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 :)


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!!


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!


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.


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!!


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!