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except for the ground beef and mix well. Add the ground beef and mix until combined. Form ground beef mixture into 1 to 1 1/2-inch meatballs. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat two tablespoons oil over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Add the meatballs to the hot skillet and brown on all sides, turning with a pair of tongs. The meatballs don’t need to be completely cooked through, just equally browned on all sides.

When the meatballs have browned, pour the sauce ingredients over the meatballs and gently turn the meatballs to coat them in the sauce. Heat the sauce until just simmering and add the cornstarch/water mixture, carefully mixing so as not to break apart the meatballs as you combine the cornstarch mixture with the teriyaki sauce. Simmer the meatballs and sauce over medium heat, maintaining a constant simmer but not cooking at too high of a boil, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thick and smooth, about 10-15 minutes, turning the meatballs every two or three minutes to ensure even cooking. Serve over rice.

*I found this recipe at:

Can’t go wrong with any of her recipes! Oh PS- it makes a lot.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Cabbage & Apple Slaw

Not much to say besides YUM! I'm not a fan of coleslaw, but this cabbage and apple slaw was good. It wasn't creamy or heavy like coleslaw, it was light and full of flavor! I got this from Health magazine.

1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (1 1/4 lb total)
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp black pepper, divided
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 small Napa cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1 crisp red apple cut into thin wedges
1/4 c fresh cilantro sprigs

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over med-high heat. Season pork with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper; cook, turning occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes or until browned.

Put skillet in oven and roast for 12 to 14 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, combine vinegar, honey, and remaining salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbage and apples. Toss. Let slaw sit for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Fold in cilantro and serve with pork.

Honey Mustard Chicken & Rice Pilaf

The complete title of this dish is "Honey Mustard Chicken & Rice Pilaf with Kale & Red Peppers." That seemed a little long. I've never used kale before, but I'm assuming it tastes similar to spinach. It looks a lot like spinach and I didn't have kale available, so I used spinach. Spinach was good. This meal was easy and yummy. It was so good that my sister (who is the world's pickiest eater) loved it!

2 c brown rice
olive oil cookng spray
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 c diced white onion
1 large bunch kale, stems removed and finely minced
1/2 diced red bell pepper
2 tbsp honey
1/4 c dijon mustard
1/8 c apple cider vinegar
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley


Cook rice according to package.

Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat to med-high, mist pan with spray, and saute chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Mist same pan with cooking spray. Add onion, kale and red pepper and saute for about 3 minutes. Add rice to veggies and saute until warm. Remove all from pan and keep warm.

In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, vinegar, oil, garlic, and 2 tbsp water. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat pan over med-high heat, add chicken and sauce to pan and saute for about 3 minutes.

Divide rice among four plates, top with chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve!

Salmon & Vegetable Skewers

I'm not a big fish person. In fact, to be honest, I am not a fish person at all. Eli loves fish and I feel guilty sometimes for not making it, so I made this dinner. This salmon was so tasty! I barely remembered that it was actually fish I was eating. Yum!

2 c brown rice
1 lb wild-caught salmon fillets, cubed
1 white onion cut into square pieces
1 zucchini, sliced
8 oz whole white mushrooms
olive oil cooking spray
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, for garnish

metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden, soak in water for 20 minutes before using)

Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside

Preheat broiler to high. Thread salmon and veggies onto separate skewers, filling 4 skewers of each). Mist salmon and veggies with cooking spray, then brush with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Broil skewers at least 2 to 4 inches from heat source for 3 minutes. Flip skewers over and broil for another 3 minutes or until just tender. To serve place 1 salmon skewer and 1 veggie skewer over 1/2 cup of rice.

*Tip: I placed tin foil under the skewers because some of the veggies dropped and some of the fish juice fell off. Even though these were yummy, I did not like the smell of fish every time I turned on the oven.