Friday, December 3, 2010

my favorite baked mac & cheese

About 5 years ago this was on Allrecipes, I'm glad I printed it off when I did because Kraft pulled it (was a Kraft recipe). It's also not on Kraft's website, they have one with the same name but different measurements/ingredients.

Down Home Macaroni and Cheese
6 servings

1/4 cup butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/4 lb Velveeta, diced up into cubes
8oz shredded cheddar, divided
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked & drained
2 Tbsp seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat to 350.

Melt 3 Tbsp butter in large saucepan on low heat. Blend in the flour & salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add prepared Velveeta cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar; stir until melted. Stir in macaroni.

Pour into lightly greased 1 1/2 qt casserole. Melt remaining 1Tbsp butter and combine with breadcrumbs. (optional, I've just sprinkled the breadcrumbs straight with the cheese). Sprinkle casserole with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar and bread crumb mixture.

Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

This is another one of my Mom's recipes, so good :)


4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
12 slices of bacon (drained & crumbled), or 8oz of small cubed ham
4 green onions, chopped, or 2 tsp of dried chives
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
7 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
6oz shredded cheddar cheese
6oz Velveeta, cubed
1 cup sour cream

In a stock pot or dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Curried Pot Pie

Thanksgiving is weeks away, but just thought I'd share one of my favorite things to do with leftover turkey (also works well with leftover roasted chicken). Everyone's got a favorite pot pie recipe but most are sort of bland, this one uses curry. My Mom and one of our neighbors back in the 80s came up with this one. It's been a family favorite forever.


1pkg – 2 round Pie Crusts (like the pillsbury ones)
1 quart chicken stock
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can evaporated milk
2-3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen bagged veggies (i.e. corn/peas/carrots/green beans)

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Melt butter in medium sauce pan; sauté garlic and onion until limp. Add the flour and whisk together forming a roux. Add the curry powder, garlic powder, and chicken stock and whisk until thickened. Add the evaporated milk. Keep sauce warm.

In a large bowl, combine poultry meat and frozen veggies. Pour two cups of sauce over the meat/veggies and mix well. Place one pie crust into a 9” glass pie plate. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust. Pour in pie filling. Cover with the second pie crust and crimp edges to seal. Cut slits in top of pie crust for venting while baking.

Place pie on cookie sheet in the middle of oven and bake at 450 for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve with additional warm sauce.

Monday, October 25, 2010

ISO Halloween appetizers

Anyone have a favorite Halloween appetizer? I'm going to a Halloween party as part of my MOM's group on Friday and am taking witches wands (chocolate covered prezel sticks with sprinkles) and thought I'd take an appetizer too. :)

in the cupboard chicken & veggie soup

Tonight I had zero motivation to make dinner. But my Dad was feeling really crappy yesterday so I needed to cook him something. I was thinking along the lines of soup, my husband wanted baked mac & cheese (as the meal, nothing else). When I'm sick I don't really want a bunch of mac & cheese. So soup it is. While standing in front of my stash of canned goods in the storage room in the basement I saw the alphabet pasta I'd bought at Meijer awhile ago. On the back of the box was a basic recipe for alphabet soup.

I tweaked it to what I had on hand.

Chicken & Veggie Alphabet Soup

8oz Meijer Alphabets (or other similar small pasta)
~1 lb cooked chicken breast, diced into bite sized pieces (Costco has frozen grilled chicken strips i like to buy & freeze for soups & casseroles)
46oz bottle reduced sodium V8
14oz can chicken broth
3-4 cups water
2 chicken bouillons
1 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 tsp garlic pepper
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp celery flakes

Threw everything but the pasta in the pot and brought to a boil and am now doing the simmer for 30 min bit. Then will do the cook pasta for about 10 minutes and may throw some parm cheese on, jury is still out there :)

So far it smells good :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

ISO: Thanksgiving sides in the crock pot

Calling out into the great unknown that is the interwebz: My inlaws are hosting Thanksgiving this year instead of me, because we are all going to IN to gather one more time as a family before a cousin moves to Europe with his family. My mother in law wants to do most of the cooking and I said I'd help, but she only has one oven and the bird will be taking over that most of the day. So, if anyone has any tried/true tasty crock pot recipes for the traditional thanksgiving fixings, please let me know.

My mother in law already has a green bean casserole one, it's similar to the traditional one just like 3x the amount of beans and less liquid:beans ratio. I already have a mashed potatoes one that is pretty good, just have to dig it up.

So we need:
Sweet potatoes
corn pudding (my thanksgiving favorite)
any others you may have that are worthy :)

My father in law will cook the bird and usually stuffs it, I can probably do some stove top stuffing on the stove for just regular stuffing, but if anyone has a good crock stuffing recipe please share.

An apple dessert may be good too, an aunt plans to bring pumpkin pie I believe, another a veggie tray, and another a fruit salad, and I plan to do appetizers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Awesome London Broil marinade

My Mom always used to use some generic meat marinade mixed with wishbone Italian Dressing. I didn't remember which random packet she used so I decided to try the McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning we use on pretty much everything (burgers, steaks, pork chops). I've marinated with it before just a few hours on NY strips and it was good. This time I put the top round in with the marinade on Thursday afternoon so it marinated about 48 hours :) its smelling pretty amazing on the grill.

3lbs top round steak
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 heaping tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning
At least 1 tsp of minced garlic, I put 2 in because we like garlic.

Poke a bunch of holes in steak (both sides) with a fork and put in a gallon sized resealable baggie. Mix marinade and pour in, press air out and then seal. Swish around to mix seasonings up. Put meat in the fridge and turn it at least twice a day to evenly marinade.

As far as the broiling or grilling goes, you'd best find a recipe but we always use two burners on the gas grill. Heat both burners to high then turn off one and put the meat over that. Switch every 20 minutes or so and don't flip the meat for at least an hour. Low heat & slow cooking along with the long marinating time makes the meat nice and tender.

Then we slice it thin and use the leftovers for french dips (just use a packet of au jus) the next day :) Or make hot steak sandwiches.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

crockin' the fall ;)

Have a set of yummy things I've made in my crock pot lately :)

First up was a week ago Dad & I had this slow cooker tamale pie, it was like chili with cornbread cooked right on top. Quite yummy :)

Tonight's dinner is slow cooker chicken taco soup with whole wheat beer bread. Yum!

Both have kind of a mexican/chili flare ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beef Stew & crusty bread

The beef stew recipe I make is based on my good old Betty Crocker cookbook, I have the bridal edition but it appears she also puts it on her website. Sneaky Betty. I of course change it ;) but the key is low heat and slow cooking time. Or I make a pot roast and then throw extra veggies in when reheating (shredded, with gravy) and viola, beef stew. I had some beef tips from Omaha beef and it made some very yummy stew.

Beef Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cooking onions, diced
1 bag (16 oz) baby-cut carrots
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
32oz container beef broth
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 medium red potatoes (1 1/2 lb), cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup frozen peas

1.Heat oven to 325°F.
2.In a large ovenproof Dutch oven, mix all ingredients except potatoes and peas. Cover and bake 2 hours, stirring once.
3.Stir in potatoes and peas. Cover and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes longer or until beef and vegetables are tender.

YUM. It's so good.

Made it with this crusty italian bread baked on a pizza stone.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

some fall favorites

Made Caramel Apple Pork chops Thursday night with smashed potatoes, crusty bread, and salad with Gorgonzola/apples/dried cherries/cherry republic dressing/almonds.

Friday night I made Mom's Orange Chicken


1/2 cup flour
salt, pepper & paprika (to taste)
4 chicken breasts halves
5 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 cup honey
1 cup Orange Marmalade
2 tablespoons Soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 9x13” glass baking dish.
Place flour, salt, pepper and paprika into plastic zip lock bag. Add chicken breasts one at a time; shake off excess. Dreg chicken in egg/milk mixture then press into bread crumbs. Drag through melted butter, coating both sides. Bake 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, honey, Orange Marmalade and Soy sauce in small saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half.
Take out chicken, turn over, and then pour mixture over. Bake an additional 30 minutes.

With Giada's Risotto recipe, peas, and garlic crescent rolls. Then I made molten lava cakes.

Dark Molten Chocolate Cakes
(from Baker's chocolate, but I used Ghiradelli chips)
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 6 cakes or 12 servings, 1/2 cake each

1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S Bittersweet Chocolate
10 Tbsp. butter
1-1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
18 fresh raspberries

GREASE 6 (6-oz.) custard cups or souffle dishes (I have a pan with the bottoms that pop out, makes them come out easy). Place on baking sheet.
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar and flour; mix well. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; beat until well blended. Pour into prepared cups.
BAKE 14 to 15 min. or until cakes are firm around the edges but still soft in the centers. Let stand 1 min. Run small knife around cakes to loosen; carefully unmold onto dessert plates. Cut in half. Serve warm topped with remaining sugar. Garnish with berries.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

reminder to post these

I am taking these two appetizers to a rehearsal dinner for Chris' cousin next weekend. Looked up the recipes to see what I'll need to pick up at the store soon and it reminded me that I don't think I've posted either one. :)

We always did the mini muffins (so they're bite sized) so I can't vouch for the timing on the big ones. Makes a TON of little baby ones, so good for large parties / get togethers or you can freeze then give out at Christmas. I am going to be using Cherry Republic's "Cherries & Cherries" cherry sauce for mine. If I go thru a jar I'll probably throw some of that apple butter on the remaining ones rather than use a partial other jar ;)


3 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 300 F
Mix together all of the cheesecake ingredients. Divide into cupcake tins with papers in cups (if using minis 1Tbsp is filled size). Bake 35-45 minutes for regular sized cupcakes; 10-15 minutes for mini’s.

Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.
Fill depression with topping (for minis 1/2tsp) and then dot with small amount of jam (1/4tsp for minis).

Bake @ 325 F for 10 minutes. Cool then chill. Can be frozen.

The second recipe is sort of an oddball, but my husband LOVES it. I actually got it from the weight watchers message boards back in 2005, go figure.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

4oz roasted chicken breast, diced or shredded.
1/2 cup of Frank's buffalo sauce
8 oz block of cream cheese (I usually use only the lite not fat free as fat free doesn't seem to melt well)
1/2 cup light blue cheese or ranch dressing

cut up celery for side
Fritos or Tostidos scoops (they're bad for you but it does taste good with the Fritos)

Combine all ingredients and throw it all in a small crockpot and let it heat through on high. Can be doubled easily.

Monday, September 20, 2010

more apple adventures

I found an apple butter recipe in my favorite Betty Crocker cookbook today so I gave that a whirl. Was pretty easy and smells nice and seasoned.

Now that I have almost 4 cups of apple butter, I'd better keep cooking with that ;) lol. May try this sometime in the next 3 weeks (its shelf life in the fridge). Grilled Turkey with honey apple glaze.

Let me know if you have a good recipe that calls for apple butter now ;) I may be set for regular apple recipes, as after tonight's pork roast I'll only have a few left.

Apple Butter (from memory, if its not 100% I'll come back and tweak it)

4lbs of apples, peeled, quartered and core removed
1 1/4 cup apple juice (I used cider)
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves

Put everything in a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally. Simmer one hour. Mash up apples with masher or fork. Return to stove and simmer uncovered for one hour, or until nice and thick. Remove from heat, cool 2 hours, then place in containers and can be kept in in fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

apple pancakes

Today's apple adventure I think will start with apple pancakes. Going to use the syrup recipe from this recipe but just make my standard bisquick supreme pancakes with some finely diced apples in there and some cinnamon and other fall spices. Also going to have turkey sausage patties on the side, not in the pancakes.

Here's the apple cider syrup recipe I'm trying:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

For syrup, combine the sugar, cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan. Gradually stir in cider and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter until melted. Serve warm with the pancakes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hamburger Soup

Realized I hadn't shared Mom's Hamburger Soup recipe when I went to link it to my previous post. It's a super basic soup, can have elements changed to suit your tastes or what you have on hand. For example, tonight I didn't have shredded carrots so I just put a 32oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans) in instead of the 2cups carrots and 16oz of peas & corn. In fact I usually cook it that way ;) and increase the barley by at least 1/4 cup and add a little more water and add garlic pepper.

caution: huge batch of soup, need a large pot.


2lb ground turkey or sirloin, browned/drained
2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 46oz bottle low sodium V-8 juice
4 cans cream of celery soup
2 cups water
1/4 tsp marjoram
2 cups grated carrots
8oz frozen corn
8oz frozen peas
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of uncooked barley

Combine all ingredients in large soup pot, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 hours. More barley may be added to make it thicker. Can also be cooked in a (very large) crock pot all day.


Went to Brookwood Fruit Farm on Friday with my MOMs group and little miss. Got a big bag of apples; cortlands, jonathons, and jonamacs (jonathon-macintosh hybrid). Mmmm. Apples. Means its time for apple cooking. Made some of Mom's apple sauce right away, plan to have that tomorrow with the apple pork loin roast I love.

Tonight we had hamburger soup and then had apple dumplings (new recipe, I still want to try the other one, this is a quick one) for dessert. YUM. I halved the recipe (only had one sheet of pastry and 4 people to feed) and didn't allow them to cool all the way before we inhaled, or make the glaze. That's what vanilla bean ice cream is for, duh ;) So good when melty ice cream and apples meet.

If you have a tried/true apple recipe please share :) my friend from college is coming Thursday so I may make an apple coffee cake for us to munch on Thursday & Friday.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alden Mill House

I think these folks deserve their own post. If you're ever wandering around the northern half of the lower peninsula of Michigan, and find yourself near Alden... be sure to check this place out. It's an old house packed to the gills with spices, seasoning mixes, soup mixes, etc. Also they have a lot of Christmas stuff. And oh, how I LOVE their garlic pepper blend. Yum. I eat it on a lot. Mac & cheese, soups, sweet potatoes with butter, in mashed potatoes... the list goes on. I think you can order direct off their website (which I will have to do soon as I'm *sniff* down to my last garlic pepper) but it's worth a visit once, if you're a fan of spices.

Alden Mill House

shepherd's pie

Last night we had a nice fall dinner, I had ground turkey and wanted to do something in casserole format with it. Shepherd's Pie came to mind. Found this recipe on allrecipes, then tweaked it to my liking :)

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
serves 6

cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 1/2 inches thick & cooked (or I used one bag of OreIda steam & mash redskins)
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk
salt and garlic pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
garlic, to taste
white pepper, to taste
dried chives, to taste
garlic pepper, to taste
2 (1 ounce) packages instant turkey gravy mix
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (16 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
2.Mash potatoes with milk, butter, Parmesan & salt/garlic pepper.
3.Heat large skillet sprayed with Pam over medium high heat. Cook and stir turkey and onion until turkey is fully cooked. Add spices, tomato paste, gravy mix and broth; stir often, until gravy is thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper & spices.
4.Add turkey mixture to the baking dish. Next, layer the peas and carrots, and top with the mashed potatoes. Top with a layer of grated cheese. and bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted, the dish is heated through, and the potatoes are golden on the top.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Greeks attack

After having an amazing dinner at the Greek Islands in Indy, my hubby and I want more Greek food. So I went hunting. Going to try these tonight. Helps that there's 30mph winds today so won't be doing the steaks I bought on the grill.

Greek Salad (will of course omit things Chris won't eat)
1 to 1-1/2 heads/bunches romaine lettuce, washed, cut in half down center rib, then cut across in 1/2" wide strips
1/2 small red onion sliced to 1/8" and left in rings or half rings
1 medium cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut in 1" lengths
2 medium ripe vine tomatoes, cored, sliced into 8 wedges and seeded
1 small green bell pepper, sliced into thin (1/8") rings and seeded
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
20 pitted kalamata olives
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
Combine dressing ingredients in glass jar, a small glass bowl or tall drinking glass and mix thoroughly
Toss salad ingredients into large salad serving bowl
When you are ready to serve, drizzle dressing over top of salad, lightly toss, then add cheese and olives to top of salad

Greek Steak
1 to 2 pound thin cut beef steaks, I've used rib eye so far
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon minced tomato (I am trying this ingredient for the first time, just for color, consider it very optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
2 additional tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place meat in a gallon size Ziplock® bag or spread out over a large glass lasagna or cake pan
Combine all marinade ingredients together in a small glass bowl or tall drinking glass and mix thoroughly
Pour marinade into bag with meat or over meat in glass pan. Seal bag, removing air and work marinade into meat or spoon marinade over meat to cover well, if using glass pan. Marinate for at least 2 hours. If marinating more than 2 hours, do so in refrigerator
Preheat oven to 400º F and on the stove, heat a heavy (oven proof - optional) frying pan to medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, begin adding steaks in a single layer. If they won't all fit, cook them in batches
For the oven finishing method, quickly sear/brown steaks on both sides, pour in lemon juice, then place pan of seared steaks on top rack of 400º oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until steaks are heated through to desired doneness
For the stove finishing method, reduce heat to medium after searing, pour in lemon juice and continue to cook steaks until desired doneness
Serves 3-6, depending on whether you use 1 or 2 pounds of steak

And of course have to have these too :) Greek Potatoes

Next I need to find good recipes for Pastitsio and Souvlaki with Tzatziki (what we had at the restaurant). The ones I linked to above may work :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We bought some beans from Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co while in Glen Arbor. Having some of the Snickercookie coffee this morning. YUM. The Latte I had there was pretty good too. I love coffee. I also like Biggby coffee. Yay supporting MI companies and getting my caffiene fix. Oh and we also got some of the Cherry Republic chocolate cherry coffee. Though I don't remember if I liked that last time we bought that... hmm.

/end random post.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

granola bars from scratch

While staying at the Grand Traverse Resort last weekend, my husband and I became addicted to their homemade granola. It was crumbled to munch on in the spa, and then they had it in bar form in the little cafe/coffee shop in the lobby. SO GOOD. This recipe by King Arthur flour seems to be as close as I can find to it, I hope to make it soon with some of the Cherry Republic dried cherries I brought home. YUM.

The ones we devoured had peanut butter in them I think, dried cherries, and also raw sunflower seeds & sesame seeds. Chris' bar is still not eaten, if he's not careful it won't stay that way tomorrow :)

copying the recipe from King Arthur flour in case they remove it for some reason
Chewy Granola Bars

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1 cup + 2 tablespoons Sticky Bun Sugar **
1/3 cup granulated sugar, optional (see "tips" at right)
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup quick oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

1) Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, syrup or honey, and water.

3) Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.

4) Spread in the prepared pan, shaking the pan to evenly cover the bottom and patting down gently

5) Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're golden brown around the edges.

6) Remove them from the oven, loosen the edges, and cool for 5 minutes.

7) Use a knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars while they're still warm in the pan. Carefully remove warm bars from the pan, and cool on a rack. Alternatively, remove from the pan before cutting into bars; it helps to cut in half first, then loosen the bottom of each half with a turner/spatula before turning out onto a sheet of parchment to cut into bars.

8) Wrap bars individually to store; or place in a single layer on a plate, and cover with plastic; or store in layers with parchment in between. In humid weather, it's best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

*King Arthur Note: We like 1/2 cup each dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, and coconut. Walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries or apples, or even chocolate chips would all be delicious as well. This recipe is a great example of why a scale is such a key baking tool. Simply line up your favorite dried fruits and nuts, set your mixing bowl on the scale, and add a bit of this (or a lot of that) till the scale reads 10 to 15 ounces. For granola bars with a hint of peanut flavor, add 1/3 cup peanut butter to the dry ingredients along with the other wet ingredients.

**• Sticky bun sugar gives these bars a lovely crisp edge with a chewy center. If you don't want to use sticky bun sugar, you can make bars that come close to that texture by substituting 3/4 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons light corn syrup + 2 tablespoons melted butter for the sticky bun sugar. And yes, you'll still add the additional granulated sugar and butter as called for in the recipe. If you add lots of sweet dried fruit to these bars, you'll probably want to leave out the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, as the fruit will help sweeten the bars. If you use only nuts, seeds, and/or tart/tangy dried fruit, you may want to add the sugar; it's up to you.

Edited to Add: Tried these out and they are good, not as amazing as the ones up north (I think those had more flour, less crunchy bits). Still have eaten three since yesterday :) I'm keeping mine in the fridge and then letting them get to room temp before destroying one. :) I used toasted sesame seeds, raw sunflower seeds, slivered almonds & peanuts (run thru the cuisnart a bit to break up), dried cherries, and crunchy peanut butter. Also didn't have that sticky bun sugar so had to sub the sugar/butter/corn syrup. I opted for honey as my 1/4 cup binding sweetener of choice :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Apple Dumpling Supreme

Found the elusive apple dumpling recipe that a previous boyfriend's mother made (that was OMG amazing) when I "came home to meet the parents" once. Yeah, not the man I married ;) but the apple dumplings that woman made made me obsessed with finding the recipe for awhile. I follow a live journal community called vintage recipes and someone posted this today.

Anyways, onto the recipe :) typed as written, for sure an old recipe as the layout is not the common day recipe layout. I wonder if I could cheat and use Pillsbury premade pastry? ;)

Betty Crocker Apple Dumpling Supreme
pastry makes 6 dumplings

sift together: 2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt

cut in with pastry blender or two knives: 3/4 cup shortening... first adding most of it until mixture looks like "meal" and then cutting in the rest until particles are the size of giant peas.

Sprinkle over mixture 5 Tbsp of water... mixing enough to make dough stay together.

Round up into a ball, let stand for a few minutes to make easier to roll out. (If desired, divide into 2 or 3 parts to make it easier to handle). Roll out dough 1/8inch thick on lightly floured cloth covered board. Cut into six 7-inch squares.


Pare and core 6 medium sized tart juicy apples. Place an apple on each square of pastry.

Fill apple cavities of apples with a mixture of:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Dot with 1 tbsp of butter.

Then the ad shows a song lyric "button up your overcoat" with the instructions for sealing the dumpling.

Moisten points of the pastry square (be sure not to use too much water). Fold up opposite points up over apple, overlapping them. Seal well.

Place about 2-inch apart in a 9x13x2 baking pan. Pour hot syrup (recipe below) around dumplings in pan. Bake immediately for 40 to 45 minutes in a hot oven (425).

Boil together for 3 minutes: 1 cup sugar, 2 cups water, 4 Tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

For less rich syrup use 1/2 cup each of sugar and corn syrup, 2 Tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and only 1 cup of water. (or use maple syrup)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lemon blueberry bread

Trying out this recipe, will let you know how it turns out :) not going to glaze it, since we're traveling by car tomorrow.
Lemon Blueberry Bread

Mom's Double Chocolate Brownies

I swore I already posted this, but apparently not. This is my Mom's amazing brownie recipe. If made as written use an 8x8 or 9x9 pan (unless you want thin brownies). If doubling the recipe, then use a 9x13.


3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Combine dry ingredients – set aside. Combine butter, sugar and water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 cup chocolate chips and vanilla; stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Gradually add dry ingredients. Stir in the remaining 1 cup chips. Spread in a treated 8” greased glass baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's a two-fer

You get another recipe, in the same day!

I don't alter this recipe at all, except to change what kind of Prego I use or if I make the sauce (and often don't use provolone since we have mozzarella). It's great as is, and you don't have to turn on the oven for the chicken :)

Or in case it is ever taken down:

Herbed Chicken Parmesan
This lighter version of an Italian favorite loses some of the fat but none of the taste. We recommend rice-shaped orzo pasta with this saucy chicken entrée, but you can serve spaghetti or angel hair pasta instead.

Yield: 4 servings

1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 pound chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups bottled fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen Organic)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Dip each chicken tender in egg white; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Set aside.

Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave sauce mixture at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour the sauce over chicken in pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Parmesan and provolone cheese. Wrap handle of pan with foil, and broil 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Nutritional Information
Calories:308 (30% from fat)
Fat:10.4g (sat 5.7g,mono 3g,poly 0.6g)
Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2003

New favorite salad.

I took my inspiration from this salad on allrecipes:

But I added a whole bunch of stuff :)
(Mark it down folks, I actually have a picture of something)

Summer Spinach salad

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion

10 ounces fresh spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries - cleaned, hulled and sliced
1 pint raspberries - cleaned, I cut the big ones in half
1 can mandarin oranges - drained and big ones cut in half
1 cup cooked chicken, diced (or dino nuggets cut up - yes I've done this)
1 cucumber, cleaned & diced
couple handfuls of matchstick carrots
1/3 cup almond accents butter toffee glazed almonds
crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, to taste

In a liquid shaker (like this Tupperware one I love), shake together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Chill for one hour.

In a large bowl or gladware container, toss the salad ingredients.

If serving right away: toss dressing with salad
If making for multiple servings (what I do when Chris is out of town), just add the dressing with your portion. Hence that wonderful shaker with a spout.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wine club! - May

My Dad got us a wine club membership to Oxford Wine & Beverage's wine club for our birthday (for 6 months). What it means is every month we'll get 6 wines to try :) This month these are the wines & the descriptions given, I'll likely update as we try them :)

Praxis dry Syrah Rose (California), flavors of strawberry, watermelon and guava are accented by a little spice and vanilla. This wine is dry and has bright acidity with a medium body. Food match: Baked Salmon (won't be happening here, but maybe chicken? lol).

Tapena Verdejo (Spain), Wine has a vibrant nose with an array of aromas of tropical fruits over a backdrop of ripe peaches. The palate is full of bright stone fruit that is beautifully balanced and crisp, refreshing acidity and a lingering finish with a hint of minerality. Food match: lemon crusted shrip (not, chicken again).

Emilio Bordeaux (France), Pleasant nose with red fruits and black cherries aromas. In the mouth, the wine is fleshy, full-bodied with good structure and power; expressive, and pleasant final note dominated by fruity notes - morello cherry and black currant notes. Food match: great with grilled meats. (This is a merlot, which I'm not typically crazy about but will try Tuesday with steaks).

Concannon Petite Syrah (California), Full bodied, rich wine with soft, full tannins and primary fruit flavors of cherry, dark berry, and blueberry. Secondary flavors of chocolate and cassis are complex with hints of toast and creamy oak. Food match: Great pizza red, good for BBQ meats.
We had this one tonight with BBQ chicken, fresh green beans, and oven roasted red skins. Was a pretty good red, not too acidic or strong so I liked it. Went well with our dinner and I think my Dad liked it too.

Concannon Merlot (California), Highly aromatic, with cherry, spice, smoke, and leather notes. The flavor is interesting, with cherry and blackberry well balanced with toasty oak and black pepper. A bit of acidity lingers on the tongue afterwards. Food match: beef or veal (this one I may take with us to Indy in June, FIL is a big merlot fan).

Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon (California), Brimming with black cherry and vanilla-oak flavors and a rich, smooth finish. Food match: red meat

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Birthday treats

Dad's birthday is coming up so I've started figuring out what to make. It's the 12th, which is a Friday, and he's a super Catholic so it means no meat. Hrm. I think I'm going to try this Artichoke Spinach lasagna, although this foodnetwork Greek/Italian hybrid Spanakopita Lasagna sounded pretty amazing. My sister may be bringing a few friends home so figured I shouldn't go too oddball ;) I may try that one another time though. I love Greek food...

My Dad's favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate frosting. In the past I've tried making boston cream pie but that doesn't keep well, so I think I'm going to stick with the basic. Going to try this chick's yellow cake, she seems to rave about it so we'll see. :) Not going to use her frosting, I'm sticking with my Hershey's frosting out of their cookbook.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Banana Pancakes

Made these for breakfast this morning, were pretty tasty! I didn't use the rum sauce or the nuts, but thought I'd include in case someone felt like including it. I instead sprinkled cinnamon sugar on them while in the griddle :) and used regular syrup. I also only ate 2 pancakes and had an aidell's chicken & apple sausage link with it. Yum.

Banana Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups bananas -- chopped
3 tablespoons pecans -- chopped and toasted

Cinnamon-Rum Syrup:
3/4 cup corn syrup -- light-colored
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons rum
1 teaspoon rum extract -- * see note
1 teaspoon lemon juice

To prepare pancakes, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg in a small bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Fold in banana. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. To prepare Cinnamon-Rum Syrup, place corn syrup in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Serve warm over pancakes.

Yield: 9 pancakes (serving size: 3 pancakes, 1 tablespoon pecans, and 4 teaspoons syrup).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chicken Asparagus Gratin

Had this for dinner the other night, not the most amazing thing ever but I saw fresh asparagus at the store and thought it would freeze well in casserole form for my grandparents. If you aren't a big asparagus fan I think you could do cream of broccoli and broccoli as substitutes.

Chicken Asparagus Gratin
7 points / 5 servings

10 3/4 oz Campbells cream of asparagus
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta
2 cups cooked, diced chicken breast
2 cups cooked, diced asparagus
1 cup reduced fat cheddar shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400
Combine soup, milk, onion powder, and pepper.
Stir in pasta, chicken, asparagus, and cheese. Pour into 2 quart casserole.
Bake @ 400 for 25 minutes, or until hot.

I also sprinkled a little paprika over it before baking. Was kind of bland, but ok with some garlic pepper added :)

Moterrey chicken & Spanish Rice

I originally got the chicken recipe off of a website called, not sure if its still active or not. Think I got this one back in 2005 on my first run of WW.

I like this chicken recipe because you can scale it to the number of chicken breasts you have. Like tonight I only have 3 so I will just 3/4 cup cheese and 3 Tbsp of BBQ and bacon bits (1/4c = 4 Tbsp for those of you who forget) :)

Monterrey Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1 cup colby blend shredded cheese
1 can rotel (diced tomatoes & chiles), drained.*
sliced green onions (optional)
ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out the chicken to flatten. Season each with a little pepper. Cook the chicken in a skillet over medium-low until cooked thru (no longer pink). Place each breast on a coated (with cooking spray) jelly roll (cookie sheet with sides) or large brownie pan and top each breast with 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup rotel, green onions, and 1 Tbsp bacon bits.
Bake until cheese has melted (about 5 minutes).

* Recipe calls for 14oz but my can is 10oz and will be fine for 3 breasts.

Spanish Rice
6 servings / 3 points

1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes (I've also used diced ok)
1 cup uncooked longrain rice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic salt

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bubble Up pizza casserole

People have raved about this on the WW boards for years, tonight I'm finally trying it. Fat/Cal will vary based on how you prepare.

Basic Ingredients:
1 1/2 servings turkey pepperonis, cut into quarters - I am actually using 6oz of the diced ham cubes. Outta pepperoni.
One can of the smaller biscuits (10 biscuits per can)
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
I also added 1/2 tsp minced onion
1 1/4 cups reduced fat cheese

You can put whatever you'd want in it, veggies, different meat (people on the boards seemed to like turkey italian sausage and ground beef as well). Some people also say it works well with the Pillsbury canned Italian loaf diced up.

Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl place whatever meats you use, seasonings, and sauce. Add biscuits and stir gently until covered in sauce. Pour into a treated 9x13 pan.
Bake 25 minutes.
Top with cheese, and bake 10 minutes or until the biscuits are done. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.

Variation posted: Use leftover taco meat, refried beans, salsa instead of pizza sauce, low fat mexican cheese, chopped tomatoes, then shredded lettuce and a little sour cream once the whole pizza is cooked. yum!

Cook like Julia without all the fat

This is another yanked off the WW boards, will probably be deleted soon since its apparently in the WW cookbook this month.

Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 1 hr 45 min
Serves 6

*2 lbs bottom round roast, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
*1/4 cup AP flour
*1 TBS olive oil
*1 14.5 ounce can low sodium beef broth
*1 cup red wine
*1 16 ounce pkg frozen pearl onions
*10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
*2 TBS tomato paste
*4 cloves garlic, chopped
*1 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
*1 bay leaf
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp pepper
*1 lb carrots, thickly sliced
*2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1. Toss beef cubes and flour in a bowl til evenly coated. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over med-hi heat. Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

2. Add broth, wine, onions, mushrooms, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, scraping up any bits from bottom of the pan. Stir in beef and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour.

3. Stir in carrots. Cover and simmer again for 30 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Per serving (1 1/3 cups) 381 calories, 9g fat, 376 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 49 g protein

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meatloaf muffins

I've been thinking of trying these a long time, if you couldn't tell I'm hungry today... think these would be a good size to freeze for my grandparents too.

Stove Top Meatloaf Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 lb extra lean ground beef or turkey
1 box Stove Top stuffing mix
1 cup water
2 egg whites
Ketchup or BBQ sauce

Mix together and divide into 12 muffin cups that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top each with Ketchup. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

You can use this recipe but substitute V8 instead of water. It gives it a little extra flavor.

I have my doubts, but I didn't name it.

Borrowed from the recipe review board on WW again.

Better Than Sex Cake
(Diet Coke Cake)

Yields: 24 servings |
· 1 box (8oz) Devil's Food Cake mix
· 10-oz Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi
· 1 egg white
· 6-oz fat-free caramel ice cream topping *
· 7-oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
· 1 cup Skor Bar or Heath Bar bits (found by the choc. chips)
· 1 (8-oz) container fat-free cool whip

*Note that it might not say "fat-free" on the front of the label, but check the nutritional info on the back. I bet it's fat-free. :-)

Mix cake mix, egg white and diet soda. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out smooth in a greased 9x13 pan. During the last few minutes of baking, put caramel and condensed milk in a sauce pan and stir on medium low heat until smooth. Take cake out of oven, and poke holes all over the top. Pour caramel mixture over warm cake, filling in the holes. Sprinkle Heath bits over the top, reserving some for the top. Cool completely. Cover with container of fat-free cool whip and sprinkle with remaining heath bits. Put in fridge until ready to serve.

Yields: 24 servings
Nutritional Info: (per serving) 193 Calories, 5.25 g. fat, 1 g. fiber

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Since I began watching what I ate again, one thing I really missed is mexican food. I love the stuff, can't get enough. So when this recipe came up on the recipe review board on WW online, I was quite excited. I'm trying it for the first time tonight, hope its good :)

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Yield: 8 servings (I am making it 6, I know I'll want to eat a lot and I'll take the extra few points.)

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (i.e. martha white or jiffy)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I'm doing a pound of chicken diced)
1/2 cup sour cream (I like RF)

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. (Original poster notes: It took way longer to set for me, like 30 min at least) Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New pork recipe

Have I mentioned I love the Pork Board's website? Because I do. It's got a lot of great recipes. I got one of our favorite grilled recipes on there too. Think I already posted it here.

Anyways, here's tonight's pork dinner: Mustard-Herb crusted pork loin - I used the whole grain dijon mustard :) I'm having a sweet potato and Dad/Chris get some redskins tossed with EVOO and garlic/onion/season salt wrapped in foil and baked.

edited: YUM. This was good, different from the normal "shake some seasonings on and throw it in the oven". Will make again. I used 2 Tbsp of egg beaters insted of the yolks it called for and used the whole grain mustard.

And sometime this summer, since I finally got a citrus zester & manual (by hand) juicer I am going to try this one for my Margarita loving husband. Margarita pork roast.

Also a big step for me today: I ate oatmeal and didn't gag. I bought some of the Quaker low sugar variety pack since my hubby loves the maple/brown sugar kind. I tried the apple cinnamon and it okay made with milk. I think it'd be nasty made with water. They have a blueberry muffin one I want to try next. Oatmeal is only 2 points made with water and 3 made with 1/2 cup skim. Think I'll eat the point to not have it be funny. ;)

A not so low fat recipe

But one I've wanted forever...
Elly Says Opa's Baklava!

Mmmmm. Baklava. *drooooool* I'm not a huge walnut fan so I'll probably use pistachios for at least part of it as I've often had it that way. Now to find a reason to make yummy baklava. So I don't eat the whole pan. Because I could.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken Salad

HG's Sweet 'n Chunky Chicken Salad
1 cup (about 4.5 oz.) cooked & roughly chopped skinless lean chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped Persian or Kirby cucumber
1/3 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/3 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
dash salt
Mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, sweetener, lemon pepper seasoning, and salt. Coat the chicken in this mixture, and then stir in the chopped cucumber, grape halves, and chopped apple. Then try not to pass out as you chow down on this insanely good chicken salad! MAKES 2 SERVINGS
Serving Size: half of recipe (about 1 cup)
Calories: 145 Fat: 1.5g Sodium: 332mg Carbs: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugars: 10g Protein: 21g
POINTS® value 3*

frozen peanut butter cups

I thought these sounded pretty tasty, so I thought I'd share. Found over at Hungry Girl again.

HG Fluff-tastic Frozen Peanut Butter Cups
1 (8 oz.) Container Fat Free Cool Whip
1/3 Cup Reduced Fat Creamy (or Chunky) Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Hershey's Light Chocolate Syrup

Line a 12 cupcake pan with cupcake holders (foil ones work best). Combine 1 Cup of Cool Whip and the peanut butter, with a whisk. Fold in remaining Cool Whip. Divide the mixture into the liners evenly (approx. 2 1/2 tablespoons each). Top each cup with a dollop of chocolate syrup. Freeze.

Serves: 12
Per Peanut Butter Cup: 73 Calories; 2g Fat, 2g Protein; 10 carbs, Fiber: 0g
(2 WW points if you're counting)

2/1 edited to add: These are good, I had one and Chris had two tonight for dessert :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

cue the choirs of angels

I've found a ww-friendly chocolate molten cake that involves Bailey's Irish Cream. I'm in heaven. Thank you recipe review board on weightwatchers.

Molten Irish Cream Chocolate Cakes
Prep: 9 min Cook: 11 min

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1% low fat milk
2 tablespoons light stick butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cooking spray
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey's)
1/2 cup vanilla fat free ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk and next 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon evenly into 4 (10 ounce) custard or ramekins coated with cooking spray.
3. Combine 1/3 cup brown sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa, hot water and liqueur in a 2 cup glass measure. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until almost boiling; pour evenly over batter in custard cups.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until almost set. Serve warm with ice cream.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size 1 molten cake and 2 tablespoons ice cream).

Per Serving: Cal 298 (22% from fat); fat 7.2 g (sat 2.4g); protein 6 g; carb 56.6g; fib 1.8g; chol 62mg; iron 2.5mg; sod 310mg; calc 225 mg.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mmmm Minestrone

Hungry girl promises its good, we'll see, I love the Olive Garden's minestrone. Probably not too authentic, but I'm 0% Italian so you can fool me. I'm using chicken broth and ditalini pasta since it's what I have, and northern beans since I couldn't find canellini and throwing in some corn & celery. I'm living dangerously. Going to have some foccacia and salad with it :) should be pretty tasty, and Dad won't care that its meatless and my veggie-adverse husband will be out of town. Should be something good and healthy to freeze for my grandparents too. Haven't been freezing latley since they don't handle spicy well.

Here's the recipe, for those of you who don't get the HG e-mails.

Hungry Girl's Mmm-mmm Minestrone

PER SERVING (1 generous cup): 105 calories, 0.5g fat, 512mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 5g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

Need a big pot of soup PACKED with veggies (not calories!), but don't want to spend forever chopping? This recipe is a DELICIOUS shortcut to Soupville!

Two 14-oz. cans (3 1/2 cups) fat-free vegetable broth

Two 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained

One 15-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
One 10-oz. package frozen spinach, mostly thawed

1 cup frozen cut green beans

1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 cup uncooked whole-wheat-blend rotini or penne pasta
1 tbsp. dried minced onion 

2 tsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

Salt and black pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a large pot on the stove. Add 1 cup water and stir it up. Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve!


Monday, January 25, 2010

You get a two-fer

Some recent finds that are low fat and tasty:
Mann's broccoli slaw. Mom would be so proud I eat broccoli now, I was the kid who ran screaming from it. Made a salad with mandarin oranges, cooked chicken, water chestnuts, almonds, and my favorite Ken's lite Asian Sesame dressing. So yummy. Good recipes on their bags, on their site, and on hungry girl.

I made a spicy peanut chicken from that low fat crock pot cook book I posted about awhile ago, the healthy slowcooker and it was tasty.

Spaghetti Casserole

This is a weightwatchers friendly recipe I used last time I did WW back in 2005. My husband liked it a lot, so I'm breaking it out again this go around.

8oz cooked whole wheat spaghetti
6 slices Kraft 2% singles
3 cups boca meat or about 1 lb ground turkey, cooked/crumbled
jar of favorite marinara (5 or 6 1/2c servings)
1 cup reduced fat 4 cheese italian
most of a pack of a turkey pepperoni "pillow pack"

Preheat oven to 350, cook spaghetti, pam a 9x13 pan.
layer starting on bottom:
american cheese
crumbled meat (boca or turkey)
shredded cheese

bake @ 350 for 30 minutes

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beef & Barley with rosemary and orange

Large slow cooker (5 quart minimum) required.
From the book "The Healthy Slow Cooker" by Judith Finlayson. Book has some whackadoodle recipes I'd never try (in addition to the whole seafood chapter) but has some neat ideas. Did you know you can bake bread in your slow cooker if you have a pan that fits it?

Beef and Barley with Rosemary and Orange
8 servings

2Tbsp olive oil, divided
2lbs trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
8oz mushrooms (small ones quartered, large ones sliced)
3 cooking onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced (I just used about 3/4 cup matchstick carrots)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (2 tsp minced garlic)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary –or- 2tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cup whole (hulled) or pot barely, rinsed
3 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
Salt, optional (it says if you don’t use reduced sodium beef stock to not add)
(I skipped shrooms because the scare Chris and just used the quaker quick barley)

Persillade (optional):
1 cup finely chopped parsley
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
(note says this adds a “zesty finish” while allowing you to enjoy the health benefits of garlic free from worry about garlic breath because the parsley works to negate any offensive odor.)

1. In a (huge) skillet, heat 1tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches and cook, stirring until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware (I drained mine on paper towels on a plate first and rinsed/wiped out the pan).
2. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to pan. Add mushrooms and toss until lightly seared, about 2 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring until carrots are softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, peppercorns (I used fresh ground pepper) and orange zest and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add barley and toss to coat. Add orange juice, beef stock, and wine and bring to a boil. (this is where the huge skillet is required). Season to taste with salt, if desired. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware, stir well.
3. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high for 4, or until meat is tender.
4. Persillade (optional): In a bowl, combine parsley, garlic, and vinegar. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Ladle stew onto plates and garnish with persillade, if using.

book recommends a tossed green salad & crusty whole grain roll.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Healthy recipe to share :)

This was excellent with some brown rice, crinkle cut carrots, and a mixed greens salad with mandarin oranges & almonds on it. :)

Hoisin Chicken
POINTS: 5, 4 servings

1/4 cup(s) hoisin sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp table salt
1 pound(s) Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, raw (I bought the Tyson trimmed & ready thin chicken, there were 4 in the package).

Preheat broiler on medium. combine hoisin, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, in a saucepan, bring to a boil.
Combine cornstarch and water and add to mixture, stirring.
Cook 1 minute, remove from heat and set aside. mix spices and rub evenly over both sides of chicken. Spray line a broiler pan with foil and spray pan grate with non stick spray, add chicken, broil 5 minutes.
Brush with hoisin mixture and cook for 5 minutes more. turn over and brush with sauce, broil 5 minutes, basting often, until done.