May 8, 2010

Moving Day!

We've officially and permanently moved to our new home at ! I will no longer be posting here....please come and find us in our new space.  I think the new blog looks great and it will have some great new features for my readers.  See you at Cooking to Save!

May 7, 2010


Sorry for the delay... the new website is about to launch. Today is the day!  Thanks for being patient, I think it will be worth the wait!  I've got a great tart recipe to share with you as soon as we are "live"!  In the meantime, I am off on my "foodie field trip" today.... stay tuned....

May 6, 2010

Today is the day... I think!

Yesterday was an extremely bad day!  First, my hard drive died... and I made the mistake of not having everything backed up.  If you haven't backed up your computer lately, go do it right now!  I lost some major pieces of work as well as some photos that hadn't made it onto my external hard drive. Ugh!  Last night, as I was trying to reproduce some of these items, my son came down to inform me that "Cooking to Save" was down. Ugh again!  The good news is that my new website is about to launch.  We'll be working on final touches today.  In the meantime, Cooking to Save has been temporarily forwarded to my old blog while we get the new one prepared.  Look for it later today or tomorrow morning!  I wanted to share though, this little piece of  sunshine that greeted me this morning when I stepped out with my dog.  One beautiful peony has bloomed in my garden!  Such a gorgeous site to open the door and find! It's a sign: today will be a good day!  I hope yours is too.

Note: for those of you wondering, we didn't fall off the wagon last night in the chaos of technical difficulties.( I really wanted to! )  It was a dinner of "good enough" though:  some soup I had in the freezer and made some chicken and cheese quesadillas.

May 5, 2010

Technical Difficulties!

If you are looking for my blog over on, it hasn't run away!  We are having technical difficulties, but should be back up soon, hopefully better then ever!

May 4, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry Salad

Inspirations for dinners come at the strangest times. This past Sunday we were driving back from Boston and Will was starving. We stopped at a little pizza shop to see if we could get him something to eat. While we were waiting for his tuna sub to come out, I watched the cook tossing some chicken on the grill and then placing it on top of a salad. Nothing fancy, but it looked delicious. I often grill chicken for salad but this gave me the idea to stir fry some chicken instead. Last night I did just that. Really simple, I just cooked it in a little olive oil with some salt and pepper. Then, I put it on top of a big green salad and made a balsamic vinaigrette. So good! The warm chicken with the cool greens were a great combination. It was a really nice change from the usual grilled chicken. My vinaigrette was extra good- I had some fabulous balsamic vinegar a friend had brought me from Italy. I've included the recipe here. I don't love a real oily dressing so this one has a little less oil then a classic dressing. I also add a little honey and mustard to give it some extra flavor. To finish off the meal, I bought some Cosi bread. Do you have Cosi near you? If so, go in and buy what they call a loaf of bread. Really inexpensive and you get 6 large pieces of their flatbread. I had plenty to feed the family and actually froze 2 pieces; they'll make a great lunch one day!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

Whisk vinegar, mustard, honey and salt and pepper. In a very slow stream, pour olive oil into mixture, whisking continually. Whisk well until all ingredients are combined. Pour over salad or refrigerate.

May 3, 2010

A Healthy Snack to Start the Week


As a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher, I occasionally receive products to try and review. Last week I received a big box of Bran Cereals from Kelloggs. I am not a huge "bran fan" but I know that fiber is the new buzzword of good health and diets. These All - Bran "twigs" have a slightly sweet, slightly nutty flavor. I decided to use them as a base for some delicious trail mix. The mix was so simple but really tasty and tossed into a baggie, it makes a perfect travel treat. With 10 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving, these twigs give you plenty of energy and fortitude to get through the afternoon. I actually gave my kids a bag on the way to soccer last week and they never complained. To make theirs more enticing, I threw in a few m & m's ! Chocolate chips would also be great. Anyway you mix it up though, you can at least feel virtuous about your healthy snack!!

Trail Mix

1/2 cup Kelloggs All Bran
1/4 cup sliced, unsalted almonds
1/4 dried cranberries or raisins
(optional: tblsp of m & m's, chocolate chips, or other treat)

Store in sealed container or ziploc baggie. Great for travel and way more tasty then an energy bar!

Exciting News!


There's lots going on at Cooking to Save! By the end of the week, look for the launch of my new website. Still at the same email address, just a new house! As much as I like what I have, I've found that I've already outgrown the space and would like a simpler way for you all to reach my recipes and content. I'm very excited and hope you will all give me feedback on the new site once it is up.

There's more big news here as well. I found out last week that my blog won "First Runner Up" in the Local Blogger Category of Hartford Magazine's Best of 2010! That's their fancy way of saying that I came in 2nd. :) Colin McEnroe, who writes a column for The Hartford Courant and also has his own radio show, won, so I think I am in good company! So, if you happen to live in Northern Connecticut, check it out in the Hartford Magazine!

I've been recovering this weekend from the dinner for the girls as well as driving back and forth to Boston but I've got plenty of new ideas for the week. I also will be posting my first product review for Foodbuzz later on today along with a great, easy and healthy snack ! And..... we've made it to the 4 month mark in Cooking to Save! Some reflections coming this week, as well. Finally, I am going on a "field trip" on Friday! Stay tuned for a busy week!

May 1, 2010

How To Feed a Crowd of Teenagers


Fruit Bowl
Caesar Salad
Death by Chocolate
Lemonade and Water


Last night we had the girl's soccer team Mart coaches for dinner after practice. 15 hungry girls and 3 coaches. A lot of mouths to feed. We host team dinners somewhat frequently, and I think I have them down to a science. I've tried many different meals, but this one works the best. First, when they come I like to have a big bowl of fruit out. Last night, two parents sent fruit arrangements from Edible Arrangements. They were very fun and some of the fruit was dipped in chocolate. If you ever order a fruit arrangement, get lots of chocolate dipped fruit; they disappeared in about 2 minutes! I also had pitchers of water and lemonade out as well so everyone could help themselves. I knew everyone would be starving so dinner came right out. I know I am cooking to save, but with that many mouths to feed, takeout Pizza is the only way to go. Of course, we always have plain but I like to have something fun as well. Last night, it was mashed potato pizza: mashed potatoes, corn, bacon, scallions and cheese. They were the first pizzas to go:

With the pizza, I always serve a huge caesar salad. You cannot go wrong with a caesar! Even kids that hate salad somehow love this one. I went through 3 large bowls of salad last night. If you don't want to make your own dressing, Marie's is my favorite.

I've learned to keep dessert simple. Boys or girls, if you feed them enough dinner, they are not total gluttons at dessert! In the past I've done brownies and cookies or ice cream. Last night one of the moms sent over Death by Chocolate. Amazing. The dish was so heavy, I could barely pick it up! Everyone loved it and it fed a large crowd with leftovers. One giant dish of chocolate goodness! This is a recipe to keep on file for when you have a large crowd to feed. It's easy to make and it looks phenomenal. Just bringing it out had everyone oohing and aahing. A perfect ending to the night!

Death by Chocolate (feeds a large crowd)

Chocolate Cake Mix(prepared according to directions)
1/3 cup Kahlua(2/3 cup for adults!)
4 packages of instant chocolate pudding (or 2 large)
2 containers of Cool Whip
4 Skor Bars or Heath Bars

Make cake in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake, according to directions. When done, remove from oven and punch holes in it with fork. Pour Kahlua over cake. Set aside. Make pudding according to directions. Break candy bars still in wrapping with a mallet or rolling pin. Layer in glass dish or trifle bowl as follows:
1/2 cake, 1/2 pudding, 1/2 cool whip, 1/2 candy pieces, 1/2 cake, 1/2 pudding, 1/2 cool whip, 1/2 skor pieces.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.