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For links to the recipes in the posts, click on the bolded pink words!  

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dinner this Week

This week is completely inspired by Martha Stewart. Here's what we are having:

Monday:
Buttermilk Baked Chicken with Spinach Salad

Tuesday:
Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

Wednesday:
Bean and Pasta Soup

Thursday:
Light Chicken Parmesan

Friday:
Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps

Saturday:
Lighter Chicken and Biscuits

Sunday:
Beef Stroganoff

We are also going to try:

Lighter Macaroni and Cheese
and
Light Cherry Cheesecake


I can't wait for this week!

Martha Stewart Beef and Stout Stew

This stew is fantastic! It's great on a cold night and is very yummy. I didn't change a thing about the recipe, except, I made it in the crock pot instead of the oven. It turned out incredibly tender and I didn't have to watch the stove! Of course, another favorite from Martha!

Irish Beef and Stout Stew:

Serves 10

* 4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
* 2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
* 2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
* 1 can (14.9 ounces) Irish stout beer
* 10 garlic cloves, sliced
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen baby peas, thawed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, toss beef with flour; stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Transfer pot to oven, and cook, covered, until meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in peas, and season with salt and pepper.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Easy and Quick Chicken Dish

This recipe comes from my favorite site, Allrecipes! It's a quick, easy, and comfort-food style satisfying. It's great when served with brown rice to soak up the yummy sauce. I hope you enjoy Chicken and Mushroom Saute! Just a note- I did make a couple of changes to the recipe- check it out below (indicated with a *)

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil*
1 cup fresh, thinly sliced mushrooms*
1 cup chicken broth*
1 can cream of chicken soup (99% fat free version) *
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
ground black pepper to taste


Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour onto a sheet of wax paper. In a nonstick skillet, combine the vegetable oil and butter or margarine and heat over medium high heat until bubbly and hot. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

To the same skillet, add the mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes. Combine the water, broth mix, cornstarch, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return chicken to the skillet and cook until chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Spaghetti Squash Mania!

I picked up a couple of spaghetti squash at the store today and am excited to try a couple of different recipes!

Wikipedia describes Spaghetti Squash as:

The spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) (also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, "Spaghetti Marrow (in the UK) , squaghetti or Sharkfin Melon 鱼翅瓜 to Chinese) is an oblong seed-bearing variety of winter squash. The fruit can range either from ivory to yellow or orange in color or green with white streaks. Its center contains many large squash seeds. Its flesh is bright yellow or orange or white for the latter variety. When raw, the flesh is solid and similar to other raw squash; when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti or shark's fin (when cooked in a soup form). Spaghetti squash can be baked, boiled or steamed, and served with sauce as for pasta, or used as a vegetable base for macaroni and cheese. Spaghetti squash contains many nutrients including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. It is also a food low in calories, averaging 75 calories in 8 cooked ounces. It is a Chinese native vegetable."

So, there are 2 recipes that I can't wait to try!

The first is from Food Network's Michael Chiarello. His show, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, has such fun dishes. I've tried a couple of them and they are yummy! Anyway, this one is called Spaghetti Squash with Marinara. I think that pretty much sums up the dish! It will be an easy dish to make tonite! I hope it's a great substitute for spaghetti!!

The second and equally yummy sounding is Simple Spaghetti Squash. It sounds really fresh and yummy! I thought I'd make it tonite, but I'll wait until later this week when I can pillage my Dad's garden for a couple of tomatoes!

So, we'll see how the spaghetti squash adventure goes! I'll keep you posted!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

A friend made this bread and it is awesome! I had to get the recipe.

The best zucchini bread I've ever had!

* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 1/4 cups white sugar
* 2 cups shredded zucchini
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 pint fresh blueberries


DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.
3. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Burgundy Pork Tenderloin

Really yummy! And so easy!

* 2 pounds pork tenderloin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 2 cups red wine
* 1 (.75 ounce) packet dry brown gravy mix


DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place pork in a 9x13 inch baking dish, and sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Top with onion and celery, and pour wine over all.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
4. When done baking, remove meat from baking dish, and place on a serving platter. Pour gravy mix into baking dish with wine and cooking juices, and stir until thickened. Slice meat, and cover with the gravy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

This is a great recipe from Allrecipes! Enjoy.

6 (5 ounce) salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard --I actually omitted b/c I was out!
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook and stir garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush fillets with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with oregano.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. Brush fillets with remaining glaze, and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula to transfer fillets to serving platter, leaving the skin behind on the foil.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amazing Salad

While staying in NY, one of my sister's friends brought her this amazing salad from Bellini's Italian Eatery they call it the "Prodotto". It consists of green, leafy romaine lettuce tossed with sliced pear, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries (they are infused with raspberry), toasted walnuts (they almost taste candied), sliced red onion, diced tomato, matchstick carrots, and a balsamic vinaigrette. Lori says the closest balsamic vinaigrette that they've been able to find is the kind that is kept refrigerated next to the salad in the glass jar - I can't remember the name of it right now! Anyway, this salad is amazing and addictive!!!

YUM!!

Lighter Vegetable Lasagna

This is a great summer fresh vegetable lasagna. It's so delicious and smells amazing while cooking! Serve with a yummy salad and crusty bread!

Lighter Lasagna Ingredients

2 c Zucchini; cubed
2 c Cottage cheese; lowfat
1 c Cubed bell peppers
1 c Mozzarella cheese; part skim
1 c Chopped tomatoes
4 c Sliced mushrooms
1/4 c Grated parmesan cheese
1/4 ts Salt
1/3 c Dry red wine
3 1/2 c Tomato sauce; prepared
3 tb Chopped fresh basil
1 lb Uncooked lasagne noodles
10 oz Fresh spinach; rinsed


Preheat the oven to 350F.
Combine the zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, and wine in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and juicy. Stir in the basil and set aside.

Cover and cook the spinach on high heat in just the water clinging to the leaves for 3 minutes, until wilted but still bright green. Drain and chop coarsely.

Combine with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan and set aside.

Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of a 3-inch-deep nonreactive 8x12-inch baking dish. Layer with 5 or 6 noodles, 1 generous cup of undrained vegetables, and 1 cup of the spinach-cheese mixture. Cover with a second layer of noodles, 1 cup of sauce, 1 heaping cup of vegetables, 1 cup of the spinach-cheese mixture, and a third layer of noodles. Finally, add the rest of the vegetables, the remaining spinach-cheese mixture, a fourth layer of noodles, and the rest of the sauce. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the noodles are tender, about 60 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Recipe by: Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

Monday, August 04, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tonight for dinner is spaghetti and meatballs - Biggest Loser style! The "muscling up" meatballs are really yummy and good for you. Save leftovers for meatball subs! Put 3 meatballs in a hot dog bun, top with your fav spaghetti sauce and top with mozzarella cheese! Super yummy use for leftovers!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Upset Cooper

Cooper hasn't cried very often, but here Dad is about ready to change his diaper and he is NOT happy!!!!


video

Introducing Cooper!

video

Here is Cooper chilling with Mama E!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Can't wait to try!


While watching Giada the other day, I am drooling over the Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu she made! I've never like it because it tastes like coffee, but this one looks delish! I can't wait to try it!!!

BBQ Beef Sammy

Wow, long time and no post! On Monday we had Movie Dinner Theme Night which included the movie Ratatouille and the dish Ratatouille (courtesy of Emeril). I accompanied the dish with brown rice. It was really tasty vegetarian dish! I had never had it before, but it was good!!! Quite a fun movie night!

Tonite, we are having a little Clean Eating fun. I love then new magazine Clean Eating and they have a summer themed issue out now. So the BBQ Beef is on the menu for tonite with a little oven roasted potatoes! Yum! It looks delicious, but I'll have to let you know! If you do make it, just remember to start early, it takes a couple of hours because it has to slowly simmer!!

Here is the recipe:
1T whole-wheat flour
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1 lb top round roast or steak, extra lean, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
olive oil spray
3/4 c low fat, low sodium beef broth
2 T liquid smoke (don't skip this!)
1/3 c bbq sauce
1 c white onion strips
4 whole grain wheat hamburger buns

In a medium plastic bag, combine flour, garlic and onion powders. Add beef and shake bag until beef is evenly coasted. Refrigerate beef for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat a medium, nonstick saucepan over medium high heat. When it's hot, lightly mist pan with spray, then add beef. Brown beef on all sides, about 1 minute per side, then reduce heat to medium. Add broth and liquid smoke. When liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to low (liquid should still be boiling slightly). Cover and cook beef, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours or until it's very tender. (the pieces should easily fall apart when smashed with a fork) Using a slotted spoon, drain any excess liquid to a medium bowl, using a fork, separate pieces so beef is somewhat shredded, them mix in bbq sauce.

during the last 5 minutes of cooking the beef, lightly mist a small nonstick frying pan with spray and place it over medium heat. add onion strips and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

meanwhile, place bun halves, insides down, in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Cook until just toasted, about 2 to 4 minutes. Place each bun bottom on a plate. pile 1/4 of beef mixture onto each bun. Top with 1/4 of onion strips. add bun tops. serve immediately.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

June 2008 Everyday Food Magazine

If you haven't already picked up your copy, I highly recommend you do so ASAP! This is full of fantastic recipes! I only rec'd my copy a few days ago and have already tried 2 menus and loved them!

The first is Grilled Steak Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Arugula. I cut the recipe down from it feeding 8 ppl to a recipe suitable for 2 ppl. Official taste tester recommends toasting the baguette to make it easy to eat. Seriously one of my new fav steak sandwiches! I think even Grill Master Phil would approve! Serve it with the amazing twice-bake potatoes, and you can't go wrong!

This is a really easy and yummy meal. I did skip the mustard in the recipe because we don't care for it, but don't skip the goat cheese, it' fantastic!

The second amazing recipe out of this issue is the brown-sugar bbq chicket drumettes. It's so good! It's actually funny, b/c as I was reading this recipe, I thought, wow! this is mom's bbq chicken recipe! Mom has always made her bbq sauce with ketchup and brown sugar, so I am glad the rest of the world is catching up. I served with corn on the cob, but not the corn on the cob with cheesy butter that they recommended, that seemed a little intense! Kids would love this meal, of course I did too...

The next thing I can't wait to try:

Pineapple-Stuffed Jerk Chicken

I'll let you know how it is!

Skillet Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie

Another great recipe from Martha Stewart. This one comes from her Good Things for Easy Entertaining cookbook. This is my new FAVORITE chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's so easy to make! You don't have to go through all the measuring for dropping the cookies and rotating cookie sheets and all that; just put it in the skillet and bake! YUM! Click here to link to the MS site for the recipe.

Official Taste-Tester loved these cookies and they barely lived 1 day before being demolished!

I didn't use the caramel sauce or the ice cream, I enjoyed them alone, and they were delicious!

Directions

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) mixed milk- and semisweet-chocolate chips
2 pints vanilla ice cream
Caramel Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm; top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce.

Click HERE for the caramel sauce recipe!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday 4/6/08: Dinner

Tonight we are going to Mom and Dad's for dinner. I actually took the time to prepare everything before we go and put it into these handy containers we got at Ikea. So, I don't have to cart 20 ingredients over there, just take the containers and go. And, I chopped all the veggies, so there is another plus!

Menu:
Sloppy Joes (Everyday Food Cookbook P216)
Glazed Carrots (page 85)
Parmesan Potato Wedges(P83) - I couldn't find the exact recipe on-line and I've returned the book to the library, but this is almost the exact same recipe only with sweet potatoes! Personally, I think I'd prefer the sweet potatoes!

Dessert: Quick fruit (peach) cobbler

Click on the links above for the recipes!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tuna Cakes

This recipe comes from the most recent issue of Kraft's Food and Family Magazine. If you don't get it, you should sign up for it. It's got great recipes and it's free when you sign up on their website. Anyway, this recipe is fantastic. It's something I would never have thought of, but worked great!

Taste tester declared: I love them. It's something I would pay for in a restaurant.

TUNA CAKES:

2 cans (6 oz. each) light tuna in water, drained, flaked
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup KRAFT Mayo Real Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. CLAUSSEN Sweet Pickle Relish
3/4 cup water
MIX all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 10 min.

HEAT large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. For each tuna cake, shape 1/3 cup lightly packed tuna mixture into patty. Add patties to skillet in batches.

COOK 3 min. on each side or until golden brown on both sides, turning over carefully.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Healthy LivingSave 60 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving by preparing as directed with KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese and KRAFT Mayo Light Mayonnaise.SubstituteSubstitute 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, 1/2 cup chopped green onions and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice for the Cheddar cheese, carrots and pickle relish.How to Prevent Fish Cakes from Falling ApartShape patties as directed; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to help firm them up before cooking.

Make sure to check out the Kraft Foods site! It's great!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter Dinner Recipe: Salad Delight Dessert

Salad Delight Dessert

This recipe is my grandmother Trzop's recipe. My mom still makes it best, but I'm trying!!

Gelatin Mixture:
2 pkgs lemon gelatin (I usually use sugar/fat free)
4 c boiling water
1 - 2# can crushed pineapple, drained (save juice) (a 2# can means the larger size can like 16 or 17 oz)
4 bananas, sliced
1 c mini marshmallows (maybe 1 & 1/2 c mini marshmallows)

Topping Mixture 1:
1 c pineapple juice (saved from drained pineapple above. Add water to equal 1 cup
1/2 c sugar (or Splenda)
2 T Flour
2 T butter
2 eggs, beaten
Topping Mixture 2:
1 - 8oz cool whip
1 c chopped nuts (Usually use the chopped misc nut mix or toasted chopped pecans)

1. Dissolve gelatin in the water, add pineapple and cool (don't let cool too long or the gelatin will start to harden).
2. When cool, add bananas and marshmallows.
3. Chill until firm - usually overnight.
After gelatin mixture is firm:
4. Combine pineapple juice, sugar, flour, butter, and eggs. Cook on top of stove until thick, then chill.
While Mixture 1 is done chilling:
5. Add the nuts to the cool whip, saving about 1/2 c of nuts for garnishing

When all is chilled and cooled, spread the cooked mixture on top of the gelatin. Then spread the cool whip and nuts on top of it all. Garnish the top with the remaining nuts.

**My family LOVES the topping and we double the topping mixture.

Easter Dinner Recipe: Vegetable Salad

Vegetable Salad

This recipe comes from a lady from church who makes this for every church potluck. It has become a staple in our family's holiday menu. It's delicious! Just don't add the dressing until you are almost ready to serve!

Chop:
3 carrots
5 green onions
3 celery
1 cauliflower head
1 & 1/2 broccoli head

Mix:
3/4 c sugar (usually we add 1/2 c of sugar or Splenda)
3/4 c Miracle Whip (usually we do 1/2 c of fat free ranch dressing)
1 T vinegar

Add:
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 jar real bacon bits (usually we cook bacon extra crisp and then top with that)

Add mixture, cheese, and bacon bits to vegetables right before you serve.

Mom's notes:
Mix well and taste. Can always add later, before the cheese.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Menu: March 16-23

Here is my attempt at planning a healthful week of dinner!

SUN: Rich Cooks! BLTs, Roasted Asparagus, and Baked Sweet Potatoes (check out howtobakeapotato.com for the best way to bake a potato)

MON: Pizza - Ultra-Thin-Crust Pizza with Onions, Mushrooms, and Ricotta (everyday food magazine 2/07 page 98) and salad

TUE: Weight Watcher's Shrimp Scampi with thin spaghetti (5 Ingredient 15 minute Cookbook Feb 2007 Pg 49)

WED: Chicken and Rice Casserole

THURS: Ellie Krieger's (Food Network) Chix Fingers, Fries, Sauteed Asparagus

FRI: Leftovers or Rich Cooks!! Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

SAT: Easter Dinner: Ham (Smithfield makes a "Paula Deen" Ham), Spinach Salad, Broccoli & Cauliflower salad, scalloped potatoes, rolls, salad delight desert, and home made carrot cake

SUN: Leftovers!!!

The Recipes:

Ultra-Thin-Crust Pizza with Onions, Mushrooms, and Ricotta Recipe

Olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tortillas - I used whole wheat found in the "Mexican" Aisle
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese (about 2 ounces)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
6 mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced - I used baby bellas
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small sauté pan on medium hight heat. Add the sliced onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften. Cook for a few more minutes until the onions are thoroughly softened and translucent. Remove from heat.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Place a tortilla on each baking sheet and brush each with olive oil.

Sprinkle each tortilla with half a cup of shredded Asiago cheese. Add bits of ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup for each tortilla. Sprinkle with mushrooms and with the slightly caramelized onions. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Place the baking sheets in the oven. Bake until the crust is crisp and brown all over (the time varies, depending on the oven and if your cookie sheet has already been heated, start with 10 minutes and check), rotating the sheets to ensure even baking.

A seriously delicious pizza. Not at all traditional, but so yummy!

SHRIMP SCAMPI

1 & 1/2 T olive oil
1 & 1/2 t bottled minced garlic (or about 7 cloves of fresh minced garlic)
1 & 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (I just used the already cooked bagged variety)
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley
1 & 1/2 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/8 t ground red pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat; add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add shrimp, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring occasionally; remove pan from heat. Stir in parsley and remaining ingredients. Serve over top of cooked angel hair or thin spaghetti.

Chix and Rice Casserole:

1/2 cup light butter or margarine (I didn't use this much!! I only used about 6 tsp)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 c rice (I used brown rice), uncooked
1 can reduced fat cream of chix coup (i substituted cream of mushroom b/c that is what I had)
1 & 3/4 soup cans of water
4 to 5 chix breast

Grease deep casserole dish with margarine and cut remaining margarine in pieces, leaving it in bottom of casserole. Cover this with dry onion soup mix. Add rice.

Dilute chix soup with water and pour in casserole. Mix lightly. Mixture will be thin. Arrange chix on top, being sure each pice is coated with the liquid first.

Bake in dish at 400 degrees for 1 hr and 15 min.

Very, very yummy!!!

CHX FINGERS:

1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut across into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
Cooking spray
4 cups whole-grain corn cereal (recommended: Corn Chex or cornflakes)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the cereal in a sealed plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow dish. Season the chicken with the salt and a few grinds of pepper. Dip each piece of chicken in the cereal to fully coat and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Leave the chicken on the baking sheet to cool slightly. It will become crispier.

(http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_34076,00.html)

Angel Food Cake and "icing"

This recipe I originally tried when a lady at work brought it in for a food day. I recently found it again while flipping through a Kraft Food and Family magazine (Spring 2008). It's such a light and delicious treat that is incredibly easy to make. Enjoy!

1 pkg vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 c thawed cool whip
1 angel food cake

Optional:
fresh fruit

Mix pudding and pineapple in a bowl. Stir in the whipped topping.

"frost" cake. you can either do this traditionally, or, cut the cake into 3 layers. "Frost" in between each layer ending at the top. Refrigerate at least 1 hr and top with strawberries or mixed berries.

YUM!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Best Mashed Potatoes Ever!

I have never been successful at making mashed potatoes. This is the beset recipe I have made so far and it turned out great! The next time, I will not add so much garlic, or I will omit to change the recipe a bit. They were light and fluffy, creamy and oh so delicious!!!

Official Taste Tester: Best potatoes you've made!

The recipe:

1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 pounds potatoes, rinsed and quartered (use russet, yukon gold, or red creamer)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cup half and half (I used half and half)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used margarine)
sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 425 F. Slice 1/2 inch top off garlic bulb and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until garlic is soft and golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, peel garlic cloves, mince and set aside.

In large pot, add potatoes and cover with water and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 15 to 25 minutes.

Drain potatoes and force through a potato ricer or mash potatoes until smooth into a large bowl. Mix in Parmesan and garlic. Cover and keep warm.

Heat half and half, butter, salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter has melted. Pour over potatoes and combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste

I found this recipe HERE on the Whole Foods Market website they have a ton of great recipes! Check it out!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cupcakes



After eating all these great cupcakes in Chicago, I decided to try and make my own.. this recipe makes 4 cupcakes. Just enough for 2 people :)

Pretty good stuff..

2 T butter
1/2 c flour
1/4 c buttermilk
1/8 t baking soda
yolk of 1 large egg, room temp
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
1/8 t salt

heat oven to 350 and place muffing cup liners in muffin pan.

combine buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl, and stir to mix. Gently whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla.

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend well. Add half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat on a low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat until the mixture is lightened and has slightly increased in volume about 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour in remaining buttermilk mixture and beat on medium speed until well blended 20 seconds.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-23 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 min. let cupcakes cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting or:

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz cold cream cheese
2 T butter
3/4 c confectioners' sugar
1 t grated orange zest
1/2 t vanilla
1 T thawed frozen OJ concentrate (I used normal OJ and it tasted fine)

Mix cream chz and butter until blended. Add sugar, orange zest, and vanilla, beat to mix. Add OJ and beat until fluffy. Use right away or cover and let stand for up to 1 hr before using.

Birthday Boy!



Happy 25th Birthday Rich!

Sadly, he is under the weather for his birthday, but that didn't stop him from eating some cake!! This cake is actually made for only 2 people. They are baked in 14.5 oz cans (soup, fruit, vegetable cans) that are washed out and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Take a piece of parchment paper and cut it to fit the bottom of the can before pouring in the batter. It's a great way to eat cake and make sure there isn't any left over to snack on!!!

1/4 c plus 2 T all purpose flour
3 T buttermilk
yolk of 1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla
3 T butter, melted and cooled
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/3 c sugar

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325.

Grease the insides of the cans and lightly dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Place the cans on a baking sheet.

Combine the buttermilk, egg yolk, & vanilla in a bowl, and whisk to mix. Gradually pour the melted butter into the buttermilk mixture, whisking constantly.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, & salt in a medium bowl. add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk mixture and whisk just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon the batter into the cans, dividing evenly. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.

remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. run a thin sharp knife around the inside of the can and invert them to release the cakes. Turn the cakes right side up let cool completely.

To frost, cut each cake in half horizontally. Spread a layer of icing on one side of the cake, then stack the other half on top of it. Frost the sides and top of the cake.

Use your favorite icing recipe or...

Double Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting:

6 oz milk chocolate
3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/4 c plus 3 T sour cream (room temp)
1/2 t vanilla


Place chocolate in a medium microwave bowl and microwave on high 2 to 2 & 1/2 m.

Let chocolate mixture cool for 5 min; then add the sour cream, vanilla, salt and whisk to blend well. let frosting cool to room temp, stirring occasionally. spread on cake..

Warning: This is incredibly chocolate-y!

Check out this great book by Debby Maugans Nakos "Small Batch Baking"

Ice Storm!




So we had a crazy ice storm on Thursday. Everything was cancelled including NKU!! The driveway was like a skating ring. I stood at the top of the driveway and just slid right on down. It was really fun! Coming up was a problem, because it really was a sheet of ice and it was near impossible. It was very beautiful at night and here are some pictures.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Version 2


These are a little different from the cookies I posted over the holidays. They have an ingredient that I've never added in cookies before; instant vanilla pudding mix. They are very cake-y cookies, and quite delicious. I added both semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips. This recipe yields A LOT of cookies, you may want to half it... otherwise you'll end up with dozens of cookies.

Official Taste Tester Says: "Excellent, the pudding makes it worth the effort" (Amy adds: it's no more effort than regular cookies!!)

The Recipe:

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown. (Only bake for 12 minutes - they will be done!!)

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Award-Winning-Soft-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies/Detail.aspx

Friday, February 22, 2008

Quick and Easy Potato Soup


Update: Okay, this soup is so good that I had to make more today! So, I made a whole new batch and made a couple of changes. First, I added just a bit of basil and then added in some parsley.. yum.. I used red onion instead of white or yellow. Also, I added the potatoes in the soup and let them heat with the broth for a couple of minutes before adding the half and half. So yummy!!!

Official Taste Tester Says: Really good. Some of the best soup I've had in a while.

This is such a great recipe! Rich and I even fought over who would eat the leftovers. My advice - make a double batch!!!

INGREDIENTS
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil (** I halved this on the advice of others)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed (** you may want to bake in the oven, I found micro-waving made them a little gummy)
1 cup half-and-half cream (** I used fat-free half and half)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (**I omitted)
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. I actually used the George Foreman to do the bacon and did not save any drippings. Instead, I used olive oil for the next step.

Saute onion and garlic in the drippings (or Olive Oil) until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Delicious Salmon in minutes!!

This is a great Biggest Loser recipe. It's so fast, easy, and yummy!!!


Balsamic Orange Salmon

Makes 2 Servings

Remove skin from 1 large or 2 small salmon fillets (total 12-16 ounces), if needed.
Cut large fillet in half. In a small bowl prepare glaze:
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Spoon glaze on top of salmon, spreading it evenly. Tuck any thin parts of fillet underneath for even cooking. Put glazed salmon in Ziploc Brand Zip 'n Steam™ bag, placing thicker portions toward outer edge of bag. Seal bag and place in microwave.

Cook on full power for 3 1/2 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily. If needed, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until salmon is done. Allow bag to stand 1 minute before handling. Carefully open bag. Use spatula to remove cooked salmon from bag. Serve with dipping sauce and garnish with sliced green onions and orange slices, if desired.

Recipe for Dipping Sauce:
3 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Pinch of salt (about 1/16 teaspoon)

http://www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser/dietcenter/zip_n_steam/recipes-submit.shtml

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Diaper Cake




This is not an edible cake but it is very fun to make anyway! For an upcoming baby shower I made this as an alternative to a traditional gift but incorporated some items they had on their registry (the wrist rattles and seat belt covers). In the center is a bottle of Johnson and Johnson's Baby Wash. Just a fun thing to share with you guys!

It is for a baby girl, so I had to change the green & yellow ribbons for the pink because the diapers turned out to have too much blue and I wanted it to look girl-y and it was a little too boyish, though I loved the green polka dot ribbon.

Shrimp and Orzo


The other day I had been craving shrimp, edamame, and tomatoes. So, I came up with this dish to encompass all of these ingredients!!

Shrimp
1 can stewed whole tomatoes, diced
edamame
orzo (pasta)
italian seasoning

Cook the pasta and drain. Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt and pepper and sear in skillet. Steam edamame in a ziploc steam and fresh bag. When the pasta, shrimp, edamame are done, mix together in a skillet and add tomatoes. Sprinkle with italian seasoning to taste.

This is a off the fly recipe, but it's very tasty!!!

YUM!!

Spinach and Cheese Quiche

This is an interesting take on traditional quiche. It's a lightened up version that you won't feel guilty about eating, even though you won't be able to taste that it's a lightened version!!!

YUM!! This was so good that I had to fight with Rich for the left-overs and I don't like to eat left-overs!!!

1 (12 oz) can evaporated fat-free milk
1/3 c low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (or extra-sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, aged or sharp provolone, percorino)
2 large eggs
3 egg whites
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 pie crust, baked and cooled (I just bought the ready-made kind at the store)
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, cottage cheese, parmesan, eggs, egg whites, salt, and pepper.

Place the pie plate on a baking pan; spread the spinach over the pie crust, then pour the filling over the spinach. Bake 15 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake until the filling is set, 20 minutes longer. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

**Hint: Make sure your pie crust covers the pie otherwise, the filling will overflow under the crust and the crust will be soggy.

Makes 12 servings

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tried the fries...

We tried the "Arby's" fries and they are very tasty! Boiling them really makes them extra crispy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

To complete the meal...

CHICK-FIL-A : CHICK-N-Strips

1 boneless, skinless chx breast half (5 oz)
2 t unbleached or all purpose flour
2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t paprika
1/8 t cayenne
1 egg white
3 T dry bread crumbs
1/8 t black pepper
1/8 t garlic powder
1/8 t onion powder
olive oil spray
1 1/2 t fat - free milk

place chx on a cutting board. cover with a sheet of waxed paper with the smooth side of a meat mallet, point to an even 1/4 " thickness. cut diagonally into 6 equal strips (4"x3/4").

in a small re-sealable plastic bag, combine the flour, sugar, salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. shake to mix well. add the chx. shake to completely coat the chx with the flour mixture. place in the fridge for at least 10 min.

preheat the oven to 450. lightly mist a small nonstick baking sheet with oil spray. set aside.

in a small shallow bowl, combine the egg white and milk. beat with a fork until smooth. place the bread crumbs on a small sheet of waxed paper set next to the egg white mixture.

one at a time, dip the chx strips into the egg white mixture, being sure to coat completely. allow any excess egg white to drip off. dip into the bread crumbs to coat completely. place, not touching, on the reserved baking sheet.

lightly mist bohth side with oil spray.

bake 4-6 min per side, or until the breading is crisp and the chx is no longer pink inside.

Arby's Curly Fries

Another french fry recipe...

I haven't tried these yet, but I plan to!

Arby's Curly Fries

1 3/4 t salt, divided
4 russet potatoes (8 oz each; 2 lbs total), peeled
oil oil spray
2 1/2 T egg substitute
1 1/2 T unbleached or all-purpose flour
2 t paprika
1/4 t cayenne
1/8 t garlic powder
1/8 t onion powder

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 t salt.

Meanwhile, with a twin curl cutter, cut 7 oz of potato curls, about 2 cups. (Cover with water and refrigerate the scraps for another recipe) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly mist a small nonstick baking sheet with oil spray. Set aside.

transfer the potato curls to the boiling water. cook for exactly 3 m but no longer or they will break. drain in a colander. set aside for about 5 m to cool.

meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the egg substitute, flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and the remaining 3/4 t salt. With a fork, mix until well blended. Add the potatoes. Toss them with your fingers until they are coated with the seasoning mixture. Transfer, allowing any excess seasoning mixture to drip off, to the reserved baking sheet. arrange the potatoes, not touching in a single layer. lightly mist with oil spray. bake for 18-24 m, turning them about halfway through, until crisp and cooked through.

"Sonic" Tater Tots

I found this "healthful" version of tater tots.. who doesn't love a good tater tot...

SONIC TATER TOTS:

olive oil spray
1 1/4 c bagged refrigerated pre-shredded potatoes
1 1/2 T egg substitute
1/2 t salt

Preheat the oven to 450. Lightly mist a large nonstick baking sheet with oil spray. Place the potatoes on a cutting board. With a knife, chop them finely. transfer to a mixing bowl. add the egg substitute and salt. stir to mix well.

using a measuring spoon, scoop out a level tablespoon of the mixture. shape into a nugget and place on the reserved baking sheet. continue until all of the mixture is scooped, shaped, and placed, not touching, in a single layer on the baking sheet. there should be about 13 nuggets.

lightly mist with oil spray. bake for about 20 m, flipping the nuggets a quarter turn every 5 m, or until crisp and lightly covered.