Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Delicious White Cupcakes

These are hands-down the best cupcakes I have ever had. They are super moist and delicious and so fun to decorate. I guarantee you will be hooked on this recipe. Makes approximately 36 cupcakes. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 (18.25 oz) box white cake mix (Duncan Hines "Moist White")
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large egg whites
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes, or until blended.
  3. Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


Homemade Quiche

After having a homemade quiche at a baby shower, I simply had to make one for a breakfast-for-dinner night. These are so simple; they're like the homemade pizza of the breakfast world because you can throw any chopped veggies in them. Feel free to experiment with fillings and to make you're own crust (I'm not that brave). I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 9" pie crust
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • herbs of choice (basil, oregano, thyme...)
  • 1 cup of grated cheese(s) of any kind
  • 1 cup of filling ingredients of your choice: spinach, sauteed mushrooms, onions, leeks, broccoli etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake pie crust in greased pie dish for time suggested on pie shell box. (approx. 8 minutes)
  2. Fill pie shell with your chosen ingredients and top with cheese. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  3. Lightly whisk eggs in a small bowl and add cream, salt, pepper, and other chosen spices. Whisk well and pour into pie shell.
  4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted 1" from edge comes out clean. You made need to cover quiche halfway through to prevent crust edges from burning.

Easy Beef Burgundy

Simple, slow-cooker dish that is sure to please. I hope you enjoy.
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef round steak or stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 6-8 hours or until beef is tender. Serve over egg noodles.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dannon Blueberry Coffee Cake


I made these cute, mini cakes for a baby shower this weekend. I added a picture of the pan I used, too. They are super delicious and moist. I would recommend cutting the cinnamon mixture in half, though, as it made way too much for my mini cakes. However, for a regular sized bundt cake it might be fine. For mini bundt cakes, I baked them for half of the time suggested, but kept on eye on them so they didn't dry out. I hope you enjoy!
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Dannon All Natural plain yogurt (or similar)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp confectioner's sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan (or 6 mini cake pan).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the Dannon yogurt and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir into the batter until blended. Fold in the blueberries.
  3. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan. Spoon remaining batter over the top and then sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over. Use a knife or thin spatula to swirl the sugar layer into the cake.
  4. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate and tap firmly to remove from pan. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.
From allrecipes.com

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homemade Potstickers

These can be a little time-consuming, but they are really fun to make. I've tried to use wonton wrappers before and got really frustrated because they dried out too quickly and the edges didn't seal tightly. I like how this recipe uses a damp tea towel over the pre-made potstickers to keep them moist. I definitely should have used a non-stick pan, or stirred the pan more frequently because they stuck to the pan. But, it's definitely worth making again. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 cup finely shredded bok choy or napa cabbage (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pkg wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
  • canola oil
  • chicken or veggie stock
  1. If you're using it, toss the cabbage with salt in a medium bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Pick it up in your hand and squeeze out the excess liquid, draining it as well as you can. Add the pork, green onions, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar and sesame oil and mix it all up with your hands.
  2. Place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of each wrapper; moisten the edges with water, using your finger, and fold over, pressing the edges tightly to seal. Place seam side up on a cookie sheet, pressing lightly to flatten the bottom. Cover with a tea towel to prevent from drying out.
  3. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place half the dumplings at a time in the skillet and cook for a minute or two, until deep golden brown on the bottom, shaking the pan a few times to keep them from sticking. Pour about 1/4 cup stock into the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes- this will allow them to steam cooking them through.

Easy Chicken and Mushrooms

This is a very simple weeknight meal that is sure to please. I especially love pairing this with egg noodles, yum! I hope you enjoy!
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (10.75 oz) Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • egg noodles
  1. Heat 1 tbsp butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. Remove chicken.
  2. Heat remaining butter. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic and cook until tender.
  3. Add soup, milk, sherry and pepper. Heat to boil. Return chicken to pan. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes or until done. Serve with noodles.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Roasted Pork and Vegetables

This is an easy weeknight dish that is so simple to prepare and allows you the time to clean up the kitchen while it's cooking- hey, what a concept, for me at least. I like this picture with my hungry kitty in the background. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet Lipton onion mix
  • vegetables for roasting: zucchini, potatoes, carrots etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Sear pork chops on each side for 4 minutes until golden brown. Place in a deep casserole dish coated in cooking spray.
  3. Chop up vegetables and place on top of pork chops. Sprinkle onion packet over vegetables and meat and stir to coat. Add a little bit of water if desired.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until pork is done (internal temperature of 145 degrees). Let pork rest 3 minutes before slicing.

Italian Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Delicious! I got this recipe from allrecipes.com. This is definitely an easy, healthy, weeknight meal. I hope you enjoy!
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb package orzo (may be a little much for this recipe- use your judgment)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Fire-Roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 medium vegetables such as peppers or zucchini, halved with seeds removed
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a deep casserole dish with 1 tsp of olive oil.
  2. In a large pot, boil salted water for orzo; cook until al dente, following package instruction. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  3. In the meantime, cook onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tsp of salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until soft and golden, about 6 minutes. Remove half of onion, garlic, and oil mixture; set aside. Add ground meat to the saucepan. Saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and combine meat with orzo, reserved pasta water, chopped parsley and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Line bottom of casserole dish with tomatoes and top with remaining half of the onion, garlic and oil saute. Arrange vegetable halves, cut side up, in the tomato sauce. Divide orzo-meat filling between vegetables, and cover dish with foil. Bake until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Spoon some of the pan juices and tomatoes on top of each vegetable before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Baked Spinach Alfredo Chicken

I got this recipe out of a cookbook we received for our wedding, "Bride and Groom: First and Forever Cookbook." It was really simple and delicious. Maybe a little too much spinach for two people, but you can adjust that as needed. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • squeeze of lemon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • prosciutto (optional- since I didn't have any)
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • seasoned bread crumbs (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Squeeze excess liquid out of thawed spinach.
  2. Combine ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Alfredo sauce, squeeze of lemon, pinch of nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Whack with the back of a wooden spoon until the surface nearly doubles. Place in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Slather with some additional Alfredo sauce over each chicken breast followed by prosciutto, spinach mixture and Swiss cheese. Top with seasoned bread crumbs if you have them.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apple Pie


Yum! This is the famous recipe from my Aunt Sandy. I have to admit that I didn't make my own crust, but I included the crust recipe if you are so daring. I used my new apple corer, peeler, and slicer tool which made preparing these apples so easy. I hope you enjoy!

Crust (or 2-9" Pillsbury pie crusts):
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup ice water
Filling:
  • 5 cups thinly sliced Braeburn apples (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  1. Lightly spoon 2-1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with knife. Combine 2-1/2 cups flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in 6 tbsp butter and vegetable shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add lemon juice. Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time and toss with a fork until moist and crumbly. Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.
  2. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Gently press each portion into a 1-inch-thick circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover and freeze 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place apples in a large bowl. Combine sugar, 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples; toss well to coat.
  5. Working with 1 dough portion at a time, roll dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough circle into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over the edge. Roll the remaining dough portion into a 10-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon apple mixture into prepared pie plate, and dot with 1 tbsp butter. Drizzle apple mixture with 1/2 tsp vanilla. Top with 10-inch dough circle. Press edges of dough together. Fold edges under, and flute. Brush surface of dough with milk. Cut 3 (1-inch) slits in the top of dough to allow steam to escape. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until the apples are tender. (I added foil to crust edges after 15 minutes to prevent crust from burning).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crispy Pork Medallions and Roasted Root Vegetables

I found this recipe in Cooking Light November 2011. This is definitely an easy, weeknight meal, and super inexpensive to make. It was my first time to eat parsnip (I actually had to google search it's picture in the grocery store), but I really enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 (1-lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 8 medallions (OR thin boneless pork loin chops)
  • 1/2 cup Panko
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Rub mustard evenly over pork. Combine Panko, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Dredge pork in Panko mixture. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add pork; saute 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn pork. Place skillet in oven; bake at 450 for 8 minutes or until pork reaches 145. Let stand 3 minutes.
For Roasted Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine 8 oz quartered small red potatoes, 2 thinly sliced carrots, and 2 thinly sliced parsnips in a medium bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 minced garlic clove. Toss well to coat. Arrange vegetable mixture in casserole dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.

Bread Maker Cinnamon Buns

I have definitely been enjoying my new bread maker, and couldn't wait to make some homemade cinnamon buns. I made just half of this batch and froze the rest for another morning. I might try another glaze recipe, but overall and very tasty breakfast. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
Filling:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tsp milk
  1. Put yeast in bread machine first on bottom, then flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Melt butter in small bowl, add beaten egg, milk, and water.
  3. Pour onto dry ingredients in bread machine. Follow dough settings for bread machine.
  4. When done, put onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough flour to make it easy to handle. If too elastic, cover and leave for 10 minutes.
  5. Use floured rolling pin to roll out dough on floured surface. Roll out into rectangle about 1/4 inch-thick.
  6. Use filling and spread over entire surface with spoon.
  7. Roll up dough and cut with a sharp knife about 1-inch thick; place in greased 9x13-inch pan.
  8. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for approx. 30 minutes, until double in size.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until light brown on top.
  10. Make glaze and swirl over buns.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Delicious! This is another Pinterest find that I couldn't pass up. I love the idea of wilting spinach into a pasta dish. I hope you enjoy!
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb fettuccine
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated (OR mix all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and shake until well coated).
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot. Carefully place the chicken in the pan, cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles until al dente. Wipe out the skillet with a couple of paper towels and return to medium heat, adding the 2 remaining tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in 1 tbsp flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  6. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return to pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

The name says it all. I found this recipe on Pinterest and knew it'd be an instant success. It's a little time consuming with chilling the peanut butter sandwiches before dipping them in chocolate, but it's definitely worth it. Otherwise, the sandwiches will fall apart in the chocolate. Make sure you have plenty of time to make these before your next party. They can even chill in the refrigerator for a day or two. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • pretzels
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (or other candy coating, but I think the chips tasted great)
  1. Combine peanut butter and softened butter in large bowl with a whisk or stand mixer. Add sugars and mix to combine. At this point, if the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you're ready to go. If not, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.
  2. Use a teaspoon to scoop into balls. Roll each portion into a small ball then sandwich between two pretzels. I found it easiest to lay out all the pretzels, put a ball on top of each one, then add the top pretzels at the end. Stick the whole tray into the freezer for about half an hour.
  3. Pour chocolate chips into microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals until completely melted. Remove sandwiches from freezer and quickly dip halfway into melted chocolate. Repeat with all sandwiches. Return to tray and place in freezer until completely set up. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Roast Pork with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Yum! Butternut squash is so delicious when roasted, that I couldn't help making this recipe. It's a little tricky to peel butternut squash, but I think with a little practice I can get faster at it. If the pork looks a little pink to you, it's still okay to eat, because according to September 2011 Cooking Light magazine, the USDA recently lowered the recommended temperature to which pork tenderloin should be cooked. The internal temperature should reach 145 degrees, removed from heat, and allowed to stand at room temperature for at least 3 minutes. I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 1/2 cups halved small red potatoes
  • 2 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Combine red potatoes and butternut squash in an 11x7" baking dish. Combine olive oil, thyme, sage, salt & pepper to taste; toss with vegetables. Roast at 425 for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle pork with 1/2 tsp salt. Add pork to pan; saute 4 minutes, searing all sides. Stir vegetables; add pork and 1/4 cup dry sherry.
  3. Roast for 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145 degrees. Remover pork; let stand 5 minutes.

Weekend Waffles

I found this simple waffle recipe which was perfect for our rainy, lazy Saturday. It'd be great with simple add-ins such as blueberries or raspberries. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix until hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Just another recipe on a classic dish (from allrecipes.com). I was a little leery that the meatballs would cook completely (160 degrees) while embedded in the sauce, but it came out perfectly cooked and wonderfully delicious. I hope you enjoy!

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground round
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked spaghetti
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until lightly brown. Mix in 2 cloves garlic, and cook 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, 1/2 the oregano, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer while preparing meatballs.
  2. In a bowl, mix the ground round, bread crumbs, remaining oregano, remaining garlic, parsley, eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Roll into 1 inch balls, and drop into the sauce. Cook 40 minutes in the sauce, or until internal temperature of meatballs reaches a minimum of 160 degrees F (72 degrees C).
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and stir in the spaghetti. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mug n' Muffin


So blessed to have wonderful women in my life, and I really enjoyed catching up with these women at a "Mug n' Muffin" breakfast at my place. Did I mention the delicious muffins as well? I made two kinds of muffins, both regular-sized and mini; I hope you enjoy!

Real Simple Sugar Crusted Raspberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions
1.Heat oven to 400° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or coat it with cooking spray, vegetable oil, or butter.
2.In a medium bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and combine. In a second bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined; the batter will be lumpy. Toss the berries with the remaining flour in a bowl. Gently fold the berry mixture into the batter.
3.Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining sugar. Bake for 17 to 20
minutes (10 minutes for mini muffins) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.


Banana Crumb Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Crab Cakes

I had never made crab cakes before and thought they would be super difficult. These were delicious and so simple. I did have to manage them carefully to not break apart when dredging in panko. Thanks, Cooking Light, I will definitely be making them again!
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1 lb lump crab meat (I used 2 6-oz cans), drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients. Add 1/3 cup panko and crab; toss gently. Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each in a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place remaining panko in shallow dish. Gently dredge patties in panko.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil to pan. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and crab cakes.
Serving: 2 crab cakes, calories: 400.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cream of Chile-Chicken Soup

With both me and the husband having a cold a warm soup is just what the doctor ordered. This creamy soup is simple to make. I like how it uses ground chicken instead of rotisserie chicken or another way to prepare chicken. Feel free to make substitutions as needed. Serve with cornbread muffins or crackers. I hope you enjoy!
  • 8 oz ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 10-3/4 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 7-oz can whole kernel corn with peppers, drained
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 4-oz can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 tbsp snipped cilantro or parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook ground chicken, onion, and garlic until chicken is no longer pink and onion is tender.
  2. Stir in milk, cream of chicken soup, corn, chopped tomato, chile peppers, cilantro or parsley, and ground red pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add Monterey Jack cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted.
Makes 4 servings. 375 calories per serving.

Turkey Lasagna Rolls

I liked how this recipe was a twist on simple lasagna and didn't use jarred tomato sauce. Simple and tasty; I hope you enjoy!
8 servings.
Cook time 30-35 minutes.
  • 8 oz ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 7-1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 8 packaged dried lasagna noodles
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 15-oz can ricotta cheese
  • 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. For sauce, in a large skillet cook turkey, onion, and garlic until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in mushrooms, water, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and basil. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
  3. For filling, in a mixing bowl stir together egg, ricotta cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  4. To assemble rolls, spread about 1/2 cup filling over each lasagna noodle. Roll up noodles. Place lasagna rolls seam sides down in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour sauce over lasagna rolls. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes more until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Easy Slow Cooker Ribs

This is a great weeknight meal that's really easy to assemble. I should have trimmed the fat a little more from the ribs prior to placing in the slow cooker because it was hard to distinguish between fat and meat once it was cooked. However, the meat was so tender it fell off the bone. I hope you enjoy!
  • Country style pork ribs
  • 1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place ribs in slow cooker.
  2. Cover with barbecue sauce and mix in the onion.
  3. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Apple Pecan Cobbler

An apple peeler, slicer, corer is the best invention ever, I am convinced. Who knows what kind of apple dishes I can create now? Stay tuned! This is a delicious dessert for any audience. Top with ice cream and you're good to go. I hope you enjoy!
  • 4 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 2 quart baking dish.
  2. Arrange apple slices in an even layer in the baking dish. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup sugar cinnamon, and 1/2 cup pecans. Sprinkle mixture over apples.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, evaporated milk, and melted butter. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture all at once, and stir until smooth. Pour mixture over apples and sprinkle top with 1/4 cup pecans.
  4. Bake for 55 minutes.

Cheesy Manicotti


Delicious! This easy weeknight meal is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! So simple to make and enjoy. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 (8-oz) package manicotti shells
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 jars tomato sauce
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add manicotti and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, mix 3 cups mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic, egg, and basil. Stuff cooked manicotti with mixture.
  4. Spread about 2 cups pasta sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti shells in the dish and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and continue baking 10 minutes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Juicy Grilled Chicken


Don't be turned off by the long list of ingredients. This grilled chicken is delicious! I'm sure you can make a few substitutes if needed. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 2 tbsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, oil, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon juice, sherry, mustard, and honey. Mix in the garlic, brown sugar, lemon pepper, oregano, rosemary, and salt.
  2. Place the chicken in the mixture. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the grill for high heat.
  4. Discard marinade, and place chicken on the grill. Cook 6-8 minutes per side, until juices run clear.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Delicious Grilled Meatballs


I have to admit, these were a huge failure when it came to sticking together on the grill (we definitely lost a few). I ended up having to bake them in the oven. But, with a little practice, I feel like they will stick together eventually. They are delicious! Probably would make a good meatloaf, too. I hope you enjoy!
  • 4 pork and herb sausages (I used pork and garlic)
  • 1/2 cup fresh ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, etc.)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • corn oil, for brushing
  1. Preheat grill. Remove sausage from skins. Place in large bowl and break up with a fork. Add the ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, herbs, and egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a golf ball, between the palms of your hands. Spear each one with a toothpick and brush with oil.
  3. Cook over medium hot coals, turning frequently and brushing with more oil as necessary, for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cupcake Party: Cinnamon Mocha and Margarita Cupcakes

Mini cinnamon mocha and spice cupcakes

The cupcake and fondue dessert table.

In honor of the bride-to-be on Saturday, I helped throw a cupcake themed bachelorette party! It was a huge success, and the cupcakes and chocolate fondue were amazing. Here are the recipes for the two cupcakes I made. I hope you enjoy!

Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes (makes 8 regular sized or 36 mini)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee and buttermilk. Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners; fill half full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes for regular sized cupcakes or 8-9 minutes for mini cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Margarita Cupcakes:
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs, room temperature
    • 3 limes, zested and juiced
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup tequila (optional)
    Tequila-Lima Buttercream:
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 8 egg whites
    • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
    • 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice
    • 1-2 tbsp Tequila
    1. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.
    2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on high until pale, light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
    3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one.
    4. Add lime zest and lime juice.
    5. Turn mixer to low. Add dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with buttermilk in two batches. Mix until just incorporated.
    6. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. All cupcakes to cool completely.
    7. (optional) While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with tequila.
    Frosting:
    1. Place stand mixer bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160 degrees with a candy thermometer.
    2. Place bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (about 10 minutes)
    3. Change to the paddle attachment and beat in one tbsp of butter at a time on medium.
    4. Add lime juice and 1 tbsp tequila. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy. Beat in remaining tbsp of tequila, if desired.

    Slow Cooker Shrimp


    So it's definitely been awhile since my last post, but not because I haven't been cooking. This delicious slow cooker shrimp is an easy weeknight classic. Tim loves anything that can be served over rice, and with the slow cooker you don't even have to saute the shrimp. I hope you enjoy!
    • 1 lb shrimp, unpeeled, rinsed
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, diced
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 tsp seafood seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsps grated lemon peel, plus additional for garnish
    • Cooked rice (for serving)
    Coat slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place shrimp in bottom. Add butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, seafood seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Cover; cook on HIGH 1 1/4 hours.
    Turn off slow cooker. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp lemon peel. Let stand uncovered 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Garnish with lemon wedges and/or peel, if desired.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Boozy Beef Steaks


    Grilling season has officially started at the Meyer household with our new charcoal grill. A little bit of a learning curve on cuts of meat, right temperature to cook the meat at, as well as best marinade. I used sirloin petite steaks for this recipe, but I definitely will experiment with other cuts of meat. I also will marinade longer next time to increase the flavor. Hope you enjoy!
    • 4 beef steaks
    • 4 tbsp whisky or brandy
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
    • pepper
    • parsley to garnish
    • garlic bread, to serve
    1. Make a few cuts in the edge of the fat on each steak. This will prevent the meat from curling as it cooks. Place the meat in a shallow, nonmetallic dish.
    2. Mix the whiskey, soy sauce, sugar, and pepper to taste together in a small bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture over the steak. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
    3. Preheat the grill. Cook the beef steaks over hot coals, searing the meat over the hottest part of the grill for 2 minutes on each side.
    4. Move the meat to an area with slightly less intense heat and cook for an additional 4-10 minutes on each side depending on how degree of doneness.
    5. Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs and serve with garlic bread.
    From "Best Ever Barbecue: A collection of over 100 essential recipes"

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Pizza Dough for Breadmaker


    Breadmaker!! Yes! So excited to be able to make homemade pizza crust without all the time commitment. Simply throw the ingredients in and out comes a beautiful pizza crust. Hope you enjoy!
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
    • 1 cup water, room temperature
    • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
    1. Combine ingredients in bread pan in given order.
    2. Select Dough setting on your breadmaker.
    3. Once done, remove dough and shape onto pizza stone or 12-inch round pizza pan.
    4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    5. Top pizza as desired.
    6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Crusted Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

    It has definitely been awhile since I have posted a recipe; It's been a rather busy month of May with moving, certification exam, and preparing for my wedding. Can't wait to begin making recipes for two people! This photo does not give the recipe justice (as it was taken with my iPhone). Also, I got the pan a little too hot at first so it gave the chicken that dark brown tint. Served with Spanish rice, this was a really easy weeknight meal that does not disappoint in flavor. Hope you enjoy!
    • 1 lb boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2" thickness
    • 3 slices white bread
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • Tomatillo salsa
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread slices in food processor and process until large crumbs. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with spice mixture. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in large nonstick skillet. Place egg and breadcrumbs in separate, shallow bowls. Dip chicken in egg and dredge in breadcrumbs. Place chicken in skillet and cook 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Careful not to burn breadcrumbs by pan being too hot. Top with salsa and queso fresca cheese if desired.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Pork


    The joy of slow cooking; coming home to dinner already made. This simple, easy to assemble dish will leave you fully satisfied. I hope you enjoy!
    • 1 (3-4 lb) boneless pork shoulder or pork butt roast
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp red pepper
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 bottle (16-oz) your favorite barbecue sauce
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    Place sliced onion and bell pepper in slow cooker. Mix cumin, paprika, red pepper, and black pepper together in small bowl and rub over pork roast. Place pork in slow cooker. Mix together barbecue sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Pour over pork. Cook on LOW 8-10 hours. Serve with fresh green veggies or atop rice.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs


    Happy Easter! In honor of Easter, my friend Natalie and I dyed eggs the way my sister, mom, and I would always do at my Nana's house each Easter. We originally got the idea from a Martha Stewart news clipping (click here for article). It is so fun and creates a brilliant sienna colored egg. I'll be anxious next year to try other natural ingredients to make other colors. I hope you enjoy!

    What you'll need:
    • 1 quart water + 2 tbsp white vinegar (use this proportion)
    • dozen raw eggs, brought to room temperature
    • sheer panty hose
    • twisty ties
    • greenery from your garden
    • about 4 cups of onion skins (not the purple onions)
    Fill large pot with onion skins and add water and vinegar until covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Place desired leaves or flowers onto egg. Cover carefully with a piece of panty hose, as to not mess-up the position of the greenery, and tie tightly with twisty tie. Bring water back to boil and place eggs into large pot. Boil for 25-30 minutes. Remove eggs carefully, as they will be hot, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove panty hose. Beautiful!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Easy Chicken Posole


    In a rush, but still want a good, healthy chicken soup with a kick? This posole (basically, a tex-mex chicken soup) is fantastic and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy!

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 (8-oz) package pre-chopped onion and celery mixed (or frozen mix)
    • 4 canned tomatillos, drained and coarsely chopped (in the Latin food section)
    • 2 (14-oz.) cans fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 (15-oz.) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
    • 2 cups chopped, skinless boneless chicken breast (rotisserie chicken)
    • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through onions and celery); saute 2 minutes. Stir in tomatillos; cook 1 minute. Add broth and hominy; cover and bring to boil. Uncover and cook 8 minutes. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until heated. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper. Makes 4 servings. Top with avocado.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Mexican Chicken Casserole


    Yum! This delicious dish is so easy to make and assemble. You can even cut the prep time in half by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken. (I cut this blog writing time in half by copying and pasting from the online recipe) I hope you enjoy!

    1. 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    2. 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, divided
    3. 1 3/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts
    4. 2 teaspoons olive oil
    5. 1 cup chopped onion
    6. 1 cup evaporated skim milk
    7. 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    8. 1/4 cup (2 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
    9. 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
    10. 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
    11. Cooking spray
    12. 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
    13. 1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed (about 6 chips)

    Combine broth and 1 can of chiles in a large skillet; bring to a boil. Add chicken; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken once. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid; cool chicken. Shred meat with two forks, and set aside.

    Preheat oven to 350°.

    Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 can of chiles and onion; sauté 3 minutes or until soft. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and enchilada sauce; stir well. Stir in shredded chicken; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Place 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chips. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    From Cooking Light recipes (online)

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Muffin Mania

    I can't believe this is my 100th post. It's been fun to look back at just how many recipes I have tried over the past two years. I have two more good ones for you tonight: streusel-topped blueberry muffins and chocolate chip banana muffins. Haven't tried them yet, but the batter sure was good! I hope you enjoy; For those who get to taste them Saturday morning, these are for you!

    Streusel-topped Blueberry Muffins

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen blueberries, thawed, rinsed, and drained)
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 5 tbsp white sugar
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp butter, diced
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
    2. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp flour over blueberries, and set aside. (This prevents "purple" batter)
    3. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, and stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in dry ingredients alternatively with milk. Fold in blueberries gently, don't stir. Spoon batters into prepared cups. (Batter will be kind of thick)
    4. For streusel, combine 2 tbsp flour with 5 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Cut in 2 tbsp butter with 2 butter knives or pastry blender until mixture resembles course crumbs. Sprinkle over batter in muffin cups.
    5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

    Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
    • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used one small container of vanilla yogurt)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 3 medium sized)
    • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    3. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
    4. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups full.
    5. Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
    6. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans.

    Mushroom and Asparagus Salad


    Delicious! They say your taste buds change every 7 years; well, mine definitely have because I have fallen in love with mushrooms. This warm salad is a perfect, healthy way to enjoy my two favorites: asparagus and mushrooms. Be careful with cooking times based on your oven because I definitely overcooked the veggies a little bit. I hope you enjoy!

    • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, torn into pieces
    • 4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp olive oil
    • salt & pepper
    • 2 tbsp minced shallot (or garlic)
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped or pinch dried thyme
    • 1 1/2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
    • 3 cups trimmed and sliced mushrooms
    • 5 cups salad greens
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. In a food processor, pulse bread into large, fluffy crumbs. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl; toss with Parmesan and 2 tsp of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Whisk together remaining oil, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce and thyme in small bowl.
    4. Spread asparagus evenly on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 4 tbsp dressing. Shake to coat.
    5. In another bowl, toss mushrooms with 2 tbsp dressing. Scatter mushrooms evenly over asparagus, reserving bowl. Roast vegetables for 10 minutes.
    6. Toss roasted asparagus and mushrooms to coat with their cooking juices and scatter breadcrumbs over each sheet. Return sheets to oven and roast another 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and bread crumbs are browned.
    7. In reserved bowl, toss the salad greens with 2 tbsp dressing. Pile salad on dinner plates. Top with asparagus and mushrooms, sprinkle with chopped egg.
    Makes 4 servings; 322 calories each serving.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Tex-Mex Pork


    My rate of adding recipes to the blog seems to be slowing down, but not my desire to cook new and exciting things. This simple 5 ingredient dish satisfies the taste buds with little effort. Add a little avocado and sour cream for a tasty dish. I hope you enjoy!

    • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh refrigerated salsa
    • 2 cups hot cooked long-grain rice (brown or white)
    • 1/4 cup light sour cream
    • 1/2 avocado, cubed
    Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add salsa and 1/4 cup water to pan; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve pork mixture over rice; top with sour cream and avocado. Makes 4 servings.

    From Cooking Light December 2010

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Carrot Cake


    Yum! Couldn't resist trying out my mini bundt cake pan (that makes six of these mini cakes) that a friend let me borrow. For the original carrot cake recipe, click here. I experimented with doing 1 full cup of canola oil and 1/2 cup of apple sauce, and it turned out fantastic. I might try more applesauce and less oil next time. I hope you enjoy!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Blueberry Bran Muffins

    I love blueberry muffins for breakfast, but I don't really want to start my day off with a cupcake. This is my first attempt at a healthy low-fat alternative, and they are delicious! Extra moist because of the applesauce, you won't even realize how good they are for you. I hope you enjoy!

    • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
    • 1 cup nonfat milk
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 egg
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup blueberries (thawed if frozen)
    1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin cups or use paper muffin liners (I would recommend using liners because they are so moist they stick easily to the pan). Mix together the bran and milk; let stand for 10 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Bean in the bran mixture. Sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into bran mixture until just blended. Fold in blueberries. Scoop into muffin tins (makes 12).
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped.