Recipe: Zucchini pizzas

This recipe was submitted by Mama J from San Mateo, CA.   Very creative Mama J!   I should send you some pictures of things that I’ve seen and have you replicate it!   Sounds yummy!

“Saw a picture of these online but no recipe so I made it up”.

Zucchini pizzas

Serves 4.


  • 2 larger diameter zucchini (not the little skinny ones)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped basil
  • shredded mozzerella
  • olive oil
  • salt


  • Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, use a small spoon to carve out the seeds in each half.
  • Put zucchini shells in 400 oven while you prep the sauce.
  • Chop up tomatoes and 1/2 the insides of the zucchinis.
  • Heat 1 T of olive oil and then lightly sauté the tomatoes, zucchini insides, garlic and basil (I used the frozen cubes of garlic and basil you can buy at TJ’s), until it becomes a pizza-like sauce consistency. Salt to taste.
  • Remove zucchini shells and scoop sauce into them, then top with a little shredded mozzerella cheese.
  • Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and browns a little at the edges.
Preparation time:  10 min
Cook time:  20 min

Slow Recipe: O’Sullivan Chicken

I know this one isn’t quick but it is EASY. Slow-cooker easy. I’m going to add slow-cooker recipes here now too, since this one sounds awesome and since I have many myself that are super good.

This recipe was submitted by Mama K O’Sullivan – sounds SUPER easy and yummy! Thank you Mama K!

“Easiest recipe ever…. My children, 9 and 10 love this one”

O’Sullivan Chicken


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 24 oz. jar of salsa
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • Directions:

  • Put everything in a slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 4 – 6 hours
  • Shred chicken
  • Serve in or with corn tortillas
  • Prep time: 5 min
    Cook time: 4 – 6 hours

    Recipe: Chicken thighs with mushroom and wine sauce

    This recipe was submitted by fellow Mama Jeanette from Long Island, NY.   Thank you Jeanette!!!   I miss NYC!!!

    Chicken thighs with mushroom and wine sauce

    “I got this from the internet awhile ago and it is delicious! Easy too, not many ingredients and quick. Recipe says to serve with rice or potatoes. I usually use egg noodles.  Recipe serves 4.  Hope you like it!”


    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless,chicken thighs
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 TBS. olive oil
    • 2 TBS. butter
    • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1/3 cup dry white wine such as chardonay
    • 1/2 cup of cream or half and half
    • 1-2 TBS. chopped fresh parsley


    • Wash chicken, pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and butter.
    • Add chicken and cook, turning until browned. Remove to plate and set aside.
    • Add mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring until mushrooms are tender and browned.
    • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
    • Stir in flour until blended.
    • Stir in chicken broth and wine until blended.
    • Add chicken back to the skillet, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
    • Stir in the cream and parsley and heat through.

    Preparation Time: 10 minutes

    Cooking Time: 45 minutes total

    Recipe: F-ing good Baked Fish

    We had an amazing dinner tonight. All kids except for one (Twin Husky was too busy throwing a toy snake in the air) had such a good dinner that their bellies were sticking out all over the place. I don’t know if it was REALLY that good, or if it was the wine I was drinking. In any event, here it goes:


    • fresh fish (I used salmon)
    • 1 lemon
    • olive oil
    • dried dill
    • sea salt


    • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
    • Put fish in baking dish (I used a clear glass one)
    • Drizzle with olive oil
    • Sprinkle with dill and sea salt
    • Squeeze the lemon juice on top — I actually had quite a bit of lemon juice in the pan
    • Cover with foil and bake about 15-20 minutes depending upon thickness of fish

    Prep time: 5 min
    Cook time: 15 – 20 minutes

    F!!! It was so f-ing good!!!

    Recipe: The trick to a good marinade; Mojo Marinade

    I was going through an old Bon Appetit magazine on a recent flight and I came across a great series on marinades – essentially including a number of great marinade ideas that you can use to marinade meat in for 3+ hours or overnight, while reserving 2/3 of the creation as a sauce after the meat is grilled.

    I thought this would be a great combination with the Mama K Flat Meat recipe.   Also, most of these marinades can be mixed in the evening and you can marinade your meat overnight (the recipe below calls for an eight hour marinade, so it may be possible to mix the marinade the night before but don’t put in your meat until the AM).  So I thought this would be great for working mamas.

    I’m going to give you the formula below, and a sample marinade to follow.   I will follow up with a series of other marinade recipes over the next several weeks.  Enjoy!!


    Essentially, the article says that all good marinades are built upon the same general formula:

    + Acid (citrus juice, vinegar, or wine tenderizes and focuses the flavors)

    + Salt (Kosher salt – or soy or fish sauce – allows seasonings to penetrate)

    + Alliums (garlic, shallots, or onions are a must for a muscular marinade)

    + Sugars and & Syrups (Used judiciously, sweetness balances all the flavors)

    + Chiles (where there’s smoke there should be fire)

    + Herbs (fresh, summery herbs – like cilantro, oregano, and basil – work better than dried)


    Mojo Marinade

    Makes about 2.5 cups, enough to marinade 2 lb. of pork (tenderloin, shoulder, or bone-in-chops) or fish (firm, white-fleshed fish such as sea bass; shrimp or scallops).


    • 1.5 cups fresh orange juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
    • 1/3 cup corn or vegetable oil
    • 10 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 jalapenos, sliced into rounds
    • 1.5 tsp. kosher salt


    • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until salt is dissolved.
    • Reserve 2/3 cup marinade for sauce.  Put pork or seafood in a glass, stainless-steel, or ceramic dish.  Toss with remaining marinade and cover.
    • Chill for 3 – 8 hours.
    • Remove pork or seafood from marinade, pat dry and grill.

    source:  Bon Appetite, July 2011

    Recipe: Italian Meat Loaf with Fresh Basil and Provolone

    This recipe was submitted by Mama J from San Mateo, CA.  Thank you!!!   She stole it from elsewhere but loves it so try it out!!!

    Mama J:  “This is a recipe that kids and adults love. And a nice comfort food. I double the recipe and make it on the weekend, then divide the doubled recipe into 3 or 4 meatloaves (depending on how many you want to serve with each). Then, I make one of them that week and freeze the others for later. Defrost, put a little ketchup on the top, and bake and voila! Yummy dinner. Does require an hour to bake, so you have to plan ahead to do that or have an oven timer.”


    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
    • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese$
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 pound ground round
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/3 cup ketchup


    1. Combine boiling water and tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes; finely chop.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°.
    3. Combine 1/2 cup ketchup, breadcrumbs, and the next 6 ingredients (breadcrumbs through beef) in a large bowl. Add tomatoes to meat mixture. Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 cup ketchup over meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Cut into 12 slices.


    Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce

    I was going through an old Bon Appetit magazine and I came across a recipe that I must confess, I have not tried, but I think it has potential in the homes of busy working mamas.  See what you think and let me know!


    “2 servings.  They key to this saute:  cook the tomatoes with the bits of chicken left over after you’ve seared it in the pan.  When the tomatoes burst, swirl in the remaining marjoram butter to finish the pan sauce.”


    • 2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1.5 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes (11 – 12 oz)
    • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


    • Mash butter, garlic, marjoram, and paprika in a small bowl to blend.  Season marjoram butter to taste with salt and pepper.
    • Melt 1 Tbsp. marjoram butter in a medium heavy skillet over medium heat.
    • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
    • Add chicken to skillet, cover, and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side.
    • Transfer chicken to a plate.  Tent chicken with foil to keep warm.
    • Increase heat to high.  Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes.
    • Add remaining marjoram butter to skillet.  Crush tomatoes slightly to release juices; stir 1 minute
    • Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon over chicken.  Garnish with parsley.
    Prep time:  10 min
    Cook time:  20 minutes

    source:  Bon Appetite, July 2011

    Recipe: Flat Meat

    This is a repost — for some reason this entire post got lost off my blog – but I use this one ALL THE TIME so I wanted to repost it. I promise a new recipe for next week.

    Flat Meat

    OK guys – for those of you that know me, NO I am not talking about my boobs. But rather, an incredibly QUICK and easy way to get food on the table for the kiddos during the week.
    What you need is the thinnest cut of meat — any kind of steak or pork — or, you can even “pound” chicken breast into thin, thin pieces. Takes about 4-5 minutes cooking on each side and you’re done. You can marinate before-hand, or not. I usually do with microwave veggies and a side of pasta. Sooooooooooooooo easy. You can easily do this recipe once a week and just rotate the meats/marinades, etc. to bring variety to the kids.

    Flat meat (pork, steak, pounded chicken). Note: a flank steak might not work well here since I think that cut needs to cook over a longer period of time to make it tender; when I do the steak I buy higher grade steak but buy it thinly cut.


  • Heat an indoor griddle pan on your stovetop. We use a griddle pan with a ridged surface that sears foods with grill marks while allowing fat to drain away.
  • On high-ish heat, grill meat on each side, about 4-5 minutes each until cooked to your liking.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
    Cook Time: 10 min

    Recipe: Pasta the “Mama K” Way

    OK I know we all have those days/nights when we just want to throw in the towel and say, “fine. pasta it is.” And I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ok with that. The issue I have is that I don’t want to train my kids into being “plain pasta” people. I just think that is so boring and could lead to bad habits for us and the kiddos. So I like to at least put something in it — and this basically works and makes me feel a bit better – they may not be getting tremendous nutrition but at least I’m trying….



    • dry pasta
    • olive oil
    • frozen, chopped spinach
    • ground sage, to taste
    • salt, pepper to taste
    • butter (optional)


    • Boil pasta
    • When about 1-2 minutes left to boil, throw in some frozen chopped spinach — for a pound of pasta I would throw in a handful, so not that much. Just enough so that it looks like “spices”; not too overwhelming for the kiddos
    • strain out water in a colander with smaller holes, that way less spinach escapes
    • pour mixture back in pot — add seasonings, more olive oil, and some butter (optional)

    Prep time: 1 minute

    Cook time: 10 min to boil; 10-12 min to cook

    I sometimes use this as the main dish for lunch, or as a side dish at dinner. This is also great left-over — just “freshen up” in hot water for 1-2 minutes and add some more olive oil. Easy schmeasy.


    – Mama K

    Recipe: Herb-lemon Zest Butter

    I found this idea when reading through a recent Bon Appétit magazine (October 2011 issue).

    You can put compound butters on top of steak, fish, chicken, rice, pasta, and veggies to enhance flavor and provide some variety to your dishes.   Compound butter can be made on-thhe-fly with leftover herbs and frozen for later use.   I thought that this helpful trick could be a way for busy working mothers to add some last-minute diversity and creative fun to our meals.   Tell me what you think.   

    A basic recipe goes like this.   

    Herb-lemon Zest Butter


    • 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, etc.)
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • Salt (for seasoning to taste)


    • Put chopped herbs on a work surface
    • Add butter and lemon zest
    • Using a large knife, finely chop together until well combined
    • Season with salt
    • Place butter on the front edge of a sheet of parchment paper (waxed paper or plastic wrap also works).   Bring the edge of the paper up over the butter and roll mixture tightly into a cylinder.
    • Twist the ends to compress the log
    • Wrap airtight in foil
    • Chill until solid
    • Cut into slices and apply on food at end of cooking

    Butter will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up up to three months

    Other flavor ideas:



    Porcini-Red Wine

    Turmeric-Mustard Seed


    Photo by Diane fields

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