Welcome to the land of Denakis

Menu for 4.10 – 4.17.11 April 10, 2011

Sunday: Cheesy Penne Pasta Smoked Sausage Casserole
Monday: Sausage & Ravioli Bake
Tuesday: Crispy Chicken Burritos
Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Cassoulet
Thursday: Chicken with Cheesy Chili Sauce (Carry over from last week)
Friday: Burgers and Fries
Saturday: Chili
Sunday: Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy & Broccoli


Crispy Chicken Burritos (A Copy Cat Recipe)

  • 3 pounds of Boneless, Skinless Chicken breast, boiled until done
  • A Brick of Cream Cheese, (Low-fat ok)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • green onions, chopped (a bunch)
  • taco seasoning, about 1 tsp
  • Garlic Pepper seasoning, to taste
  • 20 8 inch tortillas

Shred or chop chicken.  Mix with all ingredients except tortillas.  Assemble burritos by placing about 1/8 cup (I use a scoop from Pampered Chef and do 2 scoops) of chicken filling onto tortilla, roll like a burrito and place on cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Assemble until you run out of ingredients.  Spray assembled burritos and bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.


I was so upset while grocery shopping today.  It seemed like a lot of my every-week purchases have gone up in price.  I’m mostly upset because it seems like they never went down after the last gas hike, so now they are just adding to it.  I was especially floored with the price of milk.  It’s gone up $.49/gallon in 4 weeks.  I spent $170.29 this week, which is about $40 more than I usually spend.  Add in extra gas expenses (simply because of the increase of gas prices and extra trips made) and this week is going to be EXPENSIVE!  This does not make for a happy me 😦

On a side note, anyone want to have a party so I can afford groceries and gas? lol… no, seriously…


My most favorite snack in the whole, wide world (right now) April 10, 2010

Filed under: Recipe — Desiree @ 4:00 pm
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Hummus.  Is there anything more lovely than hummus?  I think not.  I’ve been devouring hummus for the past 2 months like I’m pregnant and it’s my craving.  (BTW, I’m not and it’s not!)

Anyway, It’s expensive to buy!  Holy smokes, have you ever seen how much they charge for this?  If you have a food processor or a blender (and patience) it’s the easiest thing ever.  Here is how I make it:

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, juice reserved
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • olive oil (about 3-4 Tbsp, depends)
  • lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)

Place beans, garlic, lemon juice and 1/3 of the reserved bean juice into the processor and turn on.  Stream in olive oil until it has reached the desired consistency.   Keep processing for 5-8 minutes (or longer) until it’s as smooth as you’d like.

That’s it.  Some recipes call for tahini but I haven’t been able to find this at my local Freddies so I just leave it out.  My taste buds don’t care.  Seriously.

I eat this with veggies, pita chips (keep reading to see how I make quick and easy chips), pita bread and by the spoonful.  Just kidding.  I don’t eat this with a spoon!

Quick and easy pita chips

Buy or make pita pocket bread.  Cut into pizza-like slices and separate halves of the pocket and place on cookie sheet.  Spray with olive oil or canola oil and salt lightly.  Bake at 375 degrees about 15 minutes, or until crispy.  Enjoy!


Cheddar Broccoli Soup in HM Bread Bowls April 9, 2010

Filed under: Recipe — Desiree @ 10:14 pm
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Yummy.  Now this is supposed to be a copy-cat recipe of Panera’s Cheddar Broccoli Soup, but since I’ve never had soup at Panera I can’t tell you how close it is.  I can tell you it was good.  Very, very, very, (veryveryveryveryVERY) good.

And easy.  Can’t beat good AND easy!

I made my regular wheat bread dough (double recipe) and formed large bread balls about half the size I wanted the bread bowls to be.  They were all different sized.  Jaizy had a little one and Jason had a large one and everyone else was something in between.  Bake as directed on bread post for the most part.  I baked mine on a baking stone about 10 minutes less than normal.  If you need help with the bread bowls, just ask.  That made 6 bread bowls.

Here is the recipe as listed, my ingredients modifications are listed below.

    Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 8 slices Kraft Sharp Cheddar singles
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/3 cup diced white onion
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  1. Steam the broccoli however method you choose.  I used the microwave.  Chop broccoli into pieces that are about the size of peas with a knife or food processor.
  2. Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan with the half and half.  Whisk in the flour and then add the remaining ingredients including the broccoli.  Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the soup is thick.
  3. Makes 4 servings

I have mondo family so I made 2.5 times the recipe.  Plus we like leftovers.

  • 9 cups broccoli ( or thereabouts)
  • 10 cups chicken broth (I made mine with Better than Bullion paste)
  • 2.5 cups half and half
  • 1.25 cups flour
  • 4 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium chopped onion

I must add that I like love adore pepper, so I sprinkle layer cover my food generously.


I’m in Love February 16, 2010

Filed under: Healthy,Recipe,Tips & Tricks — Desiree @ 5:59 pm
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With Hungry Girl  dot  com
Seriously, she rocks major booty.  She has all these amazing swap recipes, where she takes something that tastes amazing and swaps the ingredients and cooking methods with something that doesn’t clog-your-arteries-simply-by-reading-it.  And then to make it an even more amazing experience she puts the WW point value.
Now I’m not doing WW currently/anymore but it’s a comfortable idea for me to watch points.  I know where I’m supposed to be point wise and the site I’m using to monitor my weight loss/exercise figures in WW points as well as calories, so it’s a win-win for me.
I get the daily HG (m-f) emails with little snip-its and then Jaqui mentioned she had her cookbook so I looked up some recipes on and fell in deeper-mad-love with the amazing woman that Hungry Girl is.

Here is one of the greatest swap recipes.

Make it, love it, thank me later.


Orange Chicken February 6, 2010

Filed under: Recipe — Desiree @ 6:38 pm
Tags: , ,

This is a kinda-copycat recipe from Panda Express.  Or so I’m told it was originally, but I changed up the recipe I was given and since I’ve never had Orange Chicken from Panda Express, I can only trust the information I was originally given.
Please keep in mind, this in no way is a “low-fat” meal.  It’s definitely an indulgence!  BUT it’s made at home, which means no preservatives and ingredients you can’t read!  THAT is a good thing!

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 whole egg and 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper
  • oil (for frying)
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch, plus
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, minced
  • 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chili pepper
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
Orange Sauce for Stir Fry
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Zest of 2 oranges

  1. Place chicken pieces in large bowl.
  2. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well.
  3. Stir cornstarch and flour together in another container.
  4. Add chicken pieces, in handfuls at a time, stirring to coat.
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer
    to 375 degrees.
  6. Add chicken, again small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.
  7. (Do not overcook chicken).  While chicken is cooking mix all Orange Sauce ingredients in small bowl and set aside.
  8. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or coffee filters; set aside.
  9. Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat.
  10. Add 1 tablespoon oil.

  1. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.
  2. Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions.
  3. Add rice wine vinegar and stir 3 seconds.
  4. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil.
  5. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.
  6. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken.
  7. Heat until sauce is thickened.
  8. Add orange zest  and top with chopped green onions, if desired.
  9. Serve over jasmine rice with Egg rolls
Egg Rolls
Egg Rolls are a wise way to use leftovers… but in my house, when making Chinese food there are no leftovers!  Here is how I make my Egg Rolls:
  • Egg Roll Wrappers, 1 package
  • Ground Pork, 1 lb
  • shredded broccoli, carrots & cabbage mix , in a bag (buy this by the bagged lettuce or in the refrigerated veggie case.  Of course, you could finely chop this yourself if you’re nuts, I mean if you want to!)
  • bean sprouts, 1 lb
  • oyster sauce, 2 Tablespoons
  • soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons
  • canola oil for frying.
  1. brown pork in frying pan over med/high heat.
  2. add veggies and stir until veggies become opaque, or are just cooked, meaning still firm.
  3. add sauces and mix well.
  4. seperate egg roll wrappers and place as a diamond in front of you.  Place a decent size amount in center of wrapper and fold up from the bottom, fold in both sides.  Moisten the top point of the egg roll wrapper with water, either on your finger or with a pastry brush.  Then roll up egg roll.  Finish all 20.
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
  6. fry 5-7 minutes or until golden crisp.
  7. Remove from oil with tongs and drain on paper towels or coffee filters.
Serve Orange Chicken and Egg Rolls with some steamed brown rice and enjoy!

Jason was helping roll.

Nice serving dishes, right? lol