Simple Stromboli

stromboli3 stromboli2 stromboli1


I haven’t updated in a while, I guess winter causing us to be perpetually ill doesn’t help.  I’ve always wanted to make a stromboli!  It just sounds awesome.  I finally got around to it and make a simple stromboli recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.  It was perfect.  We made our own quick pizza dough from scratch, but you can buy a refrigerated dough if you like.  We will definitely make this again and substitute other ingredients like pancetta, salami, and other meats and veggies!


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 T. cornmeal
  • One 13.8oz. package refrigerated pizza dough (or your favorite recipe from scratch)
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced cooked ham (we used deli ham)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
  • 1 cup fresh baby or torn regular spinach
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced cooked turkey (we used deli turkey)
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (we omitted)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red, green, or yellow sweet pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (we omitted and did vegetable oil)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal; set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface carefully stretch or roll pizza dough into a 13×10″ rectangle.
  3. Arrange ham slices on dough about 1/2″ from edges.
  4. Sprinkle with half the cheese.
  5. Layer spinach and turkey on cheese.
  6. Top with remaining cheeses, olives, and sweet peppers.
  7. Roll up dough, starting from a long side.  Pinch dough to seal the seam and ends.
  8. Place loaf, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg or vegetable oil.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in top for steam to escape.
  10. Bake about 30 mins. or until golden brown.
  11. Let stand for 10 minutes. To serve, slice loaf into serving size pieces.

Healthy Baked Slow Cooker Chicken


I plan to make this again soon.  It’s a recipe I found on  It is super simple and can be altered any way you like.  I drizzled a little olive oil on the chicken.  The special thing about this recipe is using the wads of aluminum foil to keep the chicken from sitting in it’s own fat/oil/and juices.


  • One 2-3 LB. whole chicken
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 large carrots, split lengthwise and cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1-2 medium onions, quartered (optional)
  • 2 T. fresh chopped parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil drizzle (optional)


  1. Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3-4″ balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water (optional).
  3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika, and place in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
  5. Optional: drizzle chicken with a little extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Set the slow cooker to high for one hour.  (Set kitchen timer to one hour to remind yourself).
  7. **After the one hour on high, you can decide how long to cook the chicken and veggies, it’s up to you and the temp. of your slow cooker!
  8. Then, turn down to low for about 2-3 hours.
  9. Add the vegetables and then cook another 2 hours depending on doneness.  Make sure chicken is no longer pink and juices are clear (it’s best to use a digital thermometer!)
  10. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies * (Not IC Safe)


OK I swore I wouldn’t bake, BUT:

a.) I had exactly 1/2 cup pumpkin puree staring me down in the fridge that was going to spoil,

b.) it has pumpkin and pumpkin is a vegetable,

c.) I didn’t have to get out any special bakingware for this (I used my 11″x7″ glass pan),

d.) I divided it into 12 servings and each serving was 4 Weight Watchers Plus Points so it’s very DOABLE!  I don’t even feel like cheating and going back for another, one is enough!  So there’s the justification!

The recipe says it can make 24 small brownies, but we’re talking sub-toddler small in size and that doesn’t work for me.  Maybe it works for a mouse.   It makes 12 sizable brownies that you’d actually want to eat – about 3 1/2″ by 1 3/4″.

Source:   From Small Home Big Start.   She has better and many more pictures than me. 🙂


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg WHITES
  • 1 T. veg. or canola oil
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder**
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon**
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice**?
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used minis)**

**Known IC irritants, tread carefully!


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  (After using an inexpensive, <$5 oven thermometer recommended by America’s Test Kitchen, I found that my newer oven runs 25 degrees too cool so I set my oven to 375.)
  2. Line a 11″ x 7″ pan with parchment paper (NOT WAX PAPER, IT’LL MELT!)
  3. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, and oil until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and brown sugar.
  5. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until passes toothpick test.
  9. Cool completely before cutting (If you can wait, I couldn’t).

Rachael Ray’s Every Day Cooking — Sesame Pork Chops –Easy and Delicious



This is Rachael Ray’s easy and quick recipe for sesame pork chops.  I am extremely picky with pork and I don’t know why.  I could try ten pork recipes and there may be only one I’d like to make again!  So, the fact that this recipe is acceptable to me, is quite shocking.

This is a meal that could be a staple with fresh or frozen boneless pork chops, as most people have the other ingredients in their pantry or fridge all the time.

P.S. buy your sesame seeds in bulk at a discount grocery store.  Don’t use your tiny McCormick container for this recipe because you need a half cup of sesame seeds.  You’ll go broke, LOL.  

Serves 4


  • 6 T. soy sauce (reduced sodium is fine, that’s all I use)
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. rice vinegar (Look in the Asian/ethnic aisle)
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds


  1. In a resealable bag, mix soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar.  Add pork, cover with plastic wrap, marinate 20 minutes in fridge.
  2. In skillet, heat 1 T. oil over med-high heat.
  3. Press seeds into pork on both sides.
  4. Cook, turning 10 minutes.
  5. Check for doneness with a digital thermometer.
  6. Lightly tent the meat and let it rest before serving.


Optional Simple “Leftover Marinade” Pan Sauce:

  1. I removed the meat from the pan.
  2. I took the leftover marinade and poured it into the same pan.
  3. I brought the marinade to a safe and hearty boil for a few minutes (because it did touch raw meat!)
  4. Then I took a small glass of water (2-3 tablespoons) and added 1-2 tsp. of flour or cornstarch, mix that thoroughly.
  5. Then add that cornstarch water or flour water to your sizzling marinade in your pan.
  6. Simmer a few minutes and your marinade will thicken into a delectable sauce.

Savory Stuffing In The Slow Cooker *

Crockpot stuffing


This is an awesome recipe for a very savory, flavored stuffing all made in your slow cooker!  No bland Stove Top stuffing here, this is very flavored and awesome.  If you like super plain stuffing, look elsewhere.  Easy and wonderful – give it a try when that boxed mix bores you!  From #49609.




  • 1/2 teaspoon savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 12 cups lightly toasted bread, cubes (For me this ended up being 16 slices, or a loaf, of wheat bread)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

**Onions can irritate some IC patients. Please make sure all these herbs are safe before using them. Personally, I’d just reduce down to fresh parsley, salt, and dried thyme. 



  1. In a large fry pan saute onions, celery and apple in butter until onion is just translucent.
  2. Stir in sage, marjoram, salt, savory and thyme.
  3. Combine vegetable mixture with the bread cubes and parsley.
  4. Toss well.
  5. Pour stock over mixture, tossing well.
  6. Spoon into your crock-pot.
  7. Cover and cook on high for one hour.
  8. Reduce to low and continue cooking for 2-3 hours, stirring every hour.
  9. As stated, for Vegetarians you can use vegetable stock.

Pumpkin Risotto * (Not IC Safe)


I found this recipe in a Weight Watchers cookbook (Best of WW Magazine, (c) 2002) and gave it a try.  It has a wonderful, savory flavor! I only had 1/2 cup of white wine left so I filled the rest of the cup with water to make 1 cup.   Don’t start this risotto recipe unless you have at minimum 20-30 minutes to stir at the stove!


(The cookbook says it makes 4 servings: A serving equals 1 1/4 cups, which equals 8 pts.)  This was too large of a serving so we did heaping 1/2 cup servings for 4 pts.  Update: This recipe definitely makes 8+ servings, so halve it if you’re serving less people.   



  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped (I’d say 2 small onions, or 1 large, chopped would be better).**
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (don’t substitute any other rice here!)
  • 1 cup dry white wine**
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon**
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Ground white pepper, to taste**
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg **?

**Known IC irritants, tread carefully!



  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce the heat and keep at a simmer.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onions and garlic.  Cook until softened.
  3. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the outer shell is translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the 1 cup of wine and 1/2 cup of the broth; stir until they are absorbed.  Continue to add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more.  Do this until the rice is just tender.  (The cooking time from the first addition of broth should be about 20 mins.)
  5. Stir in the pumpkin, cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper; heat through.
  6. Sprinkle with the nutmeg and serve at once.


Cumin-Scented Oven Fries * (Not IC Safe)

cumin oven fries 14


This is a simple recipe that gives your baked fries a lot of flavor!  We really liked it, but it was on the hot side as the recipe is written.  I would definitely omit the cayenne next time, personally.  Very tasty!


  • 3 baking potatoes, about 2.5 lbs, cut into 12 wedges each
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin**
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika**
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne (optional, I think)**
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon**

**Known IC irritants, tread carefully!



  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick spray.  
  2. Combine the cut potatoes and olive oil in one bowl. Combine the cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon in another bowl.  
  3. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the potatoes and toss well.
  4. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the pan.  Bake 20 mins, then turn the potatoes, and bake until crisp and cooked through, 8-10 mins. longer.