Mexican Lasagna

May 28, 2013

I'm having the most relaxing evening tonight!

Daniel is gone to Toronto for meetings so its just Maddox and I home this week. I find after a long day with Maddox the last thing I usually want to do is spend hours int he kitchen making supper. Especially when it's just him and I and I have to occupy him while trying to cook and do dishes" I made this casserole a couple days ago and we have been eating off it for suppers. Sooo handy, and its also pretty light with the tortilla shells instead of pasta!


Mexican Lasagna

by Renee Pihowich

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Keywords: bake entree beef


  • 1-1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 flour tortillas (10 inches)
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips


In a large skillet, cook beef, bell pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, enchilada sauce, chilies, corn, taco seasoning and pepper; heat through.

Spread 1 cup meat mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with two tortillas, a third of the remaining meat mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining tortillas and meat mixture.

Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with tortilla chips.

Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with olives, guacamole, tomatoes and sour cream if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

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As you can see I cut the recipe in half and used my round casserole dish. It worked perfectly for this dish. The small tortillas were the perfect size.

Cheers! Happy Tuesday :)

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

May 25, 2013

I've been looking for lighter recipes, and cutting back on carbs a bit lately. I mean, it is swimsuit season right?! This recipe is so filling, I only ate half of a stuffed pepper and tossed salad.


Doesn't it look amazing? The roast that I used in this recipe can be found here. We usually have leftovers, even if I freeze half of the roast recipe. Which actually works really good by the way. I've been filling our freezer full of quick and easy meals for when I go back to work. I'm really nervous about that too by the way.. How am I supposed to work all day and then come home and get a supper on the table and still have down time to get my personal stuff done?

I'm sure it will be ok.. I worry too much..

Anyway back to these stuffed peppers! Sorry about that, I ramble sometimes.. I get it from my mother in law I'm sure..
Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake roast entree sandwich bell pepper

Ingredients (2 servings (or 4))
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 8 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced bella mushrooms
  • 8 oz of roast beef (I used leftover roast beef)
  • 2 Tbs of unsalted butter
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • dash of salt to taste
  • dash of black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds. Spray with oil and roast in oven for 15 minutes.
Slice onions and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat with butter, olive oil, minced garlic and a little salt and pepper. Saute until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized. About 5 minutes.
Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture. Allow to cook 5-10 minutes
Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.
When the meat mixture is done cooking, drain in a colander (lined with a paper towel) to get rid of excess oil and water. Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.
Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.
Serve and Enjoy!
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May 23, 2013

Just a shout out to Angie Generose for featuring me on her link party this week!!! Make sure to stop and visit her site Easy Living Mom!

Easy Living Mom

We've been having such awesome weather here lately, so Maddox and I have been busy in the garden, in the pool, doing yardwork and visiting friends at the park. I've been running out of quick and simple supper ideas, and then it dawned on me.. pizza!! Not just pizza though, thats too plain and boring... Calzones!! YES!! Then, to make it even better, I decided to make the dough in my bread maker, and time it perfectly so that at 5pm, all I had to do was stuff them, let them rise for 30 mins - 1hr and then bake! Perfect timing for our 6:30pm supper.

I've started learning that Maddox does better if we have a snack around 4 and then a later supper and bath and bed right after. The way he eats he pretty much needs a bath right after anyway! Hey, its been working for us, so go with it right?


by Renee Pihowich
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer sandwich entree

Ingredients (10 calzones)
    For the Dough in Bread Machine
      (In the order your machine needs)
      • 1 1/2 cups warm water
      • 3 tbsp oil
      • 3 2/3 cup flour
      • 1/4 cup powdered skim milk
      • 1 tsp quick yeast
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 tbsp sugar
      For Pizza Filling
      • pizza sauce
      • shredded cheese
      • pepperoni, ham, salami
      For Ham and Cheese Filling
      • Ham, cut into cubes
      • shredded cheese
      • ranch dressing
      For Buffalo Chicken Filling
      • shredded chicken breast
      • ranch dressing
      • hot sauce
      • shredded cheese
      Add dough ingredients to bread machine according to your bread machines directions. Use dough setting. I also delayed mine a couple hours so it started at 3:30pm so it would be ready out of the oven for supper.

      Remove dough from machine and roll it into circles of approximately 6 inches.

      Spread filling on one half of the circle leaving a border around it for closing.


      Close the calzone by folding the unfilled side on top of the filled side and crimping the edges closed with your fingers or a fork.




      Place on a lightly greased baking pan, or on parchment paper. Let rise approx. 30 minutes or until doubled. Brush lightly with egg/milk mixture and sprinkle with oregano and a bit of extra cheese.



      Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden.

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      Chocolate Haystacks and my First Mother's Day

      May 21, 2013

      Oops sorry, I got a little lazy this past week and forgot to post this! After all I'm sure you guys want to read all about these chocolatey cookies!


      We went up to the lake for Mother's Day with Daniel's family, and I had to make something quick and easy for a snack up there. I know that these are my father-in-law's favourite cookie so I decided to whip them up quick as I knew they would please. They are honestly some of the most easiest cookies to make.. and on a warm spring day when you don't want to turn your oven on, DON'T! They are pretty straight forward so I'm not going to elaborate too much on directions.. just mix and chill. So maybe I should fill you in on some pics from the weekend?? Sure!


      We found a ton of lady bugs crawling around by the fire pit! Maddox tried to eat a couple.. Auntie Karleigh showed him how to hold them properly.


      Proof that my little man is always on the go! Nana tried to catch him for a kiss but he wanted none of it!


      Then we went to the park for some fun in the sun! Maddox loves the slides and swings and laughs and giggles the entire time!


      Aaaanyway.. back to the recipe!

      Chocolate Haystacks

      by Renee Pihowich
      Prep Time: 15mins
      Keywords: dessert snack Chocolate oatmeal cookie

      Ingredients (24 cookies)
      • 1/2 cup butter (margarine)
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 2 cups sugar
      • 1/2 cup cocoa
      • Dash of salt
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla
      • 3 cups quick oats
      • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
      In a saucepan mix the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and salt. Bring just to a boil, take off heat and add in vanilla. Let cool for a minute or two.
      In a large bowl mix the oatmeal and coconut together.
      Add in the syrup mixture and mix until combined.
      Working quickly drop by tablespoonfuls onto a wax lined cookie sheet.
      Chill in the refrigerator.
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      Shawnah's Curry Vegetable Soup

      We had a couple rainy days last week, and after you've been outside every day it's hard to remember what it was like when we were stuck in the house every day in the winter! Maddox has started walking and exploring and seems to be absolutely into everything, so we had a couple "let's completely destroy the house" days.

      All I wanted to eat was warm, maybe even spicy food. Something to warm me up through and through. Dan's mom found the recipe for this soup a couple months ago and I've been really looking forward to trying it!

      It's ok if you don't have the curry paste. I usually just use curry powder in my curry cooking, I've never been able to find the paste in our small town grocery store.
      Shawnah's Curry Vegetable Soup

      by Renee Pihowich
      Prep Time: 30 minutes
      Cook Time: 30 minutes
      Keywords: soup/stew vegetarian curry

      Ingredients (8 servings)
      • 2 onions, diced
      • 2 carrots, diced
      • 1 stalk celery, diced
      • 2 tbsp. oil
      • 1 tbsp. curry paste
      • 4 cups chicken broth
      • 24 oz. can diced tomatoes
      • 1/2 cup orzo
      • 400 ml coconut milk
      • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
      Sauté vegetables in oil until soft. Add curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
      Add broth, tomatoes and orzo.
      Bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
      Add coconut milk and cilantro. Heat throughout. Do NOT boil.
      This has become a favorite soup at our house. I have made a couple changes.... increased the curry paste by an additional teaspoon. I have also decreased the coconut milk to about 300 ml. It also freezes well.
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