Monday, September 27, 2010

Gringa Lasagna

Hey Everyone!

Two posts in a night due to my guilt from not posting in a while. I've been really wanting to make a Mexican style Lasagna for a long time because it just seems so tasty and easy to make. I found out tonight it truly is easy and even tastier than I thought. I grew up on the East Coast where we didn't have too much of a Mexican food culture so I'm hoping I did the amazing food justice with this dish. Just in case, I'm gonna go ahead and call it Gringa Lasagna since I am just a white girl trying to mimick yummy Mexican dishes. :oP

Jon doesn't really try new foods so I was surprised when he put on a brave face and tried this dish. It helped that we had friends over so he had to be on his best behavior. I gave some to my parents and we polished off most of the lasagna between us and our friends. After they left, Jon looked at me and say "Hey, we have some lasagna left for ourselves right?" He is brutally honest with me and I never post the recipes he doesn't like because if he doesn't like it, kids won't like it. Most people looking for recipes need something kids will eat. Jon is just a big kid so he really helps out with this blog challenge of mine. After he had to make sure he had some leftovers to eat tomorrow, I knew I had done something right.

I'd love feedback on it from anyone who does enjoy Mexican food a lot because I'm always looking for ways to improve on my cooking skills. Send me your suggestions, comments and pictures to

Gringa Lasagna

4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 lbs ground pork
1 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 10 3/4oz can of Cheddar Cheese Soup (Campbell's is what I used)
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, drained of juice
1/2 cup salsa, whichever brand you like
1 15oz can of beans (I used Kidney, you can use whichever style you like.)
8 flour tortillas, cut in half
1 8oz bag of monteray jack shredded cheese or mexican blend shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sautee bacon in frying pan until light golden and crispy. Add diced onion. Allow onion to sweat about 2 minutes, then add ground pork. Add chilli powder, paprika and cumin. Mix all together and cook pork until light brown.

While pork is cooking, combine cheddar cheese soup, diced tomatoes and salsa in mixing bowl. When pork is done, add beans to pork, bacon and onions to heat through for about two minutes. Coat bottom of baking dish with olive oil. Layer dish with meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese mixture, more meat, more tortillas, then shredded cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and browned.

Send me your feedback!

Chicken Parmesan Pie

Why hello kids!

So I was watching Paula Deen (as usual) on Food Network and she threw together this really easy Chicken Pot Pie. I decided that was what I was going to have for dinner. Then I kind of (as usual) starting throwing ideas around in my head. I've posted the Chicken Parmesan Recipe before and talked about Jon and my love for Chicken Parm. So any chance I get to take our favorites and recreate them, I jump on it. Well, I came up with the idea to try a Chicken Parm Pie Casserole type dish. So thats what I've created here. Jon literally ate 3/4ths of it in one sitting so I know I did a good job. Its Chicken Parm meets Casserole meets Garlic Bread meets Pizza. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Chicken Parmesan Pie

Chicken Parm:
1.5 lbs cubed chicken
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup marinara
1 cup alfredo
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Garlic Bread Topping:
1 container of refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare for chicken parm "assembly" with 3 containers. First container will have flour, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and garlic powder. Second container will have 4 beaten eggs. Last container will have bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Heat skillet to medium high heat with two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. You will most likely only be able to cook half the chicken, depending on the size of your skillet. If you have a very large skillet, use all butter and olive oil. After running the cubed chicken through the flour mixure, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture, cook in pan until golden brown on both sides. Set aside on a plate, and do the same with the other half of the cubed chicken if done with smaller skillet.

While the chicken is cooking, pour marinara, alfredo and parmesan in baking dish. Once chicken is done, place cooked chicken over sauce mixture and then top with mozzarella cheese. Knead out dough to desired thickness to cover baking dish. Place dough over baking dish and make three to four slits in top of dough.

Bake in oven 10-15 minutes until light golden brown. While it is baking, combine softened butter, parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic in small mixing bowl. Once it is lightly golden brown, take "pie" out of the oven and brush the butter mixture to cover the dough. Place back in oven for another 5 minutes just for dough to soak up butter mix.


I hope you guys like this dish. It seems like a lot of work, but I had a lot of fun making it. Please send me your comments, pictures and ideas to :)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Hey Everyone!

So this blog is NOT going to be dedicated to cooking, its going to be dedicated to the very beautiful Janine Wu and her growing family. Janine is going to be blessed soon with THREE boys! So exciting. To try and help out, we are hosting a huge car wash and bake sale in her honor.

Date: Saturday 9/25
Time: 10am-3pm
Place: Sunset Beach Christian Church

We need items for the bake sale and many carwashers! We thought we would have two shifts. 10am-12:30pm & 12:30pm-3pm...Bring buckets and towels and open your hearts & your pocketbooks...

If you are working and can't help we are accepting donations. Please make your checks out to Janine Wu & send donations to:
Bonnie Howland
57-101 Kuilima Dr. 23W
Kahuku, Hi. 96731

As I mentioned, we're also having a bake sale. I would be happy to bring any baked goods to you for donations to the cause, or if you'd like to create some dishes, I'd be happy to come pick them up prior to the 25th. I can bake pretty much anything, so I will accept all reasonable requests. :D

If you need any more information, don't hesitate to email me at

PLEASE spread the word to your friends and family, even those on the mainland that may want to mail in a donation. Janine is a wonderful person and truly will do anything and everything to make a happy and healthy life for these little boys. Let's all take a little time to help her do so!

Love you all <3xoxo

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cait's Clam Chowdah

Hey Everyone!

Because of the Labor Day holiday that just passed, I really started missing some of the amazing seafood dishes from New England, where I'm originally from. Since I couldn't get myself Maine "lobstah" or little necks, I decided I would try my best to recreate the famous New England Clam Chowder with the (limited) resources I have here in Hawaii. I know its a cardinal sin to use canned clams when making this chowder which is why its simply "Cait's Clam Chowdah" and NOT "New England Clam Chowdah". I did the best with what I have out here and I hope you all love it :)

Cait's Clam Chowdah

8 slices turkey bacon, diced
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
3 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2% because thats what I had at the time)
1 cup clam juice
4 tbsp butter
4 6.5 ounce cans of minced clams

Dice bacon and then cook in large pot until golden brown, add in onions. Allow onions to sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add in chicken stock, water and potatoes. Chicken stock will cause lots of steam, be prepared. Use a wooden spoon to scrape bottom of pot to get all the yummy bacon remnants. Add in Old Bay, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Add in heavy cream, milk, clam juice and butter. Lastly add in minced clams and cook on low-medium for 5-10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve with some fresh bread or crackers.

Small note, I ALWAYS use ground turkey and turkey bacon when cooking to try and save as many calories as I can. I know in most cases it probably doesn't make that much of a difference but all the ladies reading probably know you'll feel a little less guilty eating it knowing we saved like 30 calories by substituting turkey bacon. Haha If you guys want to go all out, by all means go with the regular bacon!

I hope you guys all enjoy my homage to the wonderful New Bedford food traditions I grew up with. Email in your questions and suggestions-

Aloha Nui Loa!


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