Sunday, December 28, 2008

our new carpet + living room!

For Christmas this year...Chad and I got new carpet for the living area & a new coffee table + furniture for the TV. Originally we were going to get a wall mount flat screen or one that is small & sits on the TV hutch. Well after spending all that money we decided to keep our old TV (the one in the pic), and wait to get a new tv until after the superbowl is over. This one will be going in the basement, once we can get new carpet down there after the new year! We purchased the new furniture at the Pottery Barn outlet at Birch Run...love that store!!

Our red & green stockings!
Another view of the new tv hutch & the carpet! Awww our little xmas tree, which is mine from when I lived in Little Rock...it is probably time to purchase a bigger tree ;) Above the tv now hangs a huge Big Ben clock!


Our new mirror & wall decor ;) Chad and I picked this out at Graden Ridge...I just love all their wall decor, you have to really search tho, because a lot of that stuff is one of's!


Happy New Year everyone!!!



Saturday, December 27, 2008

marinara garlic cheese dip

This appetizer is a hit! It was passed down from my good friend Meaghan...you can't get any easier than this recipe for something quick & yummy for a party ;)

Ingredients:
~1 loaf of fresh french bread (cut into 1" slices)
~1 box Boursin garlic & herb cheese
~1 jar of your fav spagetti sauce or marinara (I use Classico Cabernet Marinara)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8x8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Place unwrapped cheese on center of glass baking dish, and pour marinara sauce over cheese (you may only need 3/4 of the jar of sauce).
Place dish in center of oven and bake until bubbly (approx 15-20 minutes).
Serve sauce on platter with french bread slices.
Enjoy ;)

cheese + parsley phyllo triangles

Another appetizer I made for my holiday party on Hostess with the Mostess! I had never worked with phyllo dough before; so this was a challenge at first...but soon became easier once I understood the directions; I will simplify it better in my directions for you ;)

Ingredients:
~12 sheets of frozen phyllo dough, thawed
~1 1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
~1 c. fontina cheese, shredded
~3/4 c. monterey jack cheese, shredded
~1/2 c. chopped fresh italian parsley
~2 large eggs, beaten to blend
~1 tbsp. minced shallot (if desired)
~1/2 c. (1 stick) unslated butter (I used about 1/2 stick melted)
Allow the box of phyllo dough to stand at room temp for approx. 30 minutes. Mix the cheeses in a med bowl to blend. Stir in the parsley, beaten eggs, and shallot (if desired). Set the filling aside.
pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unroll the phyllo sheetson a dry flat surface. Carefully remove 1 sheet of phyllo dough (be careful it is very thin, & rips easily), lay it on your working surface. Keep the remaing phyllo dough covered with a damp kitchen towel until being used. Brush the phyllo sheet on your working surface with melted butter. Top with a second phyllo sheet and brush with melted butter. Cut the 2 layered sheets in 3-inch length-wise sections with a sharp knife. Place 1 generous tbsp of filling on bottom of right hand corner of each strip of layered phyllo. Working with one layered phyllo strip at a time, fold one corner phyllo over the filling, forming a small triangle - repeat folding the phyllo triangle up and over onto itself as you would fold a flag, brushing the edge of the last fold with melted butter to seal. Continue this method, until you have used all the filling. Transfer the triangles to the prepared baking sheets, seam side down and brush with more butter.
Makes approx 24 triangles (mine made approx 12 triangles total).

stuffed garlic spinach bread

I made these for my holiday party last sunday, and they were a hit!! It's actually a really easy recipe to make for an appetizer! I found the recipe on my new favorite website, Hostess with the Mostess!
The picture above was after I took it out of the oven.

ingredients:
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 large onion finely chopped
~3 cloves of garlic, minced
~1 can (14.5 oz) no salt added chopped spinach, drained & squeezed dry
~1/2 c. diced, canned red bell peppers (i used jar kind)
~12 large black olives, chopped (optional & omitted)
~pinch crushed red pepper
~1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
~kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste
~1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp. of evoo in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add onion & saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat & stir in spinach, peppers & olives (if desired), crushed red pepper, 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese, salt & pepper to taste.

Roll out pizza dough into 12-inch round using enough flour on the work surface & dough to keep it from sticking. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Sprinkle remaining parmesan on center & mound the spinach mixture on one side of the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border of exposed dough at the edge. Brush the exposed 1/2 inch of dough with water, and fold over the other side of the dough over top of spinach mixture (stretching it so it completely encases the the filling). Firmly pinch the edges together sealing the filling inside. Cut 4 slits at the top and brush over slits & top with remaining evoo.

Bake until crisp & brown, about 20 minutes; cool 10 minutes before serving.
Cut into 6 wedges.






crockpot tuxedo chicken

I dont have a picture of this recipe, because we forgot our camera at my parents house on christmas! This was really good, and super easy (obviously) ;) I got the recipe from my new "busy woman's" slow cooker recipe book!

ingredients:
~1.5 lbs. boneless chicken breasts (i used frozen)
~1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, chopped ( i used the jar kind w/ italian seasonings)
~3/4 c. roasted red peppers, chopped (i used the jar kind)
~1 8oz. pkg. shredded american cheese (i used 2% mexican, & only added about 1/2)
~1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
~1 10oz. can cream of chicken soup (i used healthy request low sodium)
~1 8oz. pkg. shredded cheddar cheese (i used 2% sharp sheddar, & only used about 1/2)
~4 c. hot cooked bow-tie pasta (i used Barilla Plus penne)

in slow cooker, coat bottom & sides with cooking spray. place chicken on bottom of cooker. combine the artichokes, roasted peppers, american cheese, worcestershire sauce, & soup; mix well & pour over chicken. cover & cook for 6-8 hours on low setting. about 20 minutes before serving, fold in cheddar cheese, hot pasta & salt & pepper if desired (i used black pepper & frankenmuth chicken seasoning to taste!) yummmm!

serves 4, with leftovers ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

chicken + pepper stir fry


this is a great recipe...similar to my pepper steak recipe, but this uses chicken! it tastes great with the rice too! i wanted to have something for leftover's for tomorrow's lunch - before we head to my parents house for christmas eve dinner!

ingredients:
~1/4 c. of low sodium soy sauce
~3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth
~2 garlic cloves, minced
~2 tbsp. cornstarch
~3/4 tsp. ginger
~1/4 tsp. cayenne (I substituted with chili powder)
~1/4 c. water
~1 med size green, red or yellow pepper
~1 c. uncooked white or basmati rice

combine all ingredients in small bowl from soy to cayenne. add chicken & toss to coat. heat 1 tbsp. of evoo in frying pan - add chicken mixture to pan over med heat. cook for approx. 7 minutes. add peppers & water, and cover for 5-8 minutes or until peppers are tender.
serve over hot rice, yummmm;)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

magnolia cupcakes = love

OMG -- the best cupcakes EVER!! I might get sued for posting this recipe...just kidding, I got the recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cook book!! If you haven't had a Magnolia cupcake, I feel sorry for you ;) It is from the famous Magnolia bakery in NYC, the bakery is on Bleecker & 11th street (right next to Marc Jacobs!!). You can wait up to an hour in line for these little guys....but it is SOOOO worth the while!! They have 3 different kind of cupcakes to choose from (Vanilla with Chocolate frosting, Chocolate with White frosting, and Vanilla on Vanilla - my FAVORITE!!) So without further adieu, lol! I made these tonight to have for my party tommorow....sooooo good, and so worth trying to make them yourself. If you handed me one blind folded, I would totally know they were Magnolia's!! Next time you are in NYC check them out...also they have a new store front on 39th & 6th avenue, so it is easier to get to if you are staying uptown. Enjoy!
Watch the you tube skit on how to frost them with link above...I didnt find this until after I made them (as you can tell) :(

Cupcakes:
~1 1/2 c. self-rising flour
~1 1/4 c. app-purpose flour
~1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
~2 c. sugar
~4 large eggs, at room temp
~1 c. milk (I used non-fat, but whole would be better)
~1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, combine the flours - set aside.
In a large bowl, on the med speed pf your electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually & beat until fluffy, about 3 mins. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat! Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl & make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully! spoon the batter into the liners, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. (The batter is dense, & hard to get into the cups. I used a med size laddle filled with batter & used the spatula to place into the liners. The batter makes exactly 24 cupcakes).
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. (mine were done after 20 minutes)

Vanilla Buttercream frosting:
~1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
~6-8 c. confectioners' sugar (you will need 8 for best result)
~1/2 c. milk
~2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar & then the milk & vanilla. On the med speed of your electric mixer, beat until smooth & creamy, about 3-5 mins. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 mins), until the icing is thick enough to be of goodspreading consitency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring & mix throughly (I added green ;). (Use and store the icing at room temp because icing will set if chilled) It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I made the icing while the cupcakes cooled. I also added sprinkles to the tops of the frosting ;)

Friday, December 19, 2008

PEANUT BUTTER KISS COOKIES


My fav holiday cookie by far is this peanut butter kiss!! Since I was little, going to the cookie walks with my mom & aunts...I always filled my box up with these! This year my mom & aunts and I got together to bake Cristmas cookies. We all got together and made something different so we all had 5 dozen assorted cookies!! Yummm!
Ingredients:
~1 3/4 c. flour
~1/2 c. sugar
~1/2 c. brown sugar
~1 tsp. baking soda
~1/2 tsp. salt
~1/2 c. butter
~1/2 c. peanut butter
~1 egg
~2 tbsp. milk
~1 tsp. vanilla
~1 pkg. Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped (any kind)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine ingredients. Roll into 1" balls, roll balls in sugar. Bake on cookie sheet for about 10-12 minutes. Top with chocolate Kiss immediately upon removal from oven.
Enjoy ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

HOLIDAY DRINKS & IDEAS


I'm having a party! Yes, I am so excited that this year I get to host a holiday get together with my girlfriends at our house! Many of you know that Chad and I got married this past May, and I had just moved into the house (fully) after our wedding. So this Christmas I volunteered to have everyone over for a gift exchange...I am going to be posting my ideas for food & drinks here...so I know you wont mind ;) I really LOVE Real Simple & Hostess with the Mostess for holiday party & drink ideas!! I think I am going to do a few festive cocktails like the ones below...


The house is decorated in mostly silver, winter white, and red, so I would like to do a white & silver decor theme for the party with red accents. I will take some pics & post them after the party Sunday. You will also get to see our new living room decor...I took a trip to the Pottery Barn Outlet at Birchrun & got some great deals!! (thanks to whoever posted the 50% PSA)!!


Peppermint Martini

~5 ounces of Chopin vodka

~2 ounces of white Creme de Menthe

~1/2 ounce of Peppermint Schnapps

~Mini candy canes

Pour all of your liquid ingredients into a shaker 1/2 full of cracked ice. Give a good 20 vigorous shakes and let the shaker rest for half a minute. Strain your lucious peppermint martini into 2 freezing martini glasses. Add a candy cane in each glass for garnish.

Makes 1 drink

Simpleton Cocktail

~1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) vodka, chilled

~2 cups (16 ounces) cranberry juice cocktail, chilled

~2 cups (16 ounces) pomegranate juice, chilled

~3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a large punch bowl or pitcher, combine all the ingredients. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.) Add ice and ladle into martini glasses or plastic party cups.

To Make a Virgin Version: Substitute 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) chilled lemon-lime soda for the vodka.

Makes 10 cocktails


Sparkling White Sangria

~1 bottle sparkling wine (such as Champagne or Prosecco)

~1 1/2 cups apricot nectar

~1 1/2 ounces triple sec


In a pitcher, mix together the wine, apricot nectar, and triple sec. Serve in wineglasses. Upgrade: Add 1 bunch frozen grapes to the pitcher before serving. I think I will add cranberries as below, for a dash of red!


Makes 6 servings



Add Cranberries to Holiday Cocktails
Freshen up your holiday bar with a tart twist

Use: Tarting up a holiday cocktail. Place three on a toothpick and serve in a Simpleton or a shot of OJ for a fruity infusion.

Reward: A swizzle stick that adds sass to your sauce.

Friday, December 12, 2008

PUMPKIN PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCO CHIP MUFFINS



I am at home today because I have Friday's off (I work 4 - 10 hour days Mon-Thursday. Today we are getting new carpet in our living area, so I am confined to the computer room! I got to sneak in a batch of these muffins before our carpet guy arrived this morning, so I finally got to take a picture of my food with natural light! Woo hoo! I might even let Jody the carpet man eat one after he his finished...lol!

OMG These muffins were AMAZING!!! I usually make them without the choco chips...but I decided to add the peanut butter & chocolate swirl chips at the last minute since I had some leftover from the blondies ;)

Ingredients:
~1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
~1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
~2 tsp. baking soda
~2 tsp. baking powder
~2 tsp. ground cinnamon or pumkin pie spice (I use 1 tsp. of each!)
~1/2 tsp. salt
~4 large eggs (I use Eggland's Best)
~2 cups granulated sugar (I have used Splenda)
~1 can (15 oz.) of Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
~1 cup Vegetable oil
~2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips (I used 1 cup of the Toll House Peanut butter & Choco chip swirls)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffins cups or use paper baking cups.

Combine all the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & pumkin spice in medium bowl. Combine the eggs and sugar in large bowl first, then add the pumpkin & oil; mix well. Stir in the flour mixture slowly until moistened. Stir in morsels if you are using them. Spoon batter with laddle & fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pans

Makes approx 24 muffins ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

CROCKPOT CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP


I am always in the mood for chicken noodle soup ;) I got this recipe from one of my co-workers & knottie friends, Amanda! This is great because you can just leave it simmering all day while at work! Thanks Amanda! Yummmm this was SOOOO good!!

Ingredients:
~4-6 chicken breasts, or a small whole chicken (I used frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts)
~4-6 cups water
~2- 12oz chicken broth cans
~1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used my Frankenmuth chicken seasoning)
~1 teaspoon salt (I used chicken bouillon granules)
~1/4 teaspoon pepper
~1 small onion chopped
~1 carrot, chopped
~2 stalks celery chopped (I omitted because we dont like)
~1/4 cup parsley, chopped (I used less dried)
~1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
~1 bay leaf
~6 ounces noodles (I used 1 bag of Farmer's homemade egg noodles)

Preparation:
Place all ingredients except noodles in crock-pot. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Remove chicken and bay leaf from pot. Take meat from bones, leaving in big chunks (don't want to shred it too much). Return to broth.
Add noodles before serving! (I also like parmesan cheese on mine!)

HEALTHY SMOOTHIE

On my quest to find a healthy addition to my morning breakfast...I came upon this idea to incorporate a healthy smoothie to my usual fiber one bar & hot tea or coffee. This is truly the best smoothie I have ever had, and uses the simplest ingredients!! I probably will add some non-fat yogurt or protein powder to this in the future, enjoy ;)

Serves 1

Ingredients:

~1 cup apple juice
~1 cup frozen strawberries
~1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)

Blend all ingredients in mixer & pour into drinking glass.
*by using frozen fruit you can eliminate ice, which tastes a lot better in my opinion! You might have to add a few more drops of juice while blending*

Friday, December 5, 2008

GROWN UP HAMBURGER HELPER


So excited to make this recipe tonight from Loves to Nom, Shelly! (adapted from Rachel Ray) This was soooo good, and Chad approved! We will be making this again & again ;) The red pepper flakes + the chili powder gave it a nice kick...yum yum!

Ingredients:
~Appx 4 cups pasta(we used Barilla Plus elbows)
~1 lb ground beef (we used ground turkey)
~4 tbsp grated onion (we used onion flakes)
~4 tsp worcesteshire sauce (we used a little more, I love it!)
~4 tbsp butter (we used light)
~3 tbsp flour (we used wheat flour)
~1 cup chicken stock
~2 cups half and half (we used fat free)
~1 tbsp dijon mustard
~2 1/2 cups shredded colby jack cheese (we used the Kraft 2% colby monterrey blend & only used 2 cups = 1 pkg.)
~salt & pepper to taste
~1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
~4 dashes of chili powder
~Garnish: chopped dill pickles, diced tomatoes, or salsa (we omitted)

Boil a pot of water and add the pasta, cook per the box. Don't drain until the rest is ready.
In a large skillet brown the meat. Add the onion and worcestershire then some salt and pepper. When fully cooked, remove to a paper plate and get rid of the grease.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the half and half and the chicken stock. Bring to a bubble and cook for a few minutes until it thickens up. Stir in the dijon. Add the cheese and keep stirring until all melted into gooey goodness. Add more salt and pepper + the red pepper flakes & chili powder if desired.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce skillet along with the meat. Serve with the dill pickles and tomatoes/salsa if you wish.

According to Shelly's hubby, one should also add the special ingredient: Little Caesar's spice pack! We used 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes + a few dashes of chili powder!

Makes enough for leftovers...cant wait to eat this tomorrow for lunch too!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PASTA FRA DIAVOLO W/ CHICKEN


I know I dont have to say it twice...but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pasta!! I am obsessed with the restaurant Brio's, Pasta Fra Diavolo...so I wanted to make a similar dish. This turned out very tasty, but it is not as creamy as Brio's. Maybe next time I will incorporate some heavy cream & mix in. This is from a weight watchers recipe so it is low in fat too!

Ingredients:
~2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
~1 onion, chopped
~3 garlic cloves, minced (I used more)
~1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
~3 tbsp tomato paste (I also used an additional tbsp. of sundried tomato pesto)
~2 tbsp dry red wine
~1/2 tsp sugar
~1/4 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
~1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (start w/ 1/4 tsp then add more to taste)
~1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used less dried)
~1/2 lb penne (I used Barilla Plus Penne)


In saucepan, heat evoo. Add garlic and onion and cook until golden, approx 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, paste, wine, sugar, salt and red pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until flavors blend and sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in parsley. Meanwhile cook chicken in evoo over med heat until cooked thru; add chicken to sauce.
Meanwhile, cook penne according to directions; add penne to sauce & mix well; serve hot.

Monday, December 1, 2008

PEANUT BUTTER BLONDIES


I got this recipe off of love deliciousness blog (Thanks Linds!!) These are soooo good...Chad and I LOVE peanut butter!!

Ingredients:
~4-5 tbsp. butter
~1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
~1 cup brown sugar (I used organic)
~1 egg
~1 tsp. vanilla extract
~1/4 tsp. salt
~1 cup flour (I used wheat flour)
~1/2 tsp. baking powder
~1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Nestle's combination bag of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8×8 pan with foil (I didnt do this step) & lightly spray with cooking spray.
In a medium microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter for 20-30 seconds until almost/all melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Stir the peanut butter into the butter until creamy and smooth.
Add the brown sugar to the butter/peanut butter and stir until smooth.
Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the peanut butter mixture and stir just to combine.
Gently fold in chocolate chips and any other additions (chopped nuts, chopped Reese’s cups, Reese’s pieces, etc).
Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting.

FETA & SPINACH STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS


Serves 2 (with leftovers for hubby:)

Ingredients:
~3 med chicken breasts, pounded thin
~spinach, cooked in lemon and olive oil (enough for stuffing)
~feta cheese, crumbled (I used sun dried tomato basil feta)
~2 eggs, beaten
~seasoned italian bread crumbs
~2 c. sliced mushrooms (I used diced onion)
~1 tbsp. cornstarch
~1/2 c. dry white wine
~2 c. chicken broth
~lemon juice to taste
~2 garlic cloves; minced
~pepper to taste
~2 tbsp. olive oil
~1 cup of uncooked rice (I used chicken stock instead of water for more flavor)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut chicken in half 3/4 of the way thru, stuff chicken breast with spinach and Feta cheese. Season chicken with pepper. Dredge in eggs and seasoned bread crumbs. Brown in frying pan with evoo; place in greased glass dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Cook rice according to package.

Gravy: Saute 1 cup of mushrooms & garlic in 1 tbsp. butter. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (I would disolve in chicken stock first & mix well); pour into pan with mushrooms or onions. Cook and mix well. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine, 2 cups chicken broth, and lemon. Boil for 3 minutes. Pour over heated chicken & rice!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CAJUN CHICKEN & GARLIC PIZZA

Yummmm!! More Chicken & Garlic!! This has to be one of my favorite meals to eat!! Not so bad to eat either...you can substitute the pizza dough for wheat & make with fat free mozzerella! I love this pizza as a veggie version too!

Ingredients:
~1 med chicken breast, diced
~cajun spice to taste
~ground pepper to taste
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 can Dei Fratelli pizza sauce (the best pizza sauce!!)
~1 pkg. Betty Crocker pizza crust (just add hot water)
~1 cup Mozzerella cheese; shredded (I have used fat free)
~2 garlic cloves, minced
~1 tomato, chopped
~1 small onion, chopped (red or white)
~1 small green/red pepper, chopped if desired
~1-2 tsp. dried basil or 3 fresh leaves, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees;
Fix pizza dough according to package. Spray cooking spray on pizza pan or baking sheet. Form pizza dough into circular shape or square. In a skillet, heat evoo & add diced chicken. Season chicken with pepper & cajun spice, toss to coat. Cook chicken approx 4 minutes on each side or cooked thru. Remove from heat, and set aside. Mix together the pizza sauce & dried basil in a bowl. Spread sauce onto pizza dough; sprinkle mozzarella onto sauce. Arange chopped veggies & minced garlic over the shredded cheese; add chicken on top. *Tip* Do not over accessorize your pizza with sauce & toppings, b/c it will make dough soggy. Instead try using minimal sauce, and set aside extra for dipping ;)

Bake for approx 15 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted & crust is golden brown.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ASPARAGUS WITH VIN SANTO VINAIGRETTE

Chad loves asparagus, and we usually cook the asparagus with olive oil & pepper over the stove or grill...tonight I wanted to try something different as a side dish with our pot roast! This is supper good, and I will make it again with a steak or chicken dish! This recipe is from my Everyday Pasta cook book. Please excuse my terribly chopped almonds...next time I will use a nut chopper, lol!

Ingredients:
~1 1/2 cups Vin Santo (I used red wine)
~1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
~1 tbsp. lemon juice
~1 tbsp. dijon mustard
~1/4 tsp. salt (I omitted)
~1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
~1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
~6 bibb lettuce leaves, for garnish (I omitted)
~1 hard cooked egg, peeled & chopped (I omitted)
~1/4 cup chopped & toasted almonds (see below)

In small saucepan, reduce the Vin Santo or red wine to 1/3 cup over medium heat, about 10-15 minutes.
In a small jar or plastic container with a tight fitting lid, combine the reduced Vin Santo, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. Shake to combine, making sure the mustard is fully incorporated.

Bring a large pot salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the trimmed asparagus and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl filled with ice water and let cool, about 3 minutes. Drain the asparagus & pat dry with paper towels. (I drained and placed on a serving dish). Arrange the lettuce leaves in a serving bowl or dish, add the asparagus on top. Top with the hard-cooked egg and chopped almonds. Drizzle the entire salad with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Toasting the almonds*:
Spread almonds on a baking sheet & place in a 350 degree oven for approx 5-10 minutes, or until fragrant & golden brown. Stir them once or twice as they toast & watch to see that they dont get too dark.

CROCK POT GARLIC BROWN SUGAR CHICKEN


Again....LOVE.our.Crock.Pot...can't get enough of it!! I am always looking for new recipes to use with it, so I came upon this from recipezaar and I couldn't pass it up! Simply our favorite ingredients ever, garlic & chicken + the crock pot! This is super yummy & makes the house smell amazing while it's cooking all day!!

Ingredients:
~1lb chicken breasts
(I used 3 medium; frozen)
~1 cup packed brown sugar
(I reduced to 3/4 cup)
~2/3 cup vinegar (
I used red wine vinegar)
~1/4 cup Sprite or 7-Up soda (I used Sprite Zero)
~2 tbsp. garlic; minced

~2 tbsp. soy sauce (I used low sodium)

~1 tsp.
regular black or cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 tsp. of each)
~1 small onion; chopped if desired
~1 green pepper or tomato; chopped if desired

Coat bottom & sides of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in crock pot over chopped onions. Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6 hours.
Serve over rice or noodles with a side salad.


(We ate over Barilla Plus thin spaghetti noodles)

Enjoy!!

NO PUDGE BROWNIES!!!

If you haven't found out about these No Pudge fat-free brownies, I feel sorry for you!! All you do is add 1 cup of vanilla or plain fat-free yogurt to the dry mix! They come in 4 different flavors...Original, Mint, Cappuccino, and Raspberry! I bought this box at Nino's, but some Kroger's carry them too. I used to buy them at Whole Food's type stores too. I have tried the Original & Cappuccino...but Mint sounds yummy too!! These are a fast fix for my sweet tooth, and you dont have to feel guilty eating them!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FAB CHICKEN DIVAN

I was craving chicken divan...it just sounded so good! My mom used to make this for us growing up. I absolutely despise broccoli, but I make dishes with it because Chad loves it. Not my favorite thing in the world, but I loved it in this dish! It's perfect, and very mourish tasting!

Ingredients:
~1 small bag of frozen broccoli; steamed
~2 cups of shredded or cubed chicken, cooked
~2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used low sodium c. of chicken)
~1 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
~1 cup sour cream (I used light)
~1 cup grated sharp cheddar
~1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
~1 tsp. curry powder (I didn't have so I used Paprika)
~salt & pepper to taste
~1/2 cup dry white cooking wine
~1/2 cup grated parmesan
~1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
~2 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Steam broccoli according to package; drain & place on bottom of greased casserole dish (I used 9" square). Add shredded or diced chicken on top of broccoli.
In medium bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar, lemon juice, curry powder, salt & pepper to taste & wine. Whisk together to make the sauce. Pour the sauce over the broccoli & chicken. Pat down evenly & spread with spatula. Combine the parmesan, bread crumbs & melted butter; sprinkle over the top of sauce.
Bake for approx. 40 minutes in oven or until top is browned; enjoy!!


PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

I was craving peanut butter cookies all last week!! I had to make these ASAP. They were really yummy, & I substituted the AP flour for wheat flour & used reduced fat peanut butter!

Ingredients:
~1 cup peanut butter (I used reduced fat)
~1/2 cup butter, softened
~1/2 cup white sugar
~1/2 cup packed brown sugar
~1 egg
~3 tbsp. milk (I used non-fat)
~1 tsp. vanilla extract
~1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used wheat)
~3/4 tsp. baking powder
~1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl cream together the peanut butter, butter, white sugar, brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla one at a time. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet 2" apart. Press each ball once with fork tines.

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. (I left mine in for 8 minutes, because I like them mushy inside!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

MMMM CAJUN CHICKEN SANDWICH ON CIABATTA

We had leftover Ciabatta bread from Saturday that I didnt want to waste + 1 chicken breast...so of course I get home & Chad already left for the gym (once again I am not working out tonight) boo...so I wanted something quick, and a chicken sandwich sounded perfect!! I almost tried to make a version of the chicken crescent pockets with blackened chicken...hmmm, dont know how that would have turned out!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
~1 med-large chicken breast, cut into strips
~extra virgin olive oil
~cajun spice to taste
~2 lime slices
~shredded sharp cheddar cheese
~sun dried tomato pesto
~red onion, cut into thin rings (next time I will add lettuce & tomato!)
~ciabatta bread, cut 3/4' thick

Heat evoo in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breast strips, and squeeze lime over chicken. Sprinkle cajun spice, and toss to coat. Cook chicken on each side until no longer pink & blackened. When chicken is cooked thru, push to middle of pan & sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of chicken. Cook until melted. Place bread slices on pan with foil. Drizzle evoo on 1 side of slices, and place under broiler for a few minutes ~ make sure to watch, so it doesn't burn! Spread tomato pesto on toasts; remove chicken from pan with spatula & place on toasts. Add toppings & enjoy!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CHICKEN STUFFED PASTA SHELLS & TOASTED CIABATTA WITH BALSAMIC SYRUP

WOW! This recipe I found in my Everyday Pasta cookbook...it is super yummy! It went perfect with our chicken stuffed pasta shells & salad...I am for sure going to make this again soon, Chad loved it & so did our guests!!

Ingredients:
~1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
~3 tbsp. granulated sugar
~12 1/2"-inch thick slices of ciabatta bread (I bought a fresh loaf from Nino's)
~2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (I used way more ti wasnt enough)

Boil the balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp of sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally, approx. 20 minutes.

Toast the bread slices. Spread the butter over the toasts. Arrange toasts on platter. Drizzle the reduced balsamic syrup over the toasts. If desired, sprinkle sugar & serve!


Had to make this dish after I saw it on love deliciousness blog! I always joke that I think I am secretly Italian because all I want to eat is pasta, pasta & more pasta!! I could eat spaghetti three times a day!! I have no italian blood in me, but Chad is like 25% italian...and he wishes I would stop making things with tomatoes & onion for at least a week...LOL! Poor guy...I could seriously live on green peppers, onions & tomatoes!! Sorry, you can't really see the shells because I poured so much sauce over mine! These were so good, and we had the left overs for lunch today...4 shells each was enough for us. I also made homemade spaghetti sauce with ours instead of using jar pasta sauce ;)
Ingredients:
~1 box jumbo shell pasta (I used 1 box of Barilla)
~6 garlic cloves
~2 med chicken breasts cooked & shredded
~30 oz. ricotta (part skim)
~1/3 cup italian bread crumbs
~1 1/2 tsp. salt (I only used a few dashes)
~1/2 tsp. pepper
~1 1/2 tsp. parsley (I used fresh chopped)
~6 large basil leaves, torn
~1/3 cup of half & half
~1/4 cup parmesan cheese
~24 oz. pasta sauce (I made homemade, see bottom for receipe)
Cook pasta shells according to package. Drain shells, and place on wax paper to prevent them sticking together; let cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients from garlic to half & half in food processor (I just mixed together in med size bowl). Spoon ricotta mixture into shells; coat spaghetti sauce to bottom of 9x13" pan. Place shells in pan, open end up. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over shells. Cover pan with foil & bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil & bake for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan over shells & serve!!
Spaghetti Sauce:
~1 large can of diced tomatoes
~1 large can of tomato sauce
~1 small tomato paste w/ italian seasonings
~1 med onion chopped
~4 garlic cloves minced
~1 tbsp. basil to taste
~1 tsp. oregano to taste or italian seasonings
~1 green pepper chopped if desired
If you are using ground beef. Brown beef in saucepan until browned with garlic & onion; add ground beef to crock pot with sauces.
Add all ingredients into crock pot & cook on low for 8 hours; or high for 4 hours. You can also leave simmering all day.

COOKING WITH MY NEW APRON WHILE DRINKING APPLETINI'S!

So excited to show off my cute apron!! I got this as a shower gift from my co-workers back in April (hence the name "Domestic Diva")...but this is the first time I got to wear it! Excuse the pic, but Chad was in the shower at the time I took this photo...lol! We were having our friends Nick & Wendy over for the first time for dinner last night!!

As I was cooking I started off with one of my favorite martini's ever...an Appletini ;) Yummm!!
~1 part Kettle One vodka
~1 part Rose's appletini mix
~1 splash of Sprite Zero
~1 slice of a granny smith apple for garnish

Friday, November 14, 2008

EASY CHICKEN POT PIE

I was in the mood for a chicken pot pie...not sure why...but I thought it was a good idea, since I never made one before!! My mom has a super simple recipe, but I sort of combined a few different ones for this!

Ingredients:
~2 cup frozen veggies; thawed (I used corn, potato, carrots & celery)
~1 can cream of chicken, mushroom soup, cheese (I used healthy request cream of chicken)
~1 chicken breast cooked or can chicken (I used large can of Swanson)
~1 tsp. chicken seasoning to taste (I used frankenmuth chicken seasoning)
~1 cup bisquick (I used reduced fat)
~1/2 cup milk (I used non-fat)
~1 egg
~3 tbsp. melted butter
~1/4 tsp. pepper (I used a little more & added garlic salt too)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine veggies, soup, can of chicken, seasonings, and melted butter in bowl; mix well. (I had to defrost the veggies in the microwave for a few minutes) Place the mixture in a lightly greased glass 9" pan. Mix together the bisquick, egg, & milk in a seperate bowl; pour over veggie mixture in pan. Cook for approx. 30 minutes or until top is browned.
**I actually think this would have been better if I used a pre-made pie dough & put it into a pie plate; added the filling above & added the dough to the top too...the bisquick was a little spongy on top. My mom makes hers with the pre-made pie crust & uses a can of 'Veg All' with the can of Swanson chicken...you could always try that too!




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PEPPER STEAK


I am so excited that I finally got to make this dish! My mom made this for us growing up...and I just love it! It is so good, and even if you dont like steak you could always make a veggie version of this dish! I love the peppers w/ the sauce & rice....mmmmmm! I can't wait to call my mom, and let her know it came out just like hers ;) You will love this, I just know it!

Ingredients:
~1lb sirloin steak or top round; thinly sliced about 1/8" thick, cut into 2 inch strips
~2 green bell peppers; cut into thin strips
~1 yellow onion; cut into bite sized pieces
~1 cup bean sprouts
~2 cups beef bouillon
~1/4 cup vegetable oil
~1/2 tsp. ground ginger
~1 tsp. garlic powder or salt
~1 tbsp. granulated sugar
~2 tbsp. cornstarch
~4 tbsp. soy sauce (I used low sodium)
~1 cup uncooked rice (I used Basmati rice, & substituted beef bouillon for the water)

Heat oil in large skillet until very hot. Add meat and stir-fry until nicely browned (dont worry about cooking all the way thru). Add the onion, water, garlic salt, and ginger. Bring mixture to a boil, cover & cook for about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers & sprouts, cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

Combine the sugar, corn starch, and soy sauce in a bowl & wisk together until well combined. Add this mixture to the meat and pepper mixture and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens.

Serve over steamed rice!



Sunday, November 9, 2008

CROCK POT CREAMY ITALIAN CHICKEN

I found this recipe on Cdkitchen while I was searching for crock pot recipes! It is even better the next day heated up for lunch!

Ingredients:
~1lb chicken breasts
~Italian dressing packet (I used 4 seasons Italian)
~1/4 cup of Water (I used Swanson chicken broth)
~1 8oz. package of cream cheese softened (I used fat free)
~1 can of Cream of Chicken soup (I used Healthy Request low sodium)
~I added chopped onions to this recipe & you can also add garlic too)
~Egg noodles or pasta (I used Healthy Harvest wheat egg noodles)

Coat bottom of crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Add chicken breasts; stir together chicken broth & italian dresssing packet & pour over chicken breasts. Cook on low for about 5 hours. Stir together cream cheese & soup, add to crock pot & cook for an additional hour. (I added the onion & garlic to this step). Serve over egg noodles or any kind of pasta!

CHICKEN FAJITAS & MEXICAN DIP


My sister was staying over on Friday night, and she requested my Chicken Fajitas for dinner! They are honestly super simple, but everyone loves them! I also made the fabulous cheese dip, that originated at family parties...it is the same recipe foodislove has on her blog, but I started using fat free cream cheese, 98% fat free Turkey chili & 2% taco cheese! So now I dont feel so guilty making it all the time ;)

Ingredients:
~1lb chicken breasts (I used Tyson thin chicken breasts)
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~2 garlic cloves, minced
~1 med onion
~1 green & red bell pepper
~2 tbsp. Teriyaki sauce (I use low sodium)
~shredded taco cheese (I use 2% milk taco cheese)
~sour cream (I use light)
~salsa
~tortillas or taco shells (I use Mission low carb, or wheat tortillas)

Cut chicken into strips. Heat a frying pan with the evoo & minced garlic over med. heat; saute garlic for approx 15 seconds, add chicken & cook each side thru for approx 4 minutes on each side until browned.

Meanwhile, cut the onion & peppers; and place in another large frying pan in evoo. Add teryaki sauce to taste. Saute the veggies on medium heat until onions are clear. When chicken is done, add the chicken & left over garlic & oil to the veggies. Let cook for another few minutes. Serve with warm tortillas & toppings! Yummmy!

The Dip:
~1 8oz. package of cream cheese softened (I used fat free)
~1 can of Hormel Chili (I used the 98% fat free Turkey Chili w/o beans)
~1 cup of shredded taco cheese (I used Kraft 2% milk taco cheese)
~tortilla chips (We like the Tostito's Wheat Multi-grain tortilla chips) highly recommend!!

Spread the cream cheese on the bottom of a microwave safe dish (glass pie plate); spread the chili over the top, & cook in microwave until bubbling (approx 2 1/2 minutes). Add shredded cheese & place in microwave until cheese is melted.
Serve hot with tortilla chips, Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

VEGETABLE NOODLES ROMANOFF

Tonight I did not feel like cooking...so I searced the web, and came across this recipe & modified it a little with what I had in the frig! This was super easy, and soooo good!!

Ingredients:
~3 cups cooked egg noodles (I used healthy harvest wheat egg noodles)
~1 cup cottage cheese (I used an 8oz. fat free cream cheese)
~1 cup sour cream (I used light)
~1/4 cup finely chopped white onion (I also added chopped tomato)
~1 clove garlic minced (I used 3 cloves)
~1 - 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I used 1 tbsp.)
~4 drops Tabasco sauce (I used a few dashes of chili powder)
~1/2 tsp. salt (I omitted & used ground pepper)
~1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar (I used grated white cheddar & some shredded parmesan)
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package. Meanwhile, place saucepan over medium heat with garlic & extra virgin olive oil. Add onion & saute for approx. 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, sour cream, worcestershire sauce, pepper, chili pepper & tomato; heat in saucepan until cheese is melted. Add cooked egg noodles to mixture; stir until well coated.

Combine all ingredients into a greased square baking dish. Pour mixture into pan, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese on top. Cook in oven until cheeses are melted for approx. 15 minutes.



Monday, November 3, 2008

ROASTED CHICKEN TENDERS



I found this recipe on Eating Well, while I was looking for healthy chicken recipes. It sounded good, and I had all the stuff to make it in the house (even better!) I served it with chicken & broccoli rice...it was seriously delish!

Ingredients:
~1 lb chicken tenders (I used Tyson thinly sliced chicken breasts)
~1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
~3 tbsp. lemon juice
~2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic (I usually use fresh, but I used jar garlic tonight instead)
~2 tbsp. finely chopped oregano (I used 1 tsp. of dried)
~2 tbsp. finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers (I omited & used 1/2 red bell pepper)
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1/2 tsp. salt
~1 red, yellow, orange bell pepper (I used green pepper)
~1/2 medium onion

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, jalapenos if using (I also thought of adding artichokes), oil & salt in bowl & coat bottom of 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Spread half the mixture on bottom of pan & add chicken pieces on top; pour rest of mixture over top & coat pieces. Add the bell pepper & onion; toss to coat (I made sure some veggies were under chicken pieces too). Make sure the mixture is spread evenly in pan. (I also drizzled extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar over pieces at this step); cover pan with foil. Bake until the chicken is cooked through & no longer pink in the middle (approx 30 minutes).

I suggest eating over the Lipton Chicken & Broccoli rice...It was fantastic! I also served with a side of mixed green salad w/ sun dried tomato feta!



Sunday, November 2, 2008

FETA & ONION OMELETTES


Chad and I love to make breakfast on the weekends! I like to make these omelettes with whatever veggies we have left over in the fridge from the week. This morning I made egg white omelettes with feta cheese & scallions...but you can use whatever cheeses you have & toppings!

Ingredients:
~2-3 eggs (We use Eggland's best egg whites)
~handful of veggies (We used green onion, but I also like to add tomato, green pepper or onion)
~handful of your fav cheese (We used feta this time, but also use taco or cheddar)
~dash of garlic powder
~dash of ground pepper

Add eggs & veggies and mix in a bowl with fork. Add the pepper & garlic powder to taste. Heat frying pan on medium heat, and pour egg mixture into pan. Before the mixture becomes solid ~ add the cheese to center and fold over each side, to make an omelette shape. Flip over evenly on each side, until cheese is melted and serve!


Saturday, November 1, 2008

CROCK POT CHICKEN CACCIATORE


Yet another recipe for the crock pot! You will see a lot of these coming thru in the future ;)
Again, DH and I love chicken so we cook with it very often! I already had all the ingredients in our kitchen for this so it was really easy!

Ingredients:
~Approx 3 chicken breasts (I used frozen med size)
~2 onions, sliced thin
~1 can of chopped tomatoes
~1 8oz. can tomato sauce
~1 tsp. salt
~1/4 tsp. pepper
~1 - 2 tsp. crushed oregano
~1/2 tsp. basil
~1 (40z.) can mushrooms (I omited & used red & green bell pepper)
~1/4 cup cooking white wine
~Spaghetti noodles or rice (I used Barilla PLUS, thin spaghetti noodles)

Spread chopped onion slices on bottom of crock pot (I used those slow cooker liners & tried them out tonight, they worked great!) Place frozen chicken breasts over top of onions. Mix together everything but the cans of tomatoes & tomato sauce & pour over chicken. Add all the tomato ingredients & cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. I cooked these on HIGH for about 5 hours. If you use unfrozen cut up chicken breasts, cookoking time can be reduced.

Serve over spahetti or rice!


Friday, October 31, 2008

HOT SPICED SANGRIA

I took this picture 5 days after...I put the leftovers in a pitcher, and drank it over ice! Mmmm;)
I started looking for this recipe once I heard some of the girls talking about it on the KNOT (iheartkieth) LOL! I found this recipe on The Food Network, and immediately new I wanted to make it for Halloween eve for DH and I.
Since I had Chicken Cacciatore in the crock pot, I mixed all the ingredients in a pot over the stove...and left it on low after I let it simmer for an hour.

Ingredients:
~2 (750 milliliter) bottles of Rioja (Spanish Red Wine) I used Boones Farm Sangria ~ red wine, since it was $3.50 a bottle...The spanish wine was $15 a bottle! A good friend of mine suggested Boones, since her family makes Sangria often:)
~1 cup brandy
~1 bag frozen cherries
~1 bag frozen peaches
~1 orange, sliced
~2 cinnamon sticks
~1 cup simple syrup, recipe below
~Orange peel for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Put setting on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce to warm to hold temp. Ladle into glasses from slow cooker. Be sure to include some fruit in the glass ;) Garnish with orange peel.

Simple Syrup:
~1 cup sugar (I would only use 1/2 cup)
~1 cup water (I would only use 1/2 cup)
~1 orange, zested
Combine the sugar, water & zest in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, simmer for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.

Enjoy;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

GARLIC CHICKEN STIR FRY


I found this recipe on cooks.com, and modified it to our liking...
I usually make a stir fry once a week for us...Chad and I love chicken & garlic, so I decided to do this tonight & use my stir frying skills!

Ingredients:
~1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed (I use Tyson thin sliced chicken breasts)
~4-6 garlic cloves, minced (I looove fresh garlic, I used 6 cloves!)
~4-6 baby carrots, sliced thin
~1 small red bell pepper
~2 green onions
~2 cup broccoli (I steamed & used as side dish, with parmesan cheese)
~1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. white cooking wine
~2 tbsp. water
~4 tsp. lite soy sauce
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~2 tsp. cornstarch
~1/2 tsp. white pepper
~white cheddar for garnish (I use grated Black Diamond aged white cheddar) We use this on top of all our stir fry's...yummy!
~1 cup cooked rice (I use Basmati white rice)

Over medium heat: in oil, stir fry garlic for 15 seconds. Add chicken cubes, & stir fry for approx 5 minutes or until nearly done. Add 2 tbsp. of wine & carrots/red peppers & stir for about a minute. Add broccoli if you wish at this step, I added the green onion. Stir in wine mixture. Stir fry 1 minute or until thick & bubbly, stirring constantly. Serve over hot rice or noodles!

Wine Mixture:
Combine 1/4 cup wine, water, soy sauce, cornstarch & white pepper.

mmmm delish!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

OMG POT ROAST


OMG! I love anything that I can cook in our Crock Pot...so I have done a lot of these Pot Roasts & they come out quite fabulous ;) Especially b/c I work 10 hour days, I throw it all together in the morning before work...so all I have to do when I get home is make the side dishes!

I only had pearl onions to add to the Roast this morning, but it was still really yummy! I served the roast with garlic mash potatoes & corn. The roast just melts in your mouth it is so tender!

Ingredients:
~1 2-3 lb. English Roast/Beef Chuck Pot Roast
~Mixture of your fav veggies (I use a ½ bag of baby carrots)
~2 small onions chopped (I use a ½ bag of Birdseye pearl onions from freezer section)
~3/4 cup water
~1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce (I always add a little more to the roast)
~1 tsp. instant beef bouillon granules
~1 tsp. dried basil crushed
~1/4 tsp. salt

For the Gravy:
~1/2 cup water
~1/4 cup all-purpose flour
~pepper to taste
~beef bouillon to taste

Trim fat from meat. Coat bottom of Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray & add veggies to bottom of pot. Cut Roast to fit if needed, and place over veggies. Combine the 3/4 cups of water, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, basil, and salt in a small bowl. Pour over meat & add to crock pot. Add a few more dashes of Worcestershire sauce over meat. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10-12 hours, or on high-heat setting for 5-6 hours.

Before you are ready to serve, prepare the gravy. Measure juices from the crock pot. If necessary add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups. Set aside. In small bowl combine the 1/2 of water to the 1/4 cup flour mixture & add a little pepper to taste. Stir flour mixture into juices and place in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened & bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Add more beef bouillon to taste if needed. Serve gravy over roast, veggies & potatoes!







CHEESE & CRACKER SPREAD


This is a fabulous recipe for a party! I am sure you will love it just as much as we do!! You can also make it into a Cheese Ball if you wish ;)

Ingredients:
~1 5oz. jar of Kraft Old English Cheese Spread
~1 spoonful of Kraft Roka Blue Cheese Spread
~1 8oz. pkg. of Cream Cheese (I use 1/3 less fat or fat free)
~Green onion or small chopped pieces of Ham (I use green onion)
~1-2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese if your going to make into a cheese ball
~1 box of your favorite crackers (We like Wheat Thins Toasted Chips: Veggie Flavor)

Mix together the cheeses & cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Then add your garnish to the bowl, and stir slowly with large spoon until blended well. Refrigerate cheese in bowl for 4-6 hours, or overnight. You can then take a piece of wax paper &
roll cheese mixture into a ball; then roll the ball over shredded cheese of your choice (Cheddar or Colby Jack, etc.)

Put on platter & serve with your favorite crackers!

Enjoy;)

HEALTHY PUMPKIN MUFFINS



I found this recipe on lovestoeat food blog. I loves these little muffins, they are perfect for the Fall! I like to make them in the morning's, so Chad can take them to work...they have been a hit with the co-worker's too!

Ingredients:
~1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
~1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
~2 tsp. baking soda
~2 tsp. baking powder
~2 tsp. ground cinnamon or pumkin pie spice (I use 1 tsp. of each!)
~1/2 tsp. salt
~4 large eggs (I use Eggland's Best)
~2 cups granulated sugar (I have used Splenda)
~1 can (15 oz.) of Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
~1 cup Vegetable oil
~2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips (I use 1/2 or omit alltogether)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffins cups or use paper baking cups (I like the football theme ones this time of year ;)

Combine all the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & pumkin spice in medium bowl. Combine the eggs and sugar in large bowl first, then add the pumpkin & oil; mix well. Stir in the flour mixture slowly until moistened. Stir in morsels if you are using them. Spoon batter with laddle & fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pans.

Super YUMMY!!
Enjoy ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CREAM CHICKEN




This recipe has been passed down from my Grandmother. It is super easy & really good! This was my first recipe I perfected while I lived on my own...and I am happy to pass it on to you!

Ingredients:
~9.75 oz. Can of Swanson White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water
~4 tbl. Wondra Flour (Baking isle, it is great for making quick gravies & sauces)
~2 cups of Milk (I use Non-Fat)
~4 tbl. Butter or Margarine (I use "I can't believe it's not Butter")
~1 tsp. Pepper
~1/4 tsp. Salt (I omit & use the chicken seasoning)
~1-2 tsp. Chicken Seasoning (I use Frankenmuth Chicken Seasoning!)
~1-2 tsp. Chicken Bullion to taste
~Egg Noodles (I use Healthy Harvest Wheat Egg noodles)

To make the White Sauce, you can follow the steps on the back of the Wondra Flour can:

In saucepan combine all the ingredients (except the can of Chicken). Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir a minute, then add the can of chicken including the broth and leave simmer. I simmer for about 20 minutes, so the chicken is heated thru.

While the White Sauce is simmering prepare the egg noodles.
Serve over warm egg noodles, wheat toast or any kind of noodles you wish!

Enjoy :)