Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mounds Brownies

Sorry, it has been forever! I am 23 weeks prego with baby #3 and sometimes new food hasn't sounded good so I revert back to old dinners that I have already blogged about :) But I have been snapping pictures of new yummy meals lately so now I can share them with you! This brownie is so yummy and rich! If you like coconut you will love this!



Ingredients:

Brownies: (you can use a 8x8 boxed mix for the brownies to cut back on time)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoon water
1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling:
1 1/2 cups coconut
3/4 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Frosting:
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup milk
1/2 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a medium saucepan combine sugar applesauce and water until combined and just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Add eggs and beat until well blended.
3.Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and stir until blended. Add in vanilla. Pour 1/2 the mixture into a greased 8x8 pan.
4. Combine the coconut, 3/4 can of sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Spread carefully over the brownies and top with remaining browning batter. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let our brownies cool for about 20 minutes and while they cool prepare frosting. In a saucepan cook the sugar and milk until sugar is dissolved. Add in the marshmallows and chocolate chips. Cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add in vanilla. Let frosting cool for about 20 minutes to thicken up. Pour over brownies and spread to cover. Grab a glass of milk and dig in!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lemon Turkey Patties

I found this recipe from Family Circle magazine and had to try it. We love turkey burgers around here and this is a slightly different variation where you don't use a bun and toppings. Just a pattie with a couple of yummy sides to go with it. It was so good I have already made it twice. The lemon zest really makes this meal!



Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
zest and juice from one lemon
a pinch of salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Place ground turkey in a bowl. Add everything else right on top of the meat, except for the olive oil. Using a fork or a spoon, mix all the ingredients together. *If you use your hands to mix, you can tend to over mix and the meat will become tough.
2. Form into 4-5 patties using your hands and place in a medium heat skillet (I used a nonstick skillet so they wouldn't stick) drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Cook for about 6-7 minutes per side. Until the meat is golden brown. Flip and cook another 7 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Serve while warm with a veggie side dish and some crusty garlic bread. You are set!
* I served this with roasted yams and apples. Wanna try it? All you do is peel and cut your yams and toss them in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 425. While they are cooking prepare your turkey patties. Also cut 2-3 apples into thinnish slices and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. After the yams have been cooking for 20 minutes, use a spatula and flip them around to cook even. Toss the apple on the cookie sheet at this point and cook both apples and yams for another 15 minutes while the patties cook! Done and delish!
* other good veggie dishes would be roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli or steamed carrots.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cranberry Orange Biscotti

My brother Bryce, slimmed down this recipe and it is so yummy! We love dipping these cookies in hot cocoa. Perfect for the holidays! I always thought that biscotti sounded hard and time consuming, but it is easy and super good, definitely worth it and a great snack!!


Ingredients:

2 cups flour (you could do half whole wheat pastry to add a bit more whole grains)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons tub butter (I like brummel and brown)
3 egg whites, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup craisens
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Cover a cookie sheet in foil and spray with non-stick spray.
2. Mix your flour, sugar, and baking powder together. Cut in the tub butter. Add the beaten egg whites and both extracts. Mix all together. Keep mixing until all the ingredients are combined. (Halfway through a used my hands to really mix it all together.
3. Next toss in the craises, almonds, and orange peel. Mix well. Shape into 2 logs and place on cookie sheet. Like this.....


4. Cook at 350 for 25 minutes. Next, put logs on a cutting board and cool for 5 minutes. Slice into cookies. Like this....... oh, and sprinkle with a bit of sugar


5.Bake for another 18 minutes and done!! Dunk and enjoy!

* These would be great dipped in white chocolate and sprinkles with holiday sprinkles for friends and family! Yum!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mexican Skillet Dinner

My sister gave me this awesome cookbook that is all low fat cooking and we tried this one out on company and it was soooo good! It was really fast and hit the spot. We added tortilla chips to finish it off and we will definitely be making it again!



Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans Mexican style diced tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
8 ounces macaroni
1 1/3 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
tomatoes
lettuce
cheese
tortillas or tortilla chips

1. Place the ground turkey in a large deep soup pot and cook over medium heat stirring to crumble until the meat is no longer oink. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to mix well.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender and the liquid ans been absorbed. *If there is still a bit of liquid left over, remove the cover and simmer for a few more minutes.
3.To plate: put mixture on plate or bowl top with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream and crumbled chips. YUM!

* Use chips to scoop too! Warm tortillas on the side would be yummy and you can add any of your favorite taco toppings!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cheesy Fan Potatoes

Here is an easy and delicious side dish! We loved it and I can't believe I have never eaten potatoes this way before. My littlest even loved these and they have tons of great flavor! Great with any meal!



Ingredients:

4 medium baking potatoes
3 tablespoons tub butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

1. Scrub all the potatoes clean and pat dry. Cut potatoes crosswise into thin slices, but DO NOT cut all the way through. Go slow so you don't chop right through it. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil and spray with non stick spray. Place potatoes in dish. Gently press down on potatoes to fan slightly.
2. Combine melted butter and garlic salt. Drizzle over potatoes. Bake, covered, in a 350 oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 more minutes or until tender.
3. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven. Broil for just a minute or two. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Removed and transfer to plates and sprinkle with chives! YUM!!

* We had these with ham and cranberries. But these would be great with any dish! Grilled chicken or steak with steamed broccoli or salad. Or pork chops and homemade chunky applesauce. Just throw them in where you would have a baked potato.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Ring Cake

This is a great and different way to use pumpkin so everyone isn't sick of it by the end of the holidays. Super moist and really great! I made a glaze topping for ours but I bet a cream cheese frosting would be wonderful! It's a no-fail Betty Crocker recipe that I fixed a bit.... Perfect for fall!



Ingredients:

3 cups Heart Smart Bisquick® mix
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup fat free milk
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. Ok, I greased and floured it and it still stuck a little bit. I ALWAYS just spray my pans really well with non -stick spray and they turn out great, so I am going to try that next time.
2.Beat Bisquick, granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, oil, pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cup milk, eggs/egg whites and pumpkin in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Spread in pan.
3.Bake about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; turn upside down onto heatproof plate or wire cooling rack. Remove pan and cool cake completely.
4.Stir glaze ingredients together until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cake. Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tortellini Soup

This is so good and one of my favorite soups!! It is perfect for a fall day or a chilly night. I got this recipe from Adrienne and Taste the Joy and it is always a hit and super easy! Pair it up with some rolls or muffins and you can't go wrong!!



Ingredients:

1 lb. ground spicy turkey sausage (or regular turkey sausage is great too)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cup beef broth
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
8-16 oz. package cheese tortellini (I recommend and use the fresh pasta from the refrigerated section, it is the best!!)
1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 zucchini, peeled and grated
1 carrot, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Ok ready, super easy!! Brown the sausage in a large soup pot. When cooked add the onion, garlic, carrot, green pepper and saute. Add all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the tortellini and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir every so often.
2. Add the tortellini and cook 7-9 minutes until done. (If you add it with everything else they will over cook and they can be mussy or fall apart, not good :) When the pasta is done, dish up and dig in!

* Rolls are super good with this, perfect for dunking and sopping up soup. Make up a batch earlier in the day so when the soup is ready, so is everything else!
* Muffins are really great too! Cranberry or apple would be delicious and they have fat free mixes in the baking isle that are really good and I use them finish off a dinner.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mac and Cheese

I LOVE this recipe! I have been making this since Rex and I were first married and we still love it to this day! Perfect for fall or a chilly day, warms you right up and you can't go wrong with mac and cheese :)



Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups uncooked short pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups low-fat or fat free milk
1 teaspoon spicy mustard (I usually add a bit more because I love it)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or colby
1 cup cut up ham or hot dogs (my kids like hot dogs:)

1. Heat oven to 400. Cook and drain pasta.
2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Cook the garlic in the butter for about 30 seconds (don't let it burn it will be bitter) stirring frequently. Next stir in the flour and salt. When it is mixed together, it might be a bit lumpy, gradually add in the milk.
3. Using a whisk, stir in the milk. Continue stirring and turn the heat to boiling. Boil and stir about 1 minute until it has thickened up a bit.
4. Stir in the mustard and cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
5. Now your pasta should be done so drain it and return to pot. Add the sauce and ham/hot dogs it and stir. Pour into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish and bake for about 5-10 minutes until golden and browned on top.

* Serve this with a side salad or steamed green beans or broccoli. You are set!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pork Taco Stackers

I copied this recipe from a cook book at my sisters house one visit and I finally made it. Thanks goodness because it was so good! Ok, taco fixings on corn bread is genius and I know this because it is all gone..... yum!!



Ingredients:

2 lb. pork roast
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup 7-up or sprite
1 can pinto beans
chopped tomatoes
1 corn bread mix (with water, eggs, applesauce)
shredded lettuce
grated cheese
sour cream

1. Let get the pork going first. Now you can do two things with your slow cooker. Roast for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. I didn't start this until about 1 pm, so I chose the lesser of the two :) Now, put your roast in the slow cooker and turn to your desired setting. Sprinkle with taco seasoning, turn it over and sprinkle again. Pour your 7-up in there, put a lid on it and walk away.
2. Now when you only have about 1 hour left until your roast should be done, take it out and shred it with two forks. Put it all back in and let is soak up all the juices. Pork is done. Let is just hang out until you assemble your stackers.
3. After you shred the pork go ahead and prepare the rest of your dinner. Get your corn bread cooking in a 8x8 or make them into muffins. While those are cooking, cut tomatoes, shred lettuce, grate cheese and heat up the beans (I put mine on the stove on low). When your corn bread is done it's time to eat!
4. To assemble: Cut your cornbread into squares. Then cut them open to make two little halves. Place on plate and top with beans, cheese, pork, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream! Dig in!

* These have veggies on top but you could have a side salad or cut up cucumbers on the side.
* Leave out the pork and make it vegetarian!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Italian Shepherd's Pie

I am really ready to make fall food! Can you tell? Well, this was so good, warm, and fast! I tested it out by making it on a Sunday afternoon when everyone is hungary and ready to eat! It came together in no time and hit the spot! YUM!



Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon season salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional, my hubby doesn't like mushrooms so I left them out)
1 14oz. jar of pasta sauce, your favorite
6 potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked and mashed (add your salt, butter and milk)OR 1 pouch of Betty Crocker roasted garlic mashed potatoes (made with water, milk and butter)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped fresh parsley

1.Heat oven to 375. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Add beef, onion, and carrot to skillet. Sprinkle with season salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown.
2. Stir in mushrooms and pasta sauce. Heat to boiling. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread into casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
3.Ok, this is where you have two options. You can make mashed potatoes from scratch or instant potatoes. I prefer the flavor of fresh so while the meat and veggies were browning I boiled my potatoes and mashed them. You could definitely use instant and follow the instructions on the back. Either way you will have yummy potatoes. Now when your potatoes are ready spoon 6-8 mounds of potato on top of the hot beef mixture.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and potatoes are a light golden brown. Top with parsley!

* I mixed up a quick fat free muffin mix and cooked the muffins and the same time as the casserole was browning. There are lots of veggies in this dish but a crisp green salad would be great too!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Avocado Basil Pasta

I started making this when I was first married and my husband still requests it! The combination of flavors really tastes great together. It is a great light dish that is a perfect way to wrap up summer! Enjoy.



Ingredients:

8 oz. of any short noodle pasta
2 medium avocados, peeled, halved and chopped
6 slices of bacon
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add some salt and toss in your pasta. It will cook for about 9-10 minutes, just enough time to prep the rest of your ingredients.
2. Heat a skillet to medium/heat and cook your bacon. When it is done cooking, place on paper towels and cool. When cooled chop or crumble in to small bite size pieces.
3. Ok, combine your chopped avocado, bacon, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and pepper. Add your pasta and toss to coat. Taste to see if you need to add any salt. Add if needed. Then sprinkle with cheese and serve!

* Serve this yummy meal with toasted garlic bread and tomato wedges sprinkled in salt and pepper. It would also be good pared up with these babies.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

These are my no-fail cookies! I make them practically every week! I am not kidding, there is no way you will be able to tell these are low in fat because they are soft, chewy, and delicious!! I know that they will be a favorite in your house too!!




Ingredients:

1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter (don't used reduced fat, they don't turn out, I have tried it:)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup flour
2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 375.
2. Mix your applesauce, sugar, brown sugar, egg whites and vanilla together in a bowl. When all mixed and smooth add the peanut butter.
3. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until all combined. Next, add in your chocolate chips.
4. Drop by a cookie scoop on to an ungreased baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. DONE!!
* They really will be done after 10 minutes. They will cook a bit more while cooking so don't over cook them. Since there is no butter, over cooking them will dry them out! Don't worry, they will be perfect!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheesy Orzo and Turkey Bratwurst

Ok, I have been having way too much fun with my sister and not posting as often as I should, but it's ok because I have a bunch of new recipes for you all!! Today is a yummy, creamy, cheesy pasta/meat dish. I came up with this one when I realized we were totally out of food but I did have these few ingredients and the outcome..... WONDERFUL!! It was soo good, healthy and quick too! I know it will be asked for often, especially by my husband!




Ingredients: (this recipe made enough for 4 adults. If you are cooking for more just double the recipe :)

1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups orzo
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or water with a couple bouillon cubes dissolved
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1/2 cup finely grated mozzarella cheese
4 turkey bratwurst, thawed
fresh parsley, chopped

1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. When melted add orzo and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Stir the orzo until covered in the melted butter and allow to brown for a few minutes. Keep stirring so nothing burns. After a few minutes and pasta is slightly brown go ahead and add your stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and a low simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is becoming creamy.
2. While the orzo is simmering heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat and start cooking your bratwurst. Just keep turning in the pan so all sides are browned and the meat is cooked through. It will take just about as long to cook the meat as it does to cook the orzo.
3. Ok, finishing touches. When your meat is cooked through and the pasta has absorbed all the liquid go ahead and add your cheese to the pasta. After you have stirred and combined the cheese and pasta add the chopped parsley too. You may need to add a couple tablespoon of water to keep it creamy. (As your stir everything together, steam is still coming off your pasta and liquid is still be absorbed so add a bit of water to make it moist). Ok plate that food and eat!!

* I served this with steamed carrots with a bit of tub butter, salt and pepper. But steamed green beans, broccoli, or a nice green salad would be great! Also add some garlic bread to finish off the meal!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sausage, Broccoli, and Noodles

I got this recipe from Family Circle, which I love! Lots of easy, quick meals. This one took about 20 minutes, start to finish and everyone ate it right up. The flavors are great and it is creamy and warm!


Ingredients:

3 packages ramen noodle soup, chicken flavor
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 links Italian turkey sausage casings removed (I got the spicy kind)
3 cups broccoli flowerets

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, steam the broccoli for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir the sour cream and cornstarch together and set aside.
2.Heat a medium skillet to med/high and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sausage to the skillet. Break it up with a spoon and cook for 5 minutes,or until cooked through.
3.Now to the boiling water. These noodles cook super fast so we are cooking them near the end of this meal. Cook the noodles for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside. * I have come to learn to leave just a little bit of cooking water in the pot with the noodles so they don't all stick together in a big lump. Not good, so leave some water :)
4.Add the broccoli, 1 cup water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons seasonings from packets to sausage in skillet. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes.
4.Remove the lid and stir in sour cream mixture to skillet. Cook for 1 minute or until sauce has thickened.
5.Add the noodles to the skillet OR add the skillet to the now drained all the way noodles in the big pot and toss to coat with the sauce. Eat right away!!

* I served this up with tomatoes sliced in wedges sprinkled with salt and pepper and some cranberry orange muffins! Yum!! * Use the fat free Krusteaz muffin mix from the store, so good and so easy!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oreo Brownies

I confess I have made these like 3 times in the last month trying to get a good picture, but don't worry none of them went to waste! I love brownies, I love creating new ways to enjoy a delicious brownie so I came up with these babies!! You won't be disappointed, they are great!


Brownie ingredients: (I ALWAYS use this recipe for all my brownies, they turn out perfect!)

1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6-7 reduced-fat oreos, chopped in big chunks

frosting ingredients:

1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon tub butter
2 oreos, chopped into small pieces, but not crushed into crumbs
a little bit of milk

1. Ok, preheat your oven to 350. In a large bowl,combine your applesauce, sugar, vanilla and egg whites together. Mix until smooth. Next add in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix with a whisk or spoon until combine.
2. Pour into a greased 9x9 baking pan and cook for 10 minutes. While the brownies are cooking, chop your oreos into big chunks. After 10 minutes, take out your brownies and sprinkle the oreos all over the top of your batter. Press gently to set in and bake for another 10 minutes or until done in center. When they are done, allow them to cool so the frosting doesn't melt when spread it on top.
3. While they are cooling we will make the yummy frosting. Ok, in a medium bowl put your butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar. With an electric mixer, combine the two until smooth. Give it some time, it will come together (If it doesn't add a TINY bit of milk). Now you need to add another 1/2 cup of sugar and a bit of milk to thin out the frosting. You may add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar (I did) and a little milk to get it to the right consistency. I wanted my frosting to be thicker than a glaze but not so stiff that is tears the brownies.
4. Last step in adding in the chopped oreos. You will want to use a large wooden spoon or a rubber scraper and gently fold the cookies in. You don't want to break up the oreos too much and turn your frosting grey. Carefully frost your brownies and enjoy!!

* Cover with plastic wrap and keep out on counter to stay fresh for nibbling.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Muffin Corn Dogs

Here is another fun, easy, summer dinner that your whole family will love!! Thanks to Lick the Bowl Good.(My hubby loved them more than my kids:) A lighter version of a fair favorite that will become a fun meal, snack or party food!!

With the works!! Add kethcup, mustard, and relish and you will be in heaven! My best advise, top them with your favorites and pick them up and dig in. Using a fork can get a little crumbly and messy :)

The inside, cute huh?

Ingredients:

1 corn muffin mix (I used Marie Callendar's)
1 package of turkey dogs
relish
ketchup
mustard
chili
anything you put on your hot dogs

1. Ok, really easy here! Preheat your oven to the right temperature. Whip up your muffins. When making your muffins make them low fat! If it asks for eggs: sub egg whites (2 whites for every 1 egg) milk: fat free, oil or butter: sub applesauce. Easy peasy. Ok after you have made your mix, cut your hot dogs into 3rds. That is what fits for a 12 muffin standard baking sheet.
2. Spray your tins REALLY GOOD with non-stick and fill about 2/3 full. Some of mine kinda stuck so spray them well. Stuff a little dog in there and kinda bury him in batter. The muffin will cook over it. Bake for the right time depending on what mix you get.
3. After they are done baking give them a few minutes to cool. I think that helps with the whole not sticking and crumbling apart mess of a dinner. Using a knife go around all the edges of the muffins and use a fork to pry them out. Be careful too. *Maybe it is just me, but I like my food to be pretty so I made my brother eat the broken ones before dinner started so no one would see that they we less than perfection :)
4. Ok. top them and eat! YUM!! Serve these babies with watermelon or fruit salad and a veggie like carrots and celery sticks or steamed green beans.

*To steam green beans buy fresh from the store or pick from your garden :) and place in a sauce pan that has a metal steaming basket and a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil and steam for about 10 minutes. Taste test and when just soft take off heat. Place in a dish and serve with a little tub butter, salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pizza Puffs

I found this recipe on another blog (Lick the Bowl Good)who got it from Rachel Ray and thought they looked great! Ok, they were better than great and I should have doubled it because I made it for 6 hungry adults and they lasted about 2 minutes! So good and a perfect party or summer food. Please try this, you will be a fan!



Ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
pinch of salt (my addition, optional)
3/4 cup fat free milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cut up turkey pepperoni
store-bought pizza sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Easy right!! If you have left overs, pop them in the freezer and they are a great snack anytime!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Banana Cake

This cake is incredible!! For some reason our bananas have been super ripe lately and this was the perfect solution for using them up! This cake is moist, fast, looks great and tastes even better! Great for a treat or set it on the counter and snack on it!



Ingredients:

1 yellow cake mix (I use Betty Crocker)
1/2 cup water
1 cup smashed banana (3-4)
1/2 cup applesauce
5 egg whites (or 3 eggs)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 chopped walnuts
2 oz. fat free cream cheese (i can only find it at Safeway around here)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups powdered sugar
couple teaspoons milk

1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease 12-cup bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
2. Beat cake mix, water, bananas ,applesauce, oil, cinnamon and egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in the walnuts. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 43 to 53 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down on serving plate or your cake stand and remove pan. Cool completely. Be strong, it will take about 1 hour.
4. While it is cooling it is time to make the glaze. Beat your cream cheese with a n electric mixer until smooth. Add in the vanilla and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar. Add in just a little bit of milk at a time to get the right consistency. This is where you can make your glazw however you like. If you want a thick glaze add more powdered sugar. If you want a thin glaze add more milk. Stir well. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts to finish it off!

* This is a great snack and pretty healthy too!! By using egg whites or even egg beaters (I have egg beaters in my fridge that I only use for baking and I always use egg whites too!) you are cutting out a significant amount of fat and cholesterol. So easy and then you don't have to feel guilty for eating enormous amounts of cake....like me :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BBQ Chicken Wrap

I LOVE this wrap because it reminds me of Red Robin..... which I also love. I get the same thing every time I go there :) SO this is a copy cat of the Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap and you will love it! It tastes like the real thing!



Ingredients:

Serves 4-6

1 package spinach tortillas
3 chicken breasts, cut into bit size pieces
lettuce, shredded
tomatoes, diced
cheddar cheese, grated
1 can corn, drained
low fat ranch
mesquite bbq sauce
salt and pepper

1. Heat a non-stick skillet to med/high heat and drizzle a bit of olive oil. Season your chicken with salt and pepper and toss into the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Next add a couple of tablespoons of bbq sauce to the pan and coat the chicken. Turn the heat down and prepare your wraps.
2. In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons of ranch with 3 tablespoons of bbq sauce. Stir to combine. Spread some sauce on each of your tortillas. As much or little as you want. Next divide the chicken among all your wraps. Top with cheese, tomatoes, corn and lettuce. Wrap up tight and cut in half on your plates. So easy and good!!
* Serve these with fruit salad, french fries, chips, potato salad, anything summery and you are good to go!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lemon Chicken Pasta

I love lemon pasta!! I don't know why I haven't posted this recipe before because it is great!! The sauce is light and the flavors are amazing! Everyone, including kids, loved this and it is really easy. You can whip it up in no time!



Ingredients:

4-5 cups of penne pasta (I do about 1 cup of dried pasta a person)
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 water
zest of 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and the pasta. While your pasta is cooking you will cook up the chicken and make the sauce.
2. In a small skillet, bring it to medium heat. Drizzle it with a bit of olive oil. Season your chicken with salt, pepper, and onion powder and place into the pan. Cook for about 7-9 minutes, until cooked through.
3. Now, while your chicken is cooking we will make the yummy sauce. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a medium skillet. Heat at medium heat and cook the garlic for just a minute. Stir the garlic as you cook it. You DON'T want it to burn. It will taste bitter, so keep stirring and as soon as you start to smell the garlic you know that it is beginning to soften and cook. Next add in your soup. Whisk the soup and garlic together and add in the zest and lemon juice. Now at this point you will add the water. You can make your sauce as thick or thin as you like. So start adding water until you get it where you like it. Heat the sauce through and give it a taste. You may want to add a bit of salt and pepper, but it is up to you :)
4. Alright, lets get this meal together! Drain your pasta and return to pan. Add the sauce to you pasta and toss to coat. Divide your lemon pasta among your plates and then top with chicken and fresh parsley. YUM!! You are done, now go eat!

* I pair this dinner with steamed broccoli, green beans, or a salad. Then toast up some garlic bread and you are set!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oreo Cookie Bark

It has been so boiling hot around here that I haven't been baking as much....I want to but our house is so hot, I just can't do that to my family :) So here is a super yummy and sweet treat you can make without turning on the oven! Just to let you know it is very addicting:) YUM! I got this idea from Homebased Mom. Enjoy!



Ingredients:

Stick pretzels
reduced fat oreos
2 1/2 cups white chocolate melties
m&ms and sprinkles

1. Really easy and you can kinda eyeball most of it. Ok all you do is line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Next break up about 1/3 to 1/2 a package of oreos with your hands and spread it out on the cookie sheet. Next, break about 3 or 4 handfuls of your pretzels in half and mix them in on the cookie sheet with the oreos. At this point you can put as much pretzels and cookies as you like to cover the cookie sheet. More of one or the other if you prefer or even amounts of both.
2.Ok next put your melties in a microwave safe bowl and start melting. Stir every 30 seconds until smooth. Drizzle back and forth over your pretzel/oreo mixture to pretty much cover it all up. You will see cookie and pretzel peeking through. Same thing here, you can have as much white chocolate as you want.
3. Next while the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle m&ms and sprinkles over the top. Allow is to cool, which only takes about 15 minutes and then break up into chunks! SO GOOD!!

* this is great to give away as gifts or goodies for a friend. You can use different color oreos and m&ms to make it fun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Pork Skewers

This was Rex's request for his father's day dinner and it was divine! He recently got me a grilling cookbook, so we tested it out! Won-der-ful!! Really easy and the flavors are amazing! Next time you grill, try this out!


Ingredients:
1-1.5 lbs. pork chops cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil

BBQ rub:
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Glaze:
1/4 cup fresh or refrigerated lime juice (I grated a bit of peel in there too)
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of cayenne
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
limes for garnishing
skewers

1. Mix oil and dry rub ingredients together in a shallow dish. Toss pork chunks into dish and mix with spices until all the meat is coated. Preheat grill to med-high heat. Skewer your pork onto water soaked skewers.
2.Combine all your glaze ingredients together. Put your skewers on the grill and after they have been cooking for about 5 minutes start basting pork with glaze. Baste every couple of minutes to really enhance the flavor. After about 12-15 minutes check your meat for doneness and remove from grill when cooked through.
3. Serve with lime wedges, watermelon, corn, potato salad, anything bbq worthy and eat!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Carolina Shredded Chicken

This is a great summer sandwich and would be perfect for a 4th of July BBQ! It is really easy and comes together quick! It was a big hit and made enough to feed my whole family and more!! Try it, you will definitely eat it up!



Ingredients:

Chicken:
6 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)
1/2 teaspoon season salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2/3 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard (I always add more, I love mustard)
6 whole wheat sandwich buns

1. Heat grill to medium-high heat or if you are not grilling heat a large non-stick skillet to med-high heat.
2. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with season salt and paprika. When grill or pan is ready place chicken on. Cook for about 9 minutes then turn and cook for an additional 9 minutes or until cooked through.
3.Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from grill or pan and allow to cool slightly. With 2 forks or your hands, shred meat. Add the chicken to the sauce and heat through. Divide chicken evenly among buns. Serve with corn and the cob, watermelon, coleslaw, any fresh fruit salad or a green salad and you are set! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Brownie Goodie Bars

ok, these were requested to Rex's fathers Day dessert and oh man am I glad he wanted them. They are sooo good! So rich, but so good. Be prepared to drink a 1/2 a carton of milk while eating these because they are ultra sweet....my favorite :) Of course I altered them to make them lower in fat, YUM!!



Ingredients:

Brownie mix (Pillsbury is the only one that works low-fat:)with applesauce, egg whites and water or homemade brownies here (if you use the homemade brownies don't include the pecans or carmel topping :)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons tub butter (I love Brummel and brown yogurt butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons milk
3/4 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups rice krispies
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1-2 cups chocolate chips

1. Whip up those brownies. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or what box says. Let completely cool.
2. Time to make the frosting. You could always use frosting from a can, but this way is much lower in fat. In a medium bowl combine butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Add in vanilla. Slowly add just a little bit of milk until you get a nice frosting thick consistency. Not to thick, you don't want to pull apart your Brownies when spreading. So nice and smooth.
3. Ok, when your brownies are cool, frost with frosting and sprinkle peanut on top. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together. While that is melting measure your cereal into a bowl. Once the chocolate is nice and creamy, pour it over the cereal and using a spoon, combine until all cereal is coated.
4. Spread the chocolate peanut butter cereal over the frosted brownies. Cool completely about 30 minutes to an hour. Cut into bars and eat!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Asparagus and Turkey Sausage Orzo

I love meals like this one! I love cooking with orzo...I am not sure why, it is just so darn good! This meal was a huge hit and the asparagus was excellent with the turkey sausage. Perfect for any quick weeknight dinner!



Ingredients:

1 lb. Italian turkey sausage (i got the spicy kind, yum :)
1 large onions, chopped
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 can asparagus, drained
2 tablespoon sliced pimientos (optional)

1. In a non-stick skillet, cook and crumble turkey sausage and onion for about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in broth and water. Heat to boiling. Stir in orzo, boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium cover and cook 6-8 minutes until pasta is tender. Add asparagus and pimientos and the very end for about a minute,just to heat through. DONE!! Easy right?!
* This is great with muffins(cranberry are perfect), garlic bread, broccoli, a side salad or any veggie! Now you have a healthy dinner ready to go!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Teriyaki Orange Chicken with Pasta

Perfect fake-out take-out! The oranges and cashews blend perfectly and will become a favorite for sure in your home! It is fast and healthy and only has 6 ingredients too. You will love it!



Ingredients:

1/2 box linguine (more or less depending on how many mouths you are feeding)
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh sugar snap peas
3/4 cup teriyaki baste and glaze (asian section of store)
1 medium seedless orange or a small can of mandarin oranges
1/4 chopped cashews

1. Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil so the pasta doesn't clump together.
2. While the pasta is cooking, spray a non-stick skillet with non-stick spray and heat to medium-high. Cook chicken until brown.
3. Add peas and teriyaki baste and glaze to chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and cover 5-8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and peas are tender
4. Meanwhile, grate 1 teaspoon peel from orange and set aside. Remove remaining peel from orange and cut orange into 1 inch pieces. Add grated peel and orange pieces to chicken mixture and mix well. Serve chicken mixture over linguine and sprinkle with cashews. YUM!!
* Add a side of steamed carrots or broccoli and you are good to go! Ok, now go and cook!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Snack Cake

This snack cake is soooo good!! It is a All-Bran recipe and it is loaded with whole grains and fiber and is low in fat, but you can't tell! Seriouly, I wouldn't lie! I made it after dinner and everyone loved it, the kids all asked for seconds :) It tastes like a sweet muffin and it's the perfect snack.




Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 cup ALL-BRAN bran buds or original cereal
1/4 cup fat free milk
2 egg whites
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup fat free lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup powdered sugar
juice from lemon

1.Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, salt and poppy seeds. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine ALL-BRAN cereal, milk, egg whites, oil, lemon peel and yogurt. Slice your lemon in half and squeeze 1 half of your lemon in there too :) Save the other half. Let your mixture set for 5 minutes to soften the cereal. After 5 minutes add flour mixture and stir just until combined.
3. Spread evenly in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan that is coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (Mine was done after about 21 minutes so start checking after 20). Check with a toothpick to make sure center is done.
4. Combine powdered sugar with the juice from the remaining half of lemon and stir until smooth. Add a bit of milk if you need to thin it out. Pour and spread over warm cake. Cut and Eat!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sloppy Joe Di Maggios

My sister told me about the Rachel Ray recipe and it was a hit! Everyone loved this twist on a classic sandwich. Perfect for feeding a hungry family or sharing at a summer bbq!



Ingredietns:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 packages turkey hot dogs, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon steak seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce (I would recommend adding another 1/2 to 1 can more of tomoato sauce for a good saucy sammy)
9 soft whole grain burger rolls, toasted

1.Heat the extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and crumble as it browns. Add chopped hot dogs after 3 to 4 minutes then cook 3 to 4 minutes more.
2. Add the onions to the pan and cook to soften, 5 to 6 minutes more. In a bowl mix the spices, sugar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce. Pour sauce over the meat and simmer a few minutes to combine flavors. At this point you could deciede if you wanted to add more sauce. If so, just open a can and satrt pouring until the right consistancy for you! Slop onto toasted buns and serve.

Yumm! So fast right? Yeah it will take a whole 20 minutes. Here are some side dishes you could add to finish this meal: coleslaw, salad, watermellon, corn on the cob, fresh veggies and dip, fruit salad..... Whatever you like! ENJOY!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cheesy Stuffed Tomatoes

These bite size tomatoes are fun and flavorful! Here is a great side dish you can pair up with just about anything. It is quick, easy, and I bet you have all the ingredients in your cupboards!



This is one of those recipes that you can make as little or many as you want. So all you have to do is adjust the amount of ingredients to fit your family :)

Ingredients: (this makes 8 tomato halves)

4 roma tomatoes
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
salt and pepper
fresh cilantro (if you don't have fresh you can use dried, but fresh is the best!)
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non stick spray.
2. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the seeds. Place tomatoes on cookie sheet.
3. In a medium bowl combine cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
4. Use your fingers and fill each tomato half with cheese mixture until mounded. Drizzle the tops with just a little bit of olive oil.
5. Put into oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and bubbly.
So good and yummy! DIG IN!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pumpkin Dessert

Ok, I know.....pumpkin is usually associated with the fall and the holidays, but around our house we eat it year round! This is a well known dessert, but I have the recipe for making it low fat and delicious!! Try it out!




Ingredients:

1 15oz. can pumpkin
1 12oz. can fat free evaporated mild
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 box golden vanilla or yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup melted butter ( I will share my butter trick with you below:)

1. Heat your oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. In a medium bowl beat pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg whites, sugar, and spices. Whisk until smooth. Pour into pan.
2.Sprinkle your dry cake mix evenly over the top of your pumpkin mixture. If you want, sprinkle with chopped walnuts too.
3. Now here is where I get tricky :) This is what I use for butter :) Take a glass measuring up and fill it with a 1/4 cup of I CAN"T BELIEVE IT"S NOT BUTTER spray. Trust me. Then put a couple tablespoons of Brummel and Browns yogurt butter in there too. Next pop it into the microwave for 15-20 seconds until it is all melted and combined. Give it a stir and you should be right around 1/2 cup. *By heating it up it thins it out making it easy to pour and makes the butter go a little bit further than cool butter. Ok, carefully and slowly pour it all over your dry cake mix.
4. Bake for 50-55 minutes until knife comes out clean from center. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes then top with cool whip and eat it with vanilla ice cream!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pasta Ponza

This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe, that is why it is sooo good! My sister and I love watching Everyday Italian.....anyway back to the food :) Perfect for a pasta craving and even though it is meat free, there is so much going on, you won't miss a thing!



Ingredients:

4 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper, extra for seasoning
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 lb. ziti pasta or any other short pasta
1/2 grated fresh Parmesan cheese or pecorino romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1.Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick butter spray.
2.Place tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper in the prepared dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle all the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and bake for 30 minutes in the center of your oven.
3.Bring a larger pot of slated water to a boil over high heat. Add the past and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. About 8-10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of hot pasta water.
4.Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Toss the pasta and cheese together. This will allow the cheese to start to melt and be delicious. Carefully spoon the tomato mixture into the pasta and toss well. You may need to add a little bit of pasta water so your dish isn't dry. I added about 1/4 cup or so in and it makes the pasta nice and saucy. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle the tops with parsley and serve!

* I served up garlic knots and broccoli along side to complete the meal. But a salad would be great too.
* You can also use whole grain pasta in this dish too, to make it super healthy. Sometime I do half wheat noodles half white and no one can tell!
* If you want to incorporate some meat into this meal it would be really easy and yummy to add diced cooked chicken or cooked and crumbled spicy turkey sausage.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BBQ Lettuce Wraps

Hey everyone! Well I have been missing this blog!! I am happy to say that I have been cooking a lot and it makes me feel a better. We all eat around my parents table ever night and I am grateful for that. Cooking for my sweet dad, brother, kids and hubby makes me feel a little closer to mom. I am excited to try some new recipes too!! Here's a new one that is perfect for us on nights when you want something that isn't too heavy. It is light, low in calories and sooo good!



Ingredients: (this makes 4 wraps, but you adjust the sizing to feed a lot of mouths!)

2-3 chicken breasts, thawed and cubed
romaine lettuce
chopped tomatoes
1 can sweet corn, drained
bbq sauce
salt and pepper
optional: grated cheese
olives

1. Super easy! Ok, heat a skillet to med heat. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Cook in skillet until all edges are brown, about 5-6 minutes. Next, pour as much bbq sauce and you like over your chicken (I like saucy chicken :). Cook for another couple of minutes until cooked through.
2. While your chicken in cooking, chop your tomatoes and olives, drain your corn, grate your cheese, and wash your lettuce. You want to find lettuce leaves that are a good taco shape and will hold your filling.
3. When your chicken is done it is time to assemble. Hold your lettuce in your hand and fill with chicken, cheese, corn, tomatoes, and olives! Done! These are so good and I just made a batch of blueberry muffins to go along side. You are done!
* If you are going to make muffins make them first and pop them in the oven before you start, because you can make this whole meal while they are cooking. Then everything is done at the same time!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My mom

I know that I have a great group of followers out there and I wanted to tell you why I haven't posted and why it might be a little while before I do again. My sweet mom passed away suddenly from Acute Leukemia on Friday. We had no idea,there were no warning signs and when we found out, it was too late. It still doesn't seem real and I can't believe that this is happening. I love her so much and miss her more than words can describe. She encouraged me to do a food blog. She is the one who taught me how to cook. She made the best food, healthy and delicious and is famous for her cookies. I know it will take time to heal, I know that we will be together again someday and I know that families are forever. My life is better because of her and she made me the woman, wife, mother and person that I am.

I know that life will go on, we will be strong as a family and I will have the desire to make yummy food and share it all with you. Please don't give up on me, I am here and will be back soon.


Hiking in Scotland. I was pregnant with my first little girl. I always wanted to be a mom, just like her. I love you mom.


Making her yummy salsa last summer. I will make it always.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Craisin White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I received this recipe years ago when I was first married from my sister-in law, Shana. I altered it a bit to make them low fat and they turned out great!! So good! I tested them on my friend, hubby, and brother and got thumbs up from them all! They have a slightly crunchy out side with a soft chewy inside. YUMMY!



Ingredients:

1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oatmeal (I used quick cooking oats)
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup craisins

1. Heat oven to 350
2. Combine applesauce, sugars, egg whites, and vanilla. Add in flour, baking soda, salt and oat. Stir in white chips and craisins.
3. Using a scooper or spoon drop onto cookie sheet and gently press them down so they are sightly flat. This way they cook even. Sprinkle sugar on tops of cookies (makes a sweet crunchy top). Bake for 10-11 minutes.

*You want to be careful not to over cook them. When the centers aren't doughy in the middle pull them out. Because there isn't butter in these cookies, sometimes you have to play with the cooking time. You don't want doughy cookies, but also you don't want hard cookies. So after 10-11 minutes pull them out, they should be perfect!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lazy Chicken

This is a Rachel Ray recipe and it is sooo good! I have made this on several different occasions for company and everyone loves it. There is hidden zucchini in this but it tastes so wonderful that no one will ever know!



Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
Steak seasoning
1/2 chicken stock
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 14oz. can crushed or petite diced tomatoes
10 basil leaves, coarsely chopped (I used 1 tbsp. dried basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1. In a deep skillet (oven save) brown the chicken on med-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while it cooks. After a few minutes, remove chicken. Set aside.
2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add a layer of thin sliced potatoes and onion. Sprinkle the potatoes and onion with steak seasoning. Let potatoes and onions cook turning occasionally but maintain a thin layer until the brown all over. Add a little broth to the pan. Spread a thin layer of zucchini across the top of potatoes and onion. Sprinkle zucchini with steak season as well.
3.Top with chicken making an even layer over the veggies. Dump the tomatoes evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle with herbs. Cover and cook until chicken is done and veggies soft, about 10 minutes.
4. Next sprinkle with cheese and place pan under broiler or a minute until cheese melts and begins to brown. Serve from the hot pan at the table and add a green salad, rolls or muffins! YUM!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Orange Cran-Apples

Sorry it has been way to long! Been busy having fun with my sister down here, but I will do much better! Ok, now onto the food! Here is a quick side dish that I LOVE!! If you love cranberries, you will love this! Great with any ham, turkey,or chicken dish!




Ingredients:

2 apples (anything but granysmith and golden delicious)
1 can whole berry cranberries
rind from one orange
dash of cinnamon

1. This is so fast! Ok, slice (or dice) your apples and put them into a sauce pan on medium/low heat. You want to soften them a bit first before adding the rest. You can add about a teaspoon of water if you need to help the apples along, but they should start to create apple juice once they warm.
2. After a couple of minutes add your can of cranberries, orange rind, and cinnamon. Stir all together. Let your apples soften and once they are, you are done!! That easy and so good! Fat free too!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Toss

I came up with this one as kinda a spin off of chicken Parmesan, which I love!! It is a little quicker and super tasty. Great with fresh Parmesan cheese and garlic bread!



Ingredients: (4 servings)

1/2 box spaghetti
1 (14oz) can petite diced tomatoes
4-6 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts, thawed
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
fresh Parmesan to grate on top
salt and pepper to taste

1. Get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta and preheat your oven to 425. You are going to make everything while your pasta cooks so while your water is warming you are going to prep everything else. Lets go!
2. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Take each piece of chicken and toss in bread crumbs until coated and place on cookie sheet. If you are using chicken breasts, you might want to cut them into tender size pieces for quicker cooking. Set your cookie sheet off to the side. You will put your chicken in when your water starts to boil.
3. Next chop your garlic and onion. Open your can of tomatoes.
4. When water is boiling toss in your noodles, put chicken in oven and set timer for 13 minutes. Lets make the sauce.
5. In a non-stick skillet, drizzle a bit of olive oil and get your onions and garlic in the pan. When they have started to soften after a couple of minutes pour in your tomatoes. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes and taste. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
6. When your pasta is done check your chicken to make sure that it is done. Drain your noodles and toss into your sauce. Toss to coat. Pull your chicken out and cut into thinish slices. To plate : first pasta and sauce then grate some fresh Parmesan, and top with sliced chicken! SO GOOD! Serve up with steamed broccoli or a side salad and garlic bread. YUM!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Brownie Cheesecake Pie

This is the best of both worlds! Cheese cake and Brownies with a chocolate crust and fudge topping, yes please!! I promise people, you can eat good, I mean really good, I still eat low fat! Read and be amazed! Oh, I promise this won't last long at your house :)




Ok, there are three parts to this baby. Not hard to make but you do want to make this in the morning because it takes hours to cool so unless you don't mind eating dessert at midnight, make it in the morning or afternoon.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups chocolate Graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted tub butter, I use yogurt based tub butter
8 oz. fat free cream cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites, beaten
Pillsbury brownie mix (this is the best when you are making brownies low fat from a mix. The other mixes don't turn out, believe me I have tried :)
OR homemade brownies *Recipe at bottom

1. OK, lets put the crust together. Mix your crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix with hands until all moist. Press into a greased pie dish. Set aside. Cheesecake time :)
2. Put cream cheese in bowl and mix with hand mixer until nice and smooth. NO LUMPS! Then add the sugar, vanilla, and egg whites. Set aside. Brownie time :)
3. Mix up your brownie mix substituting egg whites for eggs and applesauce for oil. Or make the homemade brownies*.
4. Grab your pie dish with crust. Pour half your brownie mix (about 1 cup) into prepared crust. Carefully pour/drizzle your cream cheese mixture evenly over brownies. You may need to use a spoon or rubber scraper to get it out to the edges.
Pour the rest of your brownie over the top and put it into a 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. Just check it with a toothpick. LET IT COOL! I know it will be hard, but let it cook and get nice and fudgy :)

*If you want a chocolate drizzle over top you can use chocolate sauce or make a quick ganache by melting 1 cup chocolate chips with 1/3-1/2)cup fat free half and half over low heat(depending how thin you want your sauce). Drizzle and enjoy!

* Homemade brownies (Hershey Recipe, altered by me:)
1. Mix 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 egg whites together. Add in 1/2 flour or whole wheat pastry flour, 1/3 cup cocoa 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake as directed for above recipe or for an 8x8 pan of brownies bake for 16-20 minutes in a greased pan at 350.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pork Chops with Maple-Apple Glaze

I am always nervous to overcook pork chops but these turned out great! Tons of flavor, a couple of ingredients and low in fat! Quick and prefect for any weeknight meal!


Ingredients:

1/4 maple syrup
1/4 cup apple butter
1 tablespoon ground mustard or spicy mustard
4 pork loin chops
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small saucepan mix syrup, apple butter and mustard. Cook over low heat about a minute, stirring occasionally, until blended.
2. Sprinkle pork with salt, pepper and garlic. Brush one side with glaze. Place glazed side down on a skillet over medium heat. You don't want the pan too hot or it will cook the out side of your chops and the middle won't be done. So heat to medium! Brush glaze on top side and cover pan with lid. Cook 8-10 minutes and turn to cook other side. Cook for 8-10 more minutes. You can glaze as much as you want. I like it very saucy so I used lots of glaze. Keeping a lid on also keeps in moisture for a NOT dried out chop.
3. After your chops are cooked take out of pan and place on plates. There will be extra sauce that you can spoon over your cooked pork! All done! So good, enjoy!

* This dinner is great with baked apples. All you have to do is slice 3-4 apples and toss with a little cinnamon and sugar. Place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook for 20 minutes at 425 and done! So good!

* Along with apples, add a salad, steamed carrots, or steamed broccoli to finish! I made biscuits too!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Winner and Urban Cowboy burgers

Ok, well it has been so much fun reading posts from my fans...thanks guys!! I told Rex that I wanted to buy gifts for all my readers to show my appreciation, but we are still starving students :) I love you all and I am grateful that I am able to do this and that I have loyal fans!!! Ok, moving on the winner is.....

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 15
Result: 2

Powered by RANDOM.ORG

# 2, which is my cutest friend Aubrey Richardson!! Yeah Aub! Congrats, love you!! here is my email: britneybeard@yahoo.com . Send me your address and I will send your package tomorrow! Thanks to everyone out there too!!

Ok, onto the food part, yum! These turkey burgers are soooo good and full of tons of flavor! I make them all the time! Thanks to Mrs. Rachel Ray for being the queen of burgers!



Ingredients: (yield:4 burgers)

4 pieces turkey bacon
1 lb. ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
lettuce
tomato
avocado
pepper jack cheese
pickles
whole grain buns

1.Chop garlic and veggies
2. Heat nonstick skillet and cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Wipe skillet clean and return to heat.
3.While bacon is cooking combine turkey, garlic, onion, thyme, cilantro, cumin and grill seasoning. Divide mixture into 4 equal mounds then form into patties. Spray patties with olive oil spray. Cook in skillet over med-high heat until done. About 5-6 minutes per side. Place cheese on during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
4. Garnish buns and burgers as desired and serve with homemade french fries!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Apple Snack Cake

I love this snack! I found a similar recipe in family circle, but changed it to make it my own! It is really healthy and perfect for a mid afternoon snack. Good for lunches, after dinner, anytime! Kids love it too, and it is full of healthy fruit! Enjoy!




Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup diced golden delicious apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. This is so easy! Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9 or 8x8 square pan REALLY well with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed blend together sugar, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla until fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.
4. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Mix just for a minute until just Incorporated. Stir in diced apples, raisins, and nuts. Spread into pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees fro about 30-35 minutes or until center is cooked through. Let cool all the way before eating!!

* Whole wheat pastry flour does make the batter a darker color as opposed to using white ! BUT, No one will be able to tell you used whole wheat flour because the cinnamon makes the batter darker, disguising the whole wheat flour. I use this technique in pancakes, waffles and muffins! Just add cinnamon!

* When using whole wheat flour: Use whole wheat pastry flour in muffins, cookies, quick breads, pancakes, cakes, brownies...... anything besides yeast breads. This kind of flour is lighter and not gritty perfect for baked goods. You can find it in the bulk section or even in your baking isle. It is loaded with fiber and great for your whole body!!

** Don't forget to post for the giveaway. You can comment on this post or go back to the original!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Moons over my Hammy (100th post!) and a Giveaway!!

Wow!! Next week is my first blogiversary! Yeah,this has been so much fun and such a great challenge for me. I love to cook so this is a great excuse for me to make lots of yummy food! In honor of 1 year of cooking I am going to give stuff away! I put together some fun kitchen stuff and if you want to win it, all you have to do is comment and tell me your favorite recipe on this blog. Then on March 21st I will announce the winner!

Ok, what we have here is: the best and most fun of all cupcake cook books! I love it and have used it a bunch! Perfect for parties.... believe me everyone wants this! Next, a citrus peeler, a Y peeler (love it), cute measuring cups, and a magnetic notepad for the fridge. I will throw in some yummy chocolate too! Fun, right?

Well today is my 100th recipe and post! I can't believe it. This came from my amazing sister and it was so good and easy! Yep, we like easy and quick. This will remind you of eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a yummy diner.



Ingredients: (this made 2 adult sammies)

loaf of sourdough bread
6 eggs (more for more sammies)
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices American cheese
sliced ham (lunch meat or deli meat)

1. First, you are going to make plain omelets for the egg part of the sammy. I use one egg, and two whites for each omelet and a little salt and pepper. You can add spices if you want, but really good this way. Set those aside.

2. Next, heat your skillet to medium heat and spray 2 pieces of sourdough with spray butter. We are going to do some layering. Ok, on the skillet: bread, then put 2 slices of Swiss cheese on one side, next egg omelet, 2-3 slices of ham, 2 slices of American cheese and then top with the other piece of bread. Basically it is a glorified grilled cheese. It is truly glorious.

3. Cook until golden brown, flip, cook and then enjoy! Really that is all there is to it. Add some homemade fries or potato wedges and applesauce and dinner is served!

* Don't forget to enter the giveaway!! Happy cooking!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of those recipes that everyone has to have. A go to, always good, warm dinner that can't go wrong. This one turns out great every time and you can throw as many veggies as you want in and no one can tell!!



Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1- 10 oz. can chicken broth
3/4 cup fat free milk
2 cups cooked chicken cubed or shredded (you could use a rotisserie chicken too:)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced cooked carrots (steamed or boiled)
salt to taste
*add in if you want: 1/2 cup each corn, celery, broccoli....what every your family likes
biscuits (either store bought, homemade, or I use Bisquick heart smart. They are low fat and so good!)

1. Heat oven to 425.
2. Melt butter in large skillet. Stir in flour and pepper. Cook about a minute until smooth. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add chicken, onion, peas, carrots and any other veggies. Heat through. Taste and add salt to taste.
3.While your mixture is thickening and warming throw those biscuits in the oven. They will only take about 9 minutes so when your chicken pot pie is ready so are your biscuits!
4. Serve in bowls and top with a warm biscuit or two! For extra veggie action serve with a side salad. Enjoy!

* If you want after your mixture is all thick you can pour your chicken pot pie into a casserole dish, top with un-cooked biscuits and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. I don't like the bottom of my biscuits soggy so I cook them separately.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

This is such an easy recipe!! And very fancy too :) It is smooth, rich, and yes, much much lower in fat than any other cheesecake out there!! Make this you will love it so much!




Ingredients:

oreo crust (directions below to make)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 packages of fat free cream cheese
1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1 cup egg beaters or 2 eggs and 3 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Make crust by crushing low fat oreos to equal 2 cups crushed. Then add 1/4 cup spray butter (i can't believe it's not butter brand) and until all combined. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. *If you want to cook your cheesecake in a water bath which keeps your cheesecake from cracking and keeps it moist, just wrap the bottom of your springform pan in foil. This keeps water from seeping into your cake. Place your springform in the larger pan (like a cookie sheet or casserole dish) and fill the bigger pan or dish with water. Set aside.

2.Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stir and keep heating 30 seconds at a time until smooth.

3. Beat cream cheese in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add melted chips, egg beaters and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into crust.

4. Bake about 1 hour and 25 minutes (it takes longer because the cream cheese is fat free) or until middle is set. You can check it with a knife inserted to the middle. The knife will not come out clean. But your cake will be firm and moist, it shouldn't jiggle. With a knife loosen the cake from side of pan. Cool completely and then remove sides from pan. Refrigerate sever hours before serving. So make it in the morning or afternoon so you can dig in after dinner. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and eat!!

* for a thicker richer sauce melt 1/2 cup chocolate and 2-3 tablespoons of fat free half and half in a sauce pan. Add more if you want it thinner. Spoon over cheesecake, ice cream, or use as fondue. Don't let any go to waist so like the spoon and pan (like me) until it is gone! Sooo good!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chicken Jambalaya

Who doesn't love comfort food? The answer is no one :) This was great and I tested it out on my brother Brady who served his mission in Georgia. He knows southern cooking and he loved it! I served it up with warm sweet corn bread and we were good to go!




Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
4 ounces sweet/hot turkey sausage links, cooked and sliced (about 3 links)
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 chopped green bell pepper
2-3 teaspoons cajun or creole seasoning (*substitute spices at bottom)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet, soup pot, or cast iron skillet with cooking spray and saute chicken for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the next 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Over and simmer 20 minutes.

2. Give it a stir and then stir in tomatoes. Cover and simmer 10 more minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve with corn bread and honey. SO GOOD!!

* I bought a low fat corn bread mix, Marie Calendar's brand... really good!
* The following spices my be substitute for creole seasoning: 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and a pinch EACH of cayenne pepper, dried thyme and ground cumin.
* Cook up the sausage links with the casings on. Then slice them and the cut again ending up with half circles.... it stretches the sausage a little further :)