Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Lemon Rice Soup


This was so good & super easy!! I have a love affair with Chicken Lemon Rice Soup...or anything with lemon & chicken in it ;) I found this recipe & altered it a little to make a soup consistency & it worked out perfect. For leftovers, just add a little chicken broth to make the broth thinner while you are warming it up. Enjoy ;)

ingredients:
~1 cup long grain converted white rice
~1 small onion, diced (you can add celery too)
~2 Tbsp. olive oil
~8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
~1/2 cup dry white wine
~1/2 cup chicken broth
~1 cup fresh lemon juice (I added a little cooking Sherry as well)
~1 dash Tabasco sauce
~1/3 c. milk
~6 boneless chicken breasts
~salt and pepper to taste (I added 1 tsp. of pepper & lemon pepper)
Put first 9 ingredients in slow cooker. Stir. Place chicken breasts on top. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.
Serves 6.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Ginger Snaps EVER!!!


Merry Christmas week everyone!! I hope you all are having a great time off & enjoying your families ;) It has been a crazy last couple of weeks, and I have to admit that I am really not proud that there is absolutely NO ornaments on our Christmas tree yet! I have had no motivation to put them up....especially since our puppy Chloe will try to eat them! She will be 5 months old already this week! Anyway, I will have the next couple of days off and I will hope to blog some more recipes...especially for New Year's Eve, when we will have some people over to reveal our updated basement!! (which is why our house is a little torn up right now)

Well we had our annual Christmas cookie party on Sunday with my mom & aunts...I made Ginger Snaps & Peanut Butter kisses....mmmm I think I ate all the ginger snaps myself when I got home with my huge container of cookies!! Enjoy - Pictures to come!

I doubled this recipe to make approx. 100 cookies

ingredients:
~1 cup sugar
~¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
~1 egg
~¼ cup molasses
~2 cups unsifted flour
~2 teaspoons soda
~½ teaspoon salt
~½ teaspoon cinnamon
~¼ teaspoon ground cloves
~¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375°. Cream sugar and butter. Beat in egg and molasses. Stir in remaining ingredients until well mixed. If desired, chill dough for easier handling. Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll balls in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Makes about 48 cookies.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Beer Cheese Dip

Perfect for a Holiday Party!! My mom gave me this recipe from her friend Karen...enjoy!!

~2 8 oz pkg. cream cheese softened
~1 envelope Dry Ranch dressing (Hidden Valley)
~1 can beer
~1 med. onion chopped really fine (more if you'd like)
~2-3 C. fancy finely shredded cheese

I use a mixer: Whip cream cheese until smooth, add onion, dry dressing, mix again. Add 1/2 can beer until consistency you'd like. Can add add'l beer if needed. Drink the remainder! lol Fold in shredded cheese until all mixed. Add more cheese to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours to blend flavors. Serve with pretzel crackers, or any kind of cracker, or serve in hollowed out bread and serve with bread from inside as well as crackers. Yummy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

crock pot creamy chicken & potato soup


It's that time of year again to enjoy the crock pot!! With us being so busy lately, I am really trying to cook with the crock pot more...I love these recipes that just combine a bunch of things, but they come out tasting sooooo good! There is enough for lunch today and dinner tonight too ;) I combined 2 different recipes for this soup, enjoy!

ingredients:
~4 chicken breasts (I use frozen)
~1 1/4 c. chicken stock (depending on how thick you want the soup)
~1 can cream of chicken soup
~8oz. low fat cream cheese
~1 tsp. salt
~1 tsp. pepper
~1 tsp. poultry seasoning (I use Frankenmuth chicken seasoning)
~1 small white onion, chopped
~1 green pepper, cut into rings
~4 carrots or baby carrots, chopped (I omitted)
~12-15 small red potatoes, cut into quarters

Directions:
Coat bottom of crock pot with cooking spray. Cut veggies and add carrots to bottom if using. Place chicken on top, and add remainging veggies. Beat together chicken stock, soup, and cream cheese and pour over top. Add seasonings.
Cook on Low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken with forks before serving!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Turkey & Rice Casserole

yummmm, I never thought I would be a fan of casseroles until I made this! We had some leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving & my mother in law makes a similar dish to this with chicken...so that gave me the idea to use water chestnuts instead of mushrooms in this recipe (we dont like mushrooms!). I also used Rice instead of noodles too...I don't have a picture because we ate it all up to fast, it was sooo good & easy!

Ingredients:
~1 package (10 ounce) frozen peas, thawed under cool running water
~2 cups diced cooked turkey
~1 1/2 cups cooked noodles (I used 1 cup cooked Basmati Rice)
~4 tbsp. butter or margarine
~1/4 cup chopped onion
~8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I subbed with Water Chestnuts)
~1 can (10 1/2-ounce) cream of mushroom soup (I used Cream of Chicken)
~1/2 cup milk
~salt, to taste (I added pepper as well)
~1/4 teaspoon curry powder
~1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I used Frankenmuth Chicken Seasoning)
~1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preparation:
Combine turkey, rice, and peas in a buttered 2-quart baking dish or casserole. Melt all butter in a saucepan. Sauté onion and mushrooms (water chestnuts) until tender; blend in soup, milk and seasonings and cook, stirring, until well blended and hot. Pour soup mixture over the turkey and noodle mixture; top with shredded cheese. Bake in a 350° oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.Serves 4.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crock Pot Asian Beef with Mandarin Oranges


BEST Crock Pot meal EVER!! So tasty, and so easy...instread of browning the meat & pre-cooking veggies, I just threw everything in the Crock Pot and cooked on low for approx 9 hours. I bought the already sliced beef for stir-fry at Kroger & threw that in first and then followed with the veggies & it turned out fantastic!!! LOVE the Crock Pot, so easy! I got this recipe from my friend Amy, who got it on family.go.com...You definitely need to make this one, perfect for the winter too!

Hands-On Time: 25 minutes
Ready In: 10 hours (LOW) or 5 to 6 hours (HIGH)
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
~2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I omitted)
~2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1⁄2-inch strips (I used stir-fry beef already pre-cut)
~1 small onion, thinly sliced
~1⁄3 cup soy sauce (I used light)
~1⁄4 teaspoon salt
~2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (I used fresh jar kind)
~1 small green bell pepper, sliced
~1 package (about 3 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, sliced (I omitted)
~1 head bok choy, cleaned and chopped (I omitted)
~1 can (5 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
~2 tablespoons corn starch (I used a little more to make sauce thick)
~1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained and syrup reserved
~2 cups beef broth
~6 cups steamed rice (I used Basmati Rice & subbed a cup of water for Beef Stock)

Directions:
Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning to brown all sides. Transfer beef to 4 1⁄2-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker as it is browned. (I omitted this step & just coated bottom of crock pot with cooking spray & threw the uncooked meat in)

Add onion to same skillet. Stir over medium heat until softened. Add next soy sauce, salt, ginger, green pepper, mushrooms, bok choy and water chestnuts and cook until bok choy is wilted, about 5 minutes. Spoon mixture over beef. (I just threw all of this on top of the uncooked beef in Crock Pot).

Whisk together corn starch and reserved mandarin orange syrup in medium bowl. Stir in beef broth and pour over ingredients in CROCK-POT® slow cooker. (Again, added this as the last step alltogether)

Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or until beef is tender.
Stir in mandarin oranges. Spoon steamed rice into shallow serving bowl and spoon beef over rice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup


WOW!! I got this recipe from Lazy Houswife's Blog....This soup was probably one of the best I have made myself so far...the hubby loved it too! This recipe makes a TON, so I suggest halving the recipe if you don't want to eat it for 3 days in a row! I also added lemon juice to this recipe, because I found that it ended up a little bland and then I just added more pepper/salt & lemon juice. We paired we grilled cheese panini's (Sourdough Bread, Cheddar & Swiss Cheeses).
Serves 8
Ingredients
~3 chicken breasts
~Olive oil (I used evoo, extra virgin)
~Butter (this is for the chicken & veggies it is not included in the cup you use for the Roux)
~1 1/2 cups chopped celery1 1/2 cups chopped onion
~1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
~2 cloves of garlic, minced
~1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used Basmati)
~3 1/4 cups chicken broth
~1/4 cup sherry
~1/4 cup lemon juice
~1 cup butter (2 sticks, I used Margarine)
~1/2 cup all-purpose flour
~4 cups milk, divided (I used all of the milk because it ended up thick, pouring in a 1/2 c. at a time)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Melt approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter each in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts until done, turning once, about 5 minutes each side. Set aside and let cool.
2. Add additional butter and olive oil to the pan. Add celery, onions, carrots, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned bits.
3. In a stockpot over high heat, add vegetable mixture, chicken broth, and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (I simmered for appox. 22 minutes), or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slowly add the flour, stirring often, to make a roux. Add 4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup at a time, while constantly stirring. Add this and the chicken to the rice mixture and return the rice mixture to the stovetop over low heat. (**I added the Sherry & Lemon Juice here, you might want to add a little at a time & taste test first) (If the soup seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining 2 cups of milk.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Garlic Chicken Ranch Pizza

ingredients:
~1 large pizza dough, uncooked (fresh, frozen, or whatever you like best)
~3/4 c. ranch dressing (we used Hidden Valley light ranch)
~2 cloves garlic, crushed
~2 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
~1/2 c. bacon, cooked and crumbled (we omitted)
~2-3 sliced tomatoes
~1 c. chicken, cooked (**I like to rub the chicken with olive oil and generously sprinkle with Montreal Chicken Seasoning on both sides. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.), cut into cubes.


Pre-heat oven to 350.
Mix ranch dressing and crushed garlic together then spread evenly on the pizza dough. Sprinkle a little cheese over the ranch dressing then add chicken and bacon. Sprinkle more of the cheese over that, add the tomatoes, then add the remaining cheese. Put in the oven for about 12-15 minutes (or until crust is a nice golden-brown). Top with parsley or basil flakes if desired.

OMG Pumpkin Pie Bars

These are AMAZING!! Seriously. Just go make them now!! This recipe was adapted from Kraft Foods. Everyone loved them, even my non-sweet eating brother-in-law!!

Ingredients:
For the crust and topping:
~1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
~¼ cup granulated sugar
~½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
~12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I used margarine)
~1 cup old-fashioned oats
~½ cup chopped pecans
For the filling:
~8 oz. cream cheese, softened
~½ cup granulated sugar
~3 large eggs
~1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin pie filling
~1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
~1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the foil. Combine the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork. Add the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats and chopped pecans.
Reserve 1 cup of the crust mixture and set aside. Add the remaining crust mixture to the prepared baking pan and press onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake the crust alone in the oven for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well combined.
Once the crust has been removed from the oven, pour the filling into the pan and smooth over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice and serve.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green Pizza

I found this recipe on Eating Well.
This sounded really good and healthy, and the hubby loves Broccoli!

Ingredients:
~1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
~2 cups chopped broccoli florets
~1/4 cup water
~5 ounces arugula ,any tough stems removed, chopped (about 6 cups) **use Spinach instead of Arugula if you do not like**
~Pinch of salt
~Freshly ground pepper to taste
~1/2 cup prepared pesto
~1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preparation:
Position oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli and water in a large skillet over medium heat, covered, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread pesto evenly over the crust, top with the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Nutrition Facts:
Per serving: 323 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 19 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 511 mg sodium; 241 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (45% daily value), Calcium (34% dv), Vitamin A (31% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium fat meat, 1 1/2 fat

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I had been eyeing all the buffalo chicken pizza recipes going around and decided to try this one from Taste of Home...absolutely amazing, but very spicy & hot!! Yummm, I have leftover's for lunch ;)

Ingredients:
~1 tube (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
~1 cup buffalo wing sauce, divided
~1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2%)
~1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese (I used pizza cheese)
~2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
~1/2 teaspoon each garlic salt, pepper and chili powder
~2 tablespoons butter (I used Light)
~1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
~Celery sticks and blue cheese salad dressing

Directions:
Unroll pizza crust into a lightly greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; flatten dough and build up edges slightly. Bake at 400° for 7 minutes.


Brush dough with 3 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce. Combine cheddar and mozzarella cheeses; sprinkle a third over the crust. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the chicken, garlic salt, pepper and chili powder in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Add the remaining wing sauce; cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and remaining cheese.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.

Yield: 8 slices, 4 servings. Wing Sauce.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Turkey & Artichoke Stuffed Pasta Shells + Homemade Arrabbiatta Sauce

I got this recipe out of my Everyday Italian cookbook, but you can find it here.
These were really good, but I also think they would be perfect with Chicken too! These would be great to make for a dinner party as well because they make so much, and you only need about 2-3 to get you full! I halved this recipe below to make 4 servings.

Ingredients:
~1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
~3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
~1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
~3 cloves garlic, chopped
~1 pound ground turkey
~1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
~1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
~1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
~1 (15-ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
~3/4 cup grated Parmesan
~2 eggs, lightly beaten
~1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
~2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions
5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)

Arrabbiata Sauce:
~2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
~6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
~2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
~2 garlic cloves, minced
~5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.

Yield: approximately 6 cups

Beef Fajitas

I got this recipe off of Belly Bytes I was in the mood for fajitas and wanted to do something other than chicken...these were really good, easy, & healthy!

ingredients:
~12 6-inch flour tortillas (I used wheat tortillas)
~1 pound top round beef steak cut into 3/4 inch julienne strips (I just buy the pre-cut stir fry meat)
~3 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
~3 tablespoons vegetable oil
~1/2 teaspoon cumin
~1/2 teaspoon salt
~1 clove garlic, pressed
~2 teaspoons lime juice
~2 medium sweet peppers (red, green or yellow), sliced
~1 medium onion, sliced into rings
Toppings:
~1/2 cup guacamole
~1/2 cup salsa or picante sauce
~1/2 cup sour cream, light
~1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Directions:
Combine wine, oil, cumin, salt, garlic and lime juice. Marinate meat for 2 to 3 hours.
Drain thoroughly. Over medium heat, in a large skillet, brown meat with peppers and onions.
Warm tortillas and serve immediately with meat mixture and toppings.
Recipe makes 6 (2 fajitas each) servings.
One serving (two fajitas) provides approximately: 519 calories, 26 g protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 25 g fat (8 g saturated), 63 mg cholesterol, 108 mcg folate, 4 mg iron, 714 mg sodium.

Monday, October 12, 2009

White Chicken Lasagna


I got this recipe off of Lindsay's blog....it looked & sounded fantastic!! I also halved the recipe & used an 8x8 glass baking dish.

ingredients:
~3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

~1 shallot, minced
~3 tbsp butter (I used light butter)
~4 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
~2 cans cream of chicken soup (I used healthy request)
~1- 8oz. package cream cheese (I used 1/3 reduced fat)
~2 cups sour cream (I used light)
~2/3 cup milk (I forgot to add!)
~1 lb. lasagna noodles, cooked & rinse in cold water (I used Barilla no-bake)
~1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated (I used a combo of fresh grated Parmesan & Mozzerella)

directions:
1. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, brown shallots & garlic in butter. Add cream cheese, cream soup, sour cream & milk. Stir until cream cheese is melted. Add chicken.2. In a 9x13 glass baking dish layer noodles, white sauce with chicken, then cheese. Repeat steps, ending with mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes


From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutesCook: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
~3 tablespoon olive oil

~4 skinless, boneless chicken breast half (about 1 pound)
~1 shallot, finely chopped
~1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)
~3/4 cup water
~1/4 cup thinly-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
~1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
~2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
~4 cup hot cooked extra wide egg noodles
~1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
~Thinly-sliced fresh basil leaves (optional)

Directions:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir the soup, water, tomatoes, vinegar and chopped basil in the skillet.
Return the chicken to the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken and sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with the cheese and sliced basil, if desired.
Cost per recipe: $7.58Cost per recipe serving: $1.90
Tip: You can substitute 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion for the shallot.
Nutrition Information
Using Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup : Calories 531, Total Fat 18g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 70mg, Sodium 670mg, Total Carbohydrate 55g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 34g, Vitamin A 10%DV, Vitamin C 7%DV, Calcium 4%DV, Iron 19%DV

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PEPPERY BEEF STIR-FRY


MMMM So good! I found this recipe in Taste of Home magazine. It is quite similar to my Pepper Steak recipe, but I think this is more richer...with just enough kick with the Cayenne Pepper! I served this over Basmati rice. Enjoy ;)

Ingredients:
~8 ounces uncooked linguine (I served over Basmati Rice)
~1 tablespoon cornstarch
~1 teaspoon pepper
~1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I didn't have so I used Chili Powder)
~1 cup water
~1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
~1-1/2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
~2 tablespoons canola oil
~1/2 cup julienned green pepper
~1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper
~2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
~2 cups fresh or frozen snow peas, thawed and halved (I omitted and added onion)
~2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

Directions: Cook linguine according to package directions; drain. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, pepper and cayenne. Stir in water and soy sauce until smooth; set aside.


In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry beef in hot oil for 4-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and set aside. Add the peppers and garlic; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the snow peas and mushrooms; stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.


Stir soy sauce mixture and add to vegetables. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beef and linguine; heat through.

Yield: 6 servings.



Nutrition Facts
One serving:
(1-1/3 cups)
Calories:
388
Fat:
12 g
Saturated Fat:
3 g
Cholesterol:
67 mg
Sodium:
879 mg
Carbohydrate:
36 g
Fiber:
3 g
Protein:
33 g
Diabetic Exchange:
3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

I PROMISE....

I have totally deserted my cooking blog!! UGH! It has been a VERY busy summer....between all the wedding for hair & makeup we have been doing on Friday's & Saturday's, it is so easy just to say "let's get takeout"!!! Really....I am not proud of this ;( I am really excited to start seeing a downtime in the wedding season after October hits, but this month we have 2 wedding-free weekends! I promised my husband I would cook tonight...so off to check some recipes in my new Cooking Light Mag!!! See you soon!! xoJ

CROCK POT LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN

Yummm this was so good!! The chicken was so tender when it was done, and it was so easy....threw it in the crock pot while I ran errands all day!

3 lb Chicken (I used 3 large chicken breasts)
1/2 c
Lemon juice
1/2 c
Garlic cloves; crushed
1 ts
Seasoned salt
1 ts Poultry
seasoning
2 ds
Tabasco
1 c
White wine

Skin and cut up chicken. Combine with other ingredients in crockpot. Set on low. Upon return from work, debone chicken. Serve over rice. If you freeze chicken pieces separately, and mix up other ingredients the night before, you can dump it all together quickly in the morning. And if you start with frozen chicken it doesnt fall apart.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Apple Coffee Cake

This recipe was adapted from the back of the Bisquick box a few years back. My Dad always made this on the weekends for us. It is sooooo good! You can use substitute the regular Bisquick, with the Healthy Heart lower fat Bisquick.

Serves 4

ingredients
Cake:
~2 c. of Bisquick mix
~2/3 c. of milk or water (I always use non-fat milk)
~2 tbsp. sugar
~1 egg
~1 tart green apple
Topping:
~1/3 c. Bisquick mix
~1/3 c. packed brown sugar
~1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
~4 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease an 8" square glass pan, or 9" round pan. Mix cake ingredients. Spread cake batter in pan. Insert apple slices into the batter evenly throughout the cake.

Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar & cinnamon. Spread topping over batter in pan. Add slices of butter over the top of the topping.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with toothpick.

Monday, July 13, 2009

spiced lemon chicken rice


My favorite recipe of the summer!! This was sooooo good!! I didn't have any carrots or raisins in the house, so I subbed them for almonds & chopped onion...mmmm the almonds were a perfect crunchy contrast to the lemon. I will definitely be making this again soon!

Adapted from SunMaid & Fitness Magazine

ingredients:
~3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 thin sliced + they cook faster)
~1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
~2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
~2 tsp cumin
~1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
~2 tsp lemon zest
~2 c. thinly sliced carrots (I subbed with onions)
~1/2 c. raisins (I subbed with slivered almonds)
~3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced (I used less dried, and added it to the rice first)
~3 c. long grain rice (I use Basmati Rice)

Directions:
Place rice in rice cooker and cook through, set aside.
-In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
-Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
-Add chicken breasts, breast side down and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
-Turn over and cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes additional.
-Add lemon juice and stir to combine.
-Cover, turn heat to medium low, and cook for 10 minutes.
-Add lemon zest and carrots and stir to combine.
-Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through (to internal temp of 175-180 degrees).
-Remove chicken, place on platter and cover with foil.
-Add raisins and parsley to pan and cook until plump, about 1 minute.
-Add cooked rice and stir to combine.
-Remove from heat and serve chicken over rice, Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

eggplant, tomato, & mozzarella stacks


I found this recipe on Hostess With The Mostess, I love this site! They have such great recipes and party ideas on there ;) I wanted to make some side dishes for a dinner I was making on Friday for some of my girlfriends...these were a hit! Everyone loved them, and they were even great the next day for leftovers! This would be a great side to any meat dish, I served with lemon mustard chicken & pasta salad. Enjoy!

ingredients:
~2 eggplants
~Salt and pepper (I also used garlic powder)
~4 tomatoes
~1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese (I used about 1 c. shredded)

Preheat the oven to 350º. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Cut each eggplant into 12 slices and place on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.

Cut each tomato into 6 slices.

Top each of the eggplant slices with a slice of tomato and sprinkle with some of the mozzarella cheese. Place half of the eggplant stacks on top of the other half of the stacks so each one has six layers.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

spaghetti pasta salad


Yummmmmm! Always a favorite in our house! My mom and Chad's mom make a version of this...so this is how it got passed down. I usually make it with Rotini noodles, but thought I would try this for something different...I also mix it up by using different Italian dressing flavors, enjoy!

ingredients:

~1 box of rotini or tri-colored rotini (I used the new Barilla whole wheat spaghetti noodles) They are really good!!

~small bottle of Italian dressing of your taste (I like making the 4 Season zesty italian...this time I used Kraft Tuscan Italian with parmesan) I would also try the Kraft greek dressing with Parmesan, super yummy!

~1/2 bottle of McCormick salad supreme seasoning

~1 small onion, chopped

~1 green pepper, chopped

~1/2 carton of cherry tomatoes, chopped

Cook noodles according to package, I always cook them al dente so they are not mushy ~ this is another reason to try whole wheat or Barilla Plus pasta ;) Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water - set aside.

Cut all veggies into bite-size pieces.

Add pasta to large bowl, and throw in cut veggies in with the pasta.

Add 1/2 of the dressing and 1/2 of the seasoning...combine well. Add the rest of the seasoning and more of the Italian dressing. I keep tasting it to make sure I don't put to much of both...you might only need 3/4 of the dressing. Adjust to taste, refrigerate first if desired.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

guest blogger: pork lo mein

Guest Blogger: Coco Kapusta (My mom!)
My mom tried this new recipe out, and wanted to share it with you all! She even made it for me last weekend, so I could try it first before I blogged it (awwwww!) This was fantastic! We hardly eat pork, because we are always making chicken dishes. But I am definitely going to make this for Chad soon....I bet it would be great for leftover's too! It uses whole wheat linguini noodles, and lite-soy. Better yet it is a Weight Watcher's recipe too! I know you will love it, my dad is obsessed...enjoy ;)

ingredients:
~8 oz. lean pork tenderloin, cut in thin 1/4-inch-wide strips
~3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
~1 tbsp. minced garlic

~2 tbsp. ginger root, fresh, minced
~8 oz. uncooked linguini (she used Barilla whole wheat linguini)
~1/8 tsp. table salt, or to taste (for cooking pasta)
~1/2 cup(s) carrot(s), thinly sliced
~1 tsp. canola oil
~4 oz button mushrooms, or shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
~1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
~1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
~1/3 cup(s
) scallion(s), sliced

instructions:
In a medium bowl, toss pork with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, garlic and ginger; let stand 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook linguini in a large pot of lightly salted water according to package direction; add carrots to pot 5 minutes before linguini will be done. Drain; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add mushrooms and pork. Increase heat to high; stir-fry until mushrooms release their liquid and become lightly browned, and pork is cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Add drained linguini and carrots, broth, remaining tablespoon of soy sauce and sesame oil to skillet; toss over low heat until combined. Remove from heat and stir in scallions; serve immediately. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

POINTS®
Value: 7
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 20 min

refreshing summer drink!

Yummmm! I was trying to find something refreshing to drink to go with the asparagus stir-fry...so we had some cranberry juice in the fridge. I just wanted to share this easy drink, which you prob already have in the fridge! It beats plain old water with dinner ;)

ingredients:
~sugar free cranberry juice
~lemon slice
~ice

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

chicken + asparagus stir-fry



We had some left over aspargus that we needed to cook from the weekend...+ chicken, obviously ;) So I googled chicken & asparagus and found this....perfect!! It was soooo yummy! I loved the lemony flavor it gave to the aspargus!

Ingredients:
~3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
~3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
~1 tsp grated lemon zest
~1 tsp cornstarch
~3/4 pound chicken breasts, cut into strips
~1 tbsp canola oil
~2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
~4 scallions, cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
~1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch diagonal pieces
~1 carrot, julienned
~long grain rice (We like Basmati rice)

Prep:
In a glass dish, stir together soy sauce, lemon juice and zest, and cornstarch. Add chicken pieces and coat well with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add garlic and fry until softened. Reserving the marinade, add chicken followed by the scallions, asparagus and carrots. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.

Add marinade and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Serves 4.

Per Serving: Calories 160, Calories from Fat 40, Total Fat 4.6g (sat 0.8g), Cholesterol 49mg, Sodium 461mg, Carbohydrate 8.1g, Fiber 2g, protein 22g

Friday, June 5, 2009

chicken kabobs



These were soooo easy! We wanted to make something simple tonight & we already had some chicken thawed...so we cut up some veggies & threw these on the grill ;)

~1 lb. chicken breast strips; cut into bite size pieces
~assorted veggies; ie. onions, green pepper, tomatoes, etc.
~lime juice
~ground black pepper to taste
~lemon pepper seasoning (or your own fav seasonings) to taste
~olive oil cooking spray

Cut veggies & chicken into bite size pieces. Season chicken with ground pepper & seasonings.

Place veggies on kabob stick. Spray pieces with olive oil spray. Place kabobs on grill & splash some lime juice over chicken & veggies. (We also added beer) Turn kabobs & add more lime juice. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

lemon chicken pasta

Ok, as you might have noticed lately....I am obsessed with lemon, garlic, and oregano...yummmm, my favorite thing right now with chicken! This was super easy to make! I am excited for leftover's for lunch tomorrow!

Serves 4

ingredients:
~1 lemon (I used 2 tbsp. lemon juice)
~1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour)
~1 1/4-1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
(I used 1 tsp of Frankenmuth chicken seasoning & 1 tsp of lemon pepper seasoning & a few dashes of oregano)
~1 1/2 lbs chicken
, thin sliced cutlets
~1/4 cup garlic butter (I used 4 tbsp of light butter & 2 garlic cloves minced)
~8 ounces penne pasta
(I use the Barilla Plus Penne)
~2 teaspoons chicken base (I used chicken stock)
~3/4 cup white wine (I used cooking sherry because it was all I had)

~1/2 cup whipping cream (I used fat free half & half)

Cut lemon in half and set aside.(Or could sub 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice.).
Fill Large saucepan 1/2 full of water. Cover and bring to boil on high heat for pasta.
Preheat large saute pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes.
Place flour and seasoned salt in zip-top bag; shake to mix. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then add to bag and shake to coat the chicken, make sure to get all the flour mix absorbed by chicken.
Put the garlic & butter in saute pan and then add the chicken, reduce heat to medium. Cook several minutes to brown and until no longer pink.
Add pasta to boiling water; cook 6-8 minutes or to your liking.

Stir chicken base into chicken; cook 2 minutes. Squeeze juice from lemon into chicken; stir in wine and cream. Reduce heat to low; cook 4-5 minutes.
Drain pasta and stir into chicken mixture.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

stuffed spinach + ricotta pasta shells

Tonight I really out did myself ;) My husband requested stuffed pasta shells, so I wanted to look for a recipe that used creamy tomato sauce instead of regular...while searching for this, I stumbled upon this recipe & decided to try it out! Only to realize it took me a good 2 hours to prepare everything...but it was worth it!! These were super yummy, and made enough for my husband to eat all weekend while I am away in Vegas with my girlfriends!! I found it on group recipes, and modified a little to our liking ;)

Makes 10 servings: Cut recipe in half to make 5 servings)

ingredients:

For Shells:
~1 box jumbo pasta shells (cooked al dente)
~2c. ricotta cheese (16oz.)
~1c. parmesan cheese
~1c. mozzarella
~1 10 oz. box chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
~1/2t. minced garlic
~2 eggs
~1/3c. finely minced onion
~1t. red pepper flakes
~2T. balsamic vinegar
~2T. honey (I omitted)

For Meat Sauce:
~1/3c. olive oil
~2large onions minced
~4 slices beacon chopped (I added the pre-cooked bacon & cooked until crisp)
~2t. minced garlic
~1lb. sausage (I omitted)
~2lb. ground chuck (I used 1lb.)
~1 1/2c. red wine (I used 3/4c.)
~3 large cans crushed tomatoes (I used only 2 large cans)
~1 small can tomato paste
~2t. dried basil
~1t. dried oregano
~1t. dried rosemary (I omitted)
~4T. balsamic vinegar (I omitted)

For Topping:
~1c. parmesan grated
~1c. shredded mozzarellaDirections

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil Shells and drain; set aside on wax paper to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl mix all filling ingredients till well incorporated
stuff each shell very full and lay in extra large casserole or lasagna pan; Set aside

For Sauce:
Add olive oil to a large stock pot
Add onions and cook till light carmel color
Add chopped beacon, cook till crisp
Add garlic cook 2-3 min.
Add sausage and ground chuck and cook just till all pink is gone
Add red wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer 60 min stirring often
In the last 15 min add balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano,rosemary, and honey
You may choose here to add enough spices to suit your own personal taste
Pour a layer of sauce on bottom of glass dish. Place stuffed shells in bottom of pan over sauce; pur remainder of sauce over the stuffed shells. (I didnt use all the tomato sauce, I froze the rest)
Sprinkle cheeses on top

Bake for about 45 min or until top is golden

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

oatmeal blueberry applesauce muffins


It's been awhile!! I have been so busy, I have no idea where the time went!! I can't believe it will be our 1st year anniversary next weekend! Married life is fabulous, and NO we are not trying to have kids just yet...we are enjoying our time together, and we are both very busy right now with our jobs & other commitments. We don't even have a dog yet, LOL!


I apologize for the lack of dinner recipes, but I have been making baked, grilled, or broiled chicken for dinner most nights because we get home too late. Also, I have been talking to the nutritionist at the gym & I am trying to cut out carbs after 5pm, so no more rice & pasta late at night ;( I have been trying to eat a healthy full lunch, so in the evening I just eat protein if I can (like protein shakes, grilled chicken & salads)...afterall it is the start of bikini season isn't it??!! LOL! ;)

I wanted to make something healthy to grab for breakfast this week, so I made these yummy muffins. This recipe caught my eye on Annie's Eats, and I knew I wanted to make them. They are healthy (they use whole wheat flour), and are great to eat with some fruit in the AM if you are in a hurry....like I always am in the morning, I never have time to scramble eggs or sit down for a bowl of cereal!

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
~1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
~1 1/4 cups oats
~1 tsp. baking powder
~1/2 tsp. baking soda
~1/4 tsp. salt
~1/2 tsp. cinnamon
~1 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used cinnamon applesauce)
~1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
~1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
~2 tbsp. canola oil
~1 large egg, lightly beaten
~3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (I highly recommend fresh!)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl combine the applesauce, buttermilk, brown sugar, oil and egg. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the applesauce mixture. Stir together just until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

panko garlic chicken


I have to admit that the crock pot dinner I started this morning...did not make it until 6pm tonight :( The chicken was about the size of a 1/2 dollar, after I opened the lid. OMG what happened?? It turned black & shrunk & was to tough to eat, so I had to throw it all away! So....thank god I had some more chicken in the fridge at this point, so I put together this recipe from Recipezaar with panko breadcrumbs. I served with chicken & broccoli rice.

Ingredients:
~5 tablespoons butter
(I used light)
~2 cloves garlic
, minced (I used 3 cloves)
~3/4 cup panko
(I also added some italian breadcrumbs in the mix)
~1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
(I used 1/3 reduced fat)
~1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
(optional)
~salt and pepper (I added some pepper)
~1 1/4-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts


In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; as butter starts to melt, add minced garlic into the saucepan.
Once butter has melted, remove from heat and pour garlic butter mixture into a low flat dish, like a soup plate or pie pan.
In another low, flat dish, combine panko, parmesan, and parsley if using (some kids don't like green bits in their food, so feel free to leave out); add salt and pepper to suit your tastes.
Preheat oven to 400F; have ready a baking pan that's been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Remove chicken tenderloin from breasts and leave whole, then cut breasts crosswise into strips.
Roll chicken pieces into garlic butter, then completely dredge in panko mixture; place on prepared baking pan.
Should you have any panko mixture left over when you are done, sprinkle over chicken strips; should you have any melted butter left over, pour over chicken.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through.

Monday, April 13, 2009

dijon chicken

WOW this was soooo good! I had some chicken, and my mom gave me a Taste of Home magazine this past weekend with this recipe in it...We had all the ingredients already, so I thought I would give this a try. The sauce is a little tangy, and went perfect with the white rice ;)

ingredients:
~1/3 c. prepared Ranch salad dressing (I used Hidden Valley light ranch)
~1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
~2 boneless skinless breasts (or 4 thin sliced)
~2 tbsp. light butter or margerine
~3 tbsp. white wine or chicken broth
~Hot cooked pasta or white rice (I used basmati rice & substituted chicken broth for the water)

In a small bowl combine the ranch dressing & the dijon mustard; mix & set aside.
In a large skillet, cook chicken in butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken & keep warm (I cut in strips after it had been cooked)

Add wine to skillet; cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Whisk in mustard mixture; cook & stir until heated thru. I added the chicken strips back to the pan & mixed all together with the sauce. Serve over rice or pasta; sprinkle with reduced fat parmesan cheese if desired ;)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

whole wheat tortellini in tomato cream sauce


Yum! I made this tonight, because I thought we should have a meat-free dinner. I love these little wheat tortellini's! BTW, they now have whole wheat ravioli's with chicken & prosciutto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store!

ingredients:
~1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
~1 c. half-and-half
~2 cloves garlic, pressed
~1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted)
~1/4 tsp. black pepper
~1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
~1 tbsp. dried basil
~1 (9 ounce) package of 100% whole wheat three cheese tortellini)

~1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan combine pasta sauce, half and half, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and basil. Simmer over low heat for 45 to 50 minutes; do not boil.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. (Spray olive oil cooking spray in pot of water to prevent sticking) Add pasta and gently boil for 7 to 9 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Toss pasta with sauce and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately ;)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

basil chicken in coconut-curry sauce


mmmmm!!! This was different, and so good! Especially the next day for leftovers at lunch ;) I love curry...so I thought I would give this a try. I found this in my Better Homes & Gardens cook book.
ingredients:
~4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used 4 thin sliced)
~2 tsp. curry powder
~1/2 tsp. salt
~1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
~1/4 tsp. chili powder
~1 large red onion, chopped
~5 cloves garlic, minced
~2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped
(I omitted & used 1/2 tsp. red crushed pepper)
~1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 13 1/2- 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
(I used lite coconut milk)
~1 tbsp. corn startch
~3 tbsp. snipped fresh basil
~1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (I used the jarred kind)
~3 cups hot cooked rice (I made 1 cup uncooked)
Cut chicken pieces into 1 inch pieces. Place chicken in a med. bowl. In a small bowl stir together the curry powder, salt, black pepper, and chili pepper. Sprinkle spice mixture over chicken & toss to coat evenly. Cover & marinate in frig for 1-2 hours. (I just placed everything in zip loc freezer bag & left for an 1/2 hour while I prepared everything else.
Coat large wok or skillet with cooking spray. Stir in onion, garlic & jalapeno's in hot oil over med-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove onion mixture & add chicken, cooking until no longer pink. (add more evoo if necessary). Remove chicken from wok (I skipped this step).
Combine cocnut milk & cornstarch. Carefully add to the wok. Cook & stir until slightly thickened & bubbly. Return chicken & onion mixture to wok. Add basil & ginger. Cook & stir about 2 minutes more or until heated thru.
Serve over hot cooked rice;)

chicken + broccoli asiago stuffed shells


I found this recipe when I googled chicken + broccoli. Chad had been complaining of heartburn from all the tomato & onion I have been cooking with lately...oops, :( I sort of messed up the recipe because I started cooking at about 8pm after the gym, and I was starving! So I wasn't paying attn...I accidently added ALL of the cheese sauce to the broccoli & chicken mixture instead of seperating it...so next time I will remember that ;)

ingredients:
~2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed (I cooked first)
~2 cups chicken, shredded (I boiled & placed in food processor with broccoli)
~1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I used the Kraft reduced fat)
~1/4 cup six cheese Italian cheese
~21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
~Asiago Cheese Sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine the 1 cup cheese sauce, broccoli, chicken and cheeses. Spoon into pasta shells.

Pour a layer of cheese sauce in a 13X9 inch baking dish, lay stuffed pasta on top. Top with rest of cheese cause. Top with shredded italian cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Top with parmesan cheese, and serve ;)

Asiago Cream Sauce:
~2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided (I used fat free 1/2 & 1/2)
~1/4 cube chicken bouillon, crumbled (I used 1 tsp. granules)
~3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
~1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
~2 tablespoons butter (I used light)

~parsley flakes

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups cream + butter to a simmer, stirring often. Whisk in bouillon and cheese until well blended and bouillon has dissolved completely. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water, and whisk into mixture. Cook and stir 2 minutes more, add remaining 1/4 cup cream and parsley flakes. Heat through.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

lemon mustard chicken

This sounded so good last night...I found the recipe in my Better Homes & Garden limited addition cook book. We ate it over lime & cilantro basmati rice.

ingredients:
~1 lb chicken breasts (I used 4 thin sliced)
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 tbsp. dijon-style mustard
~1 tbsp. lemon juice
~1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
~1 tsp. dried oregano or dried basil (I used 1/2 tsp. of each)
~1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray & place chicken on unheated rack of the broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for about 20 minutes; or until light brown (mine only took about 5 minutes on high, because I used thi n sliced chicken breasts) make sure you keep checking chicken so it doesn't burn!

Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together oil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon-pepper seasoning, oregano or basil, & red pepper. Brush mustard mixture onto chicken. Turn chicken, brush with remaining mixture. Broil for another 5-15 minutes (again mine cooked in about 5 minutes on the high broiler setting), or until chicken is no longer pink.

Serve over rice or angel hair pasta.

Friday, March 27, 2009

penne a la jen!

So...I have been seeing the PW recipe going around "penne a la betsey", and I really wanted to make it...but didnt have all the ingredients. I was gong to the Piston's game at the last minute, so I whipped this up for Chad before I left with a salad....OMG, this was SUPER good & easy!! I LOVE PASTA!!!!

ingredients:
~2 c. uncooked whole wheat penne
~1/4 c. low sodium chicken broth (add a little more if sauce becomes too thick)
~8 oz. fat free or 1/3 less fat cream cheese; cubed
~1 c. tomato sauce (I used Barilla spicy cabernet marinara)
~1 tsp. garlic; minced or jarred
~grated or shredded parmesan

Cook penne according to package.

Heat skillet over medium heat with chicken broth. Wait until the broth boils, and add the garlic (I used jarred b/c I was in a hurry!); cook aprox 2 minutes. Add cubed cream cheese and stir until melted & combined. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated thru.

Add cooked penne to sauce, and toss for a few minutes until heated thru. Serve with shredded parmesan. Yummmm!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

8 week results!

I have been working out with a trainer for 8 weeks now. I workout with her a 1/2 hour 3x a week, just doing weight training. I do cardio right after on my own those 3 nights, and then I am in the gym 2-3 other nights doing cardio & abs on my own as well. I try to do Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat-Sunday routine.

Well I had my 8 week weigh-in this past Saturday, and I was pretty surprised to have lost 10% body fat in 8 weeks!! When I first started weight training 8 weeks ago I was at 32% body fat, and now I am at 22% body fat. Instead of being in the "below average" range for most my cardio, endurance, etc. I am now in the "fitness" range. Now I just have to concentrate on eating more healthy - I mean I eat what I like, and I dont deprive myself...but I don't eat very many veggies & healthy things. I like chicken, and salad but you won't be catching me eating fish & broccoli. I wish I had the taste for these foods, but I just never learned to like them.

I did notice that I have lost a lot of inches, but I haven't lost any weight - I have pretty much stayed the same. I have always been active & have worked out, but I would shy away from doing weights because I am not sure of the right excercises to do. So I have signed on for another 8 weeks with my trainer, and I am interested to find out my results in the next weigh-in!

Instead of walking into the gym and hoping on the eliptical machine for 45 minutes...I alternate from the Arc trainer (which is a little different from the eliptical machine), the Stairmaster aka "the beast" (the one with the actual revolving stairs), and running on the treadmill, and walking on an incline. I feel a lot stronger, and my butt is in it's place now...I really hope I can keep this up, afterall I am turning 30 this year!!! LOL!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

chicken in white wine herb sauce


This was healthy & really good!! I love having a rice & chicken dinner after the gym. I found this from a Martha Stewart recipe, while searching chicken w/ white wine sauce. I modified it because I used 3 large chicken breasts, instead of whole chickens. The basmati rice went perfect, and was great with the sauce ;)

Serves 3-4
ingredients:
~2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 whole (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I used 3 large boneless skinless)
~Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
~3 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
~2 tbsp. very finely chopped garlic
~1/2 c. dry white wine
~1 1/2 c. homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or broth
~2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
~3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
~3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
~1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cook until skin golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. (I cooked about 4-5 minutes on each side) Turn chicken and transfer skillet to oven. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a platter and set aside.

Place skillet over medium heat; add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 30 seconds. Add wine and stir to combine. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add chicken stock and cook until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chives, parsley, basil, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Return chicken to skillet. Using a spoon, coat chicken pieces with sauce. Serve immediately. I served over hot basmati rice, delicious!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

mmm chili mac


Yummm!! The name "Chili Mac" derived from my mom...I LOVE her homemade spaghetti sauce, and then she started making the sauce with little elbow macaroni & added cumin & chili powder. The sauce is thicker & could be eaten alone like chili...mmmmm, so good! I made this in the crockpot, super easy!

makes approx 4 servings

ingredients:
~1 lb. ground turkey or ground lean beef (I used ground turkey)
~1 pkg. McCormick chili seasoning mix
~1 garlic clove; minced
~1 small onion; chopped (if desired)
~1 large 24oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used one with italian seasonings)
~1 4oz. can of tomato sauce (add another if you want the sauce more thin)
~elbow macaroni (I used barilla plus)

Brown ground turkey in pan with chopped onion & garlic. Drain excess liquid, and add chili seasoning packet; mix well.

Coat crockpot with cooking spray & add ground turkey mixture. Pour sauce over top, and mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours or warm for 8 hours. I left mine on for 10 hours on warm. I just clicked it to low when I was making the macaroni.

Serve over macaroni;, enjoy;)

If you want more of a chili, add a can of beans or follow the directions on the back of the McCormick package.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

kung pao chicken


Yummmmy!! Kung Pao chicken is my favorite dish at PF Changs, so I have been trying to find a recipe just like it! This was SOOOO good, and it tasted just like it...and so much better because it is not deep fried! I put it over white basmati rice, and it was perfect! I will def be making this is regular dinner rotation! I found this recipe on the blog chef website.

I doubled the sauce recipe below, because I LOVE extra sauce to eat with my rice ;)

ingredients:
~1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts; cut into 1" pieces
~1 tbsp. cornstarch; for dredging
~2 tsp. sesame oil
~3 tbsp. chopped green onions
~3 garlic cloves; minced
~1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
~1/2 tsp. powdered ginger (I doubled)
~2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (I doubled)
~2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (I doubled)
~2 tsp. sugar (I doubled)
~1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Combine chicken & cornstarch in a small bowl & tosss to coat each piece.

Heat sesame oil in wok over med heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Romove chicken from wok to a platter.

Add chopped green onions & minced garlic to wok & stir fry about 15 seconds.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well & add the sauce to the wok. (It will thicken as it heats up).

Return chicken to wok & coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions; if desired serve over white rice. Enjoy ;)

salmon with almond crumb crust


I had to make Chad fish for Friday, and he loves salmon. I wanted to try a new way to bake it, and I also bought Panko bread crumbs to finally try out!! I found this recipe on CD Kitchen website. I also made a white wine butter sauce to go with the salmon & hot cooked white rice.

ingredients:
~3 tbsp. bread crumbs (I used Panko bread crumbs)
~2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
~1 tbsp. finely chopped almonds
~1 tsp. dried italian seasoning
~1 dash salt
~1/8 tsp. pepper
~1 egg white, for dredging
~1 1/2 pd. salmon fillets, cut into serving pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees & spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Dredge fish in egg white, then into combined bread crumbs, parsley, almonds & seasonings.

Bake 10-20 minutes until flakes with a fork. **I cooked it for 20 minutes, and Chad said he probably would have cooked it longer, for about 25 minutes** Again, I dont eat salmon so I have no idea how long it should cook for.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

cheesy chicken enchiladas

These were SOOO good! I love the archer farms brand at target! They have such yummy stuff, these wheat tortillas are the best & this recipe was on the back of the package. I also bought the lime cilantro rice to go with these. Last week I made some yummy vanilla bean shortbread for Chad to take to work from archer farms....you should def check their grocery aisle!!
Makes 4 servings, 2 enchiladas per serving

ingredients:
~1 tbsp. evoo
~1/2 c. chooped onion
~1 tbsp. chili powder
~3 c. chopped, cooked chicken (I used 4 thin sliced, boiled & shredded in food processor)
~1 (15 oz.) jar of salsa con queso dip
~8 wheat tortillas (I use archer farms, Target brand)
~1 (10 oz.) can of enchilada sauce
~1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2% milk taco cheese)

Heat oven to 375. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over med heat. Add onions & chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Reduce heat to low; stir in cooked chicken & 3/4 cup of con queso dip; cook until hot.

Spread remaining salsa con queso on bottom of baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture (approx 2 1/2 tbsp.) down the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortilla; place seam-side down, in greased baking dish.

Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered, for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted & edges are bubbling.