Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nutter Butter Balls

These bite size treats are delicious. If you love Nutter Butters or the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, then you are sure to love these. They aren't as sweet as the traditional peanut butter balls, but that only means you can eat more of them, right? I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 large package of Nutter Butter peanut butter and cookie sandwiches
  • 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese
  • chocolate candy coating (about 4 cubes)
  • sprinkles for decoration
Use a food processor to process Nutter Butters to fine crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, use a large plastic bag and crush until fine crumbs.

Transfer crumbs to large bowl. Add cream cheese and use the back of a large spoon to combine cream cheese and crumbs until one large ball forms, or mixture is evenly distributed. Roll dough into small 1 1/2" balls and place on wax paper lined baking sheet (makes about 3 dozen). Place in refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes or until firm. Melt chocolate in small bowl in microwave , 2 cubes at a time, until smooth. Dip peanut butter balls in chocolate and roll around until covered. Carefully remove balls from chocolate using a small spoon or fork, tapping off the excess chocolate. Place on wax paper. Immediately sprinkle decorations before chocolate hardens. Continue with remaining balls. Refrigerate until served.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Southwest Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yum! This tasty appetizer can be the perfect beginning to your holiday get-together. It's really simple to throw together in a short amount of time. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed, softened
  • 1 can (4.5oz) Old El Paso chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. In medium bowl combine all ingredients except tortilla chips and pepper jack cheese; spoon into slow slow cooker.
  2. Cover; cook on LOW 2-3 hours.
  3. Stir in pepper jack cheese. Cover; cook on low about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.

Graduation Pops

When I saw these on Bakerella, I instantly fell in love with the idea of making candy pops. I made these for my graduation party last weekend. I think people were too afraid to eat them because they were so cute. Simple to make and to eat; I hope you enjoy!

  • Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • Ghirardelli chocolate squares or similar
  • Twizzler's or pull-apart candy ropes, cut into 1 1/2-inch sections.
  • 1 square of melting chocolate (almond bark)
  • Mini M&Ms or Red Hots.
  • Lollipop sticks (available at a craft store)
  1. Place Reese's in freezer for approximately 5 minutes; this helps to take off the wrapper without taking chocolate with it. Unwrap Reese's and chocolate squares.
  2. Melt one square of melting chocolate. Dip lollipop stick into chocolate and then into the Reese's. Place dot of chocolate on top of Reese's and place square atop Reese's to create the graduation cap.
  3. Place dollop of chocolate on top of cap and attach M&M. Finally, draw a line out of chocolate on top of the cap using a toothpick and attach Twizzlers.
  4. Allow chocolate to dry and set up.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Need I say more?
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in to the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly mixed.
  3. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets or silicone baking mats.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges start to brown. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Chicken with Broccoli

Possibly my favorite slow cooker dish to date. Delicious! I was afraid at first to use cream cheese in a pasta dish, but it came out fantastic. It would also be great over rice. The following recipe serves 10-12 people, but I cut it down quite a bit. I hope you enjoy!

Prep time: 10 minutes Total Cooking Time: 4 hours

  • 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pkg Italian salad dressing mix
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can (10 1/4 ounces) condensed low-fat cream of chicken soup
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 pkg (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (cooking wine)
  • hot cooked pasta or rice
  1. Toss chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian salad dressing mix. Place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 3 hours.
  2. Coat large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add mushrooms and onion; cook 5 minutes over medium heat until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add soup, broccoli, cream cheese, and sherry to skillet, cook and stir until hot.
  4. Transfer to slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW an additional hour.
  5. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta or rice.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos

This is a tasty, easy to prepare dish that works great with shredded rotisserie chicken. Plus, you can make a little extra chicken for regular tacos, quesadillas, and so much more. Sorry, no picture of these, but click here for the link to Cooking Light's picture. Makes 4 burritos. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (I just used a white onion, chopped)
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  1. Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan. Stir in shredded chicken and onions.
  2. Combine beans and salsa. Spoon 1/4 cup bean mixture and 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp cheese. Roll up.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (non-stick skillet works best). Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 burritos (seam side down). Place a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet on top of burritos. I covered my skillet bottom with foil to avoid sticking. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining two burritos.

353 calories per burrito.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yum! With so many ways to make chicken tortilla soup, this one is a variation (and time-saver) of her version my best friend Tara sent me. I don't have a large soup pot, so I used a crock-pot instead. Have fun with it. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 onion, chopped*
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can corn (or 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 1 can hominy, undrained
  • 1 (10-oz) can Rotel
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, or 2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • cheese, sour cream, and avocado for topping
  1. In crock pot or large soup pot, combine crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, corn, hominy, Rotel, and black beans.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in chili powder.
  3. Add onion/garlic mixture to soup pot. Stir in chicken and parsley. Add more water or chicken stock if desired.
  4. On stove, bring soup to boil then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. For crock-pot, turn crock-pot to high and cook for 45 minutes to one hour.
  5. Top with cheese, sour cream, and avocado slices if desired.

*Dixie doesn't like it when I cook with onions. To avoid this classic crying face from chopping onions, place onion in freezer 10 minutes prior to cutting.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Well, my favorite holiday is just 3 days away, and the cooking and baking marathon begins. Hello perfection, nice to meet you! I created, for the time ever, a perfectly round batch of cookies, that I know are going to be as delicious as they look. Be careful, though, because the baking time is reflective of the cookie thickness. It could be pretty easy to over bake them since they don't brown as you would think. I'm pairing these with another delicious batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. For that recipe click, here. I hope you enjoy, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 3 tbsp
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. With a mixer, beat together the shortening and butter. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and blend until smooth.
  4. Mix the 3 tbsp sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl (Yes, it does say 1 tablespoon of cinnamon; yum!).
  5. Roll the dough, by hand into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar.
  6. Flatten the balls into 1/2-inch thick disks, spacing them evenly on unlined cookie sheets. Bake until light brown (hard to tell, honestly), but still moist in the center, about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Cool on rack.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nana's Pumpkin Bread

Well, you know how I love pumpkin things, so here's another version of pumpkin bread from Nana. I actually made the pumpkin from a fresh pumpkin. Here's how:

Start with a "pie pumpkin" about the size of a cantaloupe and wash outside.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out all in the "innards." I suggest using a serrated knife and the sawing motion to get it open, then using an ice cream scoop to scrape out the inside.

Next, cut it into chunks and place into a steamer or stove top steamer for 45-50 minutes or until nice and tender. There's other ways to do this like baking in the oven, but I chose to do the steamer method.

Finally, scrape the tender meat of the pumpkin off of the rind, and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth!

Nana's pumpkin bread recipe:
  • 2 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together in small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Blend sugar and oil together in large bowl until well blended
  4. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Add pumpkin and blend well.
  6. Mix in flour mixture and water, alternating.
  7. Bake in 2 greased loaf pans at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean in the center. About 55 minutes.

Thank you Nana!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken

The joy of slow cooking. Dinner is ready when you walk in the door! Here's another simple dish that you're sure to love. I hope you enjoy!
  • 6 chicken breasts (approx. 2 lbs.)- I used 3 chicken breasts for me + leftovers
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  1. Place slow cooker liner inside slow cooker for easy clean-up.
  2. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  3. Mix soups together in a small bowl and pour over chicken.
  4. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Serve over pasta or rice with a side of steamed fresh vegetables, such as zucchini.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

O, how I love pumpkin! There's just so many ways to make it. This cake has the perfect balance of pumpkin flavor and the sweetness of the cream cheese frosting. You can't go wrong. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (4 tbsp), softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin
  • 1 tub cream cheese frosting or for homemade frosting click here

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add pumpkin; mix well.

Fold in flour mixture.

Spread batter into a 13x9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before frosting.

From Cooking Light November 2009.

Chili Macaroni

Yum! This dish is the ultimate in comfort food. And, I accidentally found a great, healthier alternative to hamburger helper, which I have been searching for for awhile. You can't go wrong with this chili-style pasta dish. I hope you enjoy!

  • 12 oz. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 14.5-oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup tomato juice (I used a can and a half of tomato sauce)
  • 2 tbsp diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup loose-pack frozen cut green beans
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping
  1. In a large skillet cook the turkey and onion until brown.
  2. Stir stewed tomatoes, tomato juice, chile peppers, chili powder and garlic salt into the meat mixture. Bring to boiling. Stir in pasta and green beans. Return to boiling; reduce heat.
  3. Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes or until pasta and beans are tender.
  4. Top with cheddar cheese.

From Better Homes and Gardens Easy Everyday Cooking

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spicy Turkey Spaghetti

Yum! This is a great spicy twist on your typical spaghetti. Make sure you have plenty refills on your water available because you may need it to quench the heat. Of course, you can always adjust to taste. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
  1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Increase the heat to medium-high, crumble the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the parsley and cheese. Add hot water to thin sauce if desired.
  6. Serve meat sauce over noodles, sprinkled with extra cheese if desired.

From Rachael Ray magazine.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

It's the most wonderful time of the year... right? O wait, that's Christmas. But, it is the most wonderful baking time of the year with pumpkin breads, pies, cookies... yum!! And then comes Thanksgiving with the casseroles, turkey, and pies. So, to start things off, here is a new recipe for me of pumpkin bread from I hope you enjoy!
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 16 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2/3 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans, or line 24 muffin tins with liners.
  3. Stir together sugar and oil.
  4. Stir in eggs and pumpkin.
  5. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  6. Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating.
  7. Divide batter between two loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes for loaf pans or 20-25 minutes for muffins, until cake tester comes out clean.
  9. For loaf pans, let stand 10 minutes then remove from pans to let cool.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stuffed French Toast

Who doesn't like French toast? I'm glad I tried this recipe because it's definitely something I'm not familiar with baking, and now that I've done it I know what to do better. I would reduce the milk to two cups and increase the baking time a little bit to make it a little less moist. Also, the loaf of bread I used didn't have 24 slices, so I should've added some more bread which would've also made it less moist. Have fun with it; I hope you enjoy!

Makes: 12 servings.
Kitchen tools needed: 13x9 baking dish, food processor, blender, or mixer
  • 24 (1-ounce) slices cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 cups egg substitute, divided
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 8-oz packages 1/2-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • cinnamon-sugar (optional)

Trim crusts from bread. Arrange half of the bread in a 13x19 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine milk, 1 1/2 cups egg substitute, half-and-half, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour half of milk mixture over bread in dish.

Combine 1/2 cup egg substitute, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cheeses in food processor (or blender or use a mixer); process until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over moist bread in dish. Top with remaining bread; pour remaining milk mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 55 minutes (or more if needed). Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, if desired.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Easy Mexican Casserole

Yum! This is a variant of a recipe I found on food network (for recipe click here). It was really tasty and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained (optional)
  • 3 cups ground turkey (or leftover chicken or ground beef)
  • 1 (16-oz) jar salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown meat if needed, or use leftover shredded chicken or ground beef. Add taco seasoning and water and allow to simmer. Add onions, and cook until soft. Add green chiles, diced tomatoes and green chiles, black beans, and salsa. Mix well.
  3. Spray small casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. Pour meat/tomato mixture into casserole dish. Top with tortilla wedges. Finally, top with cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven; serve with sour cream if desired.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sweet Week.. Update

Had a great time at my cousin's baby shower. Here are the pictures of the two cookies I made for baby Jack's baby shower

The cute, book-themed table!

They turned out really, really cute! Once again, I've found the key to making perfect sugar cookies is chilling the pre-cut cookies for about 15 minutes in the fridge before baking.

I got the cake ball idea from, my new favorite sweet website. (Click here to see the recipe) It is purely amazing. Sarah and I had a great time assembling the cake balls.

However, we quickly learned that they need to be frozen in order to get firm enough to withstand the chocolate coating. Because my freezer is from like the 1970's, it isn't big enough to hold all the cake balls. So... until next week! Here's the one cake ball we attempted to make. I definitely think they'll work much better when they are firmer. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Basic Brownies

Well, it's baking week here at my apartment. In preparation for my cousin, Natalie's baby shower, I've got some baking to do. Some favorites which are already on my blog including white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and sugar cookies (picture to come later), as well as some new recipes for the fall, such as decorative cake balls! But tonight, when the sweet tooth calls, you should answer it. I can't believe this brownie recipe isn't already on my blog because it's a go-to, never-go-wrong recipe for brownies that satisfies your chocolaty craving. Hungry yet? Or you can just eat the batter without baking them (ask my friend, Natalie). Sorry no picture, we ate the batter, and then I gave the few that I did bake away.

Stay tuned for the sweets tomorrow!

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (off-brand just doesn't cut it; stick to Hershey's)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • nuts (optional)
  • chocolate chips or peanut butter chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x9 square pan or line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  3. Mix softened butter with sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt, scraping sides of bowl.
  5. Pour batter into square pan or cupcake pan.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes for square pan or 20-25 mintues for cupcakes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool slightly before cutting.

Cutting tip: Use a plastic knife for smooth even cuts through brownies every time!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweet Turkey Chili with Jack-Corn Muffins

Welcome back chili; it has been a long time. This recipe from Cooking Light magazine instantly caught my eye because of the turkey, but it wasn't until I read the ingredients that I knew I would love it. I mean, chocolate? In a chili? It is so tasty! The hint of cinnamon and melted chocolate add a richness and sweetness that is delicious. If you have a dutch oven, you can brown the turkey meat directly in the dutch oven then add the remaining ingredients. Otherwise, you may have to do a little pan switch-a-roo. The corn muffins are just icing on the cake! I hope you enjoy!

  • 4 oz. uncooked spaghetti (if you'd like to serve it over spaghetti)
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tbsp bottled minced garlic (or 4 cloves, minced)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup fat-free less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded cheddar cheese (for topping)

Jack-Corn Muffins:

  • 1 (8.5 oz) package corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese (or similar)
  • 2ish tbsp chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  1. For chili, while pasta cooks, add turkey to a large skillet; cook for 3 minutes, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in chili powder, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and allspice; cook one minute.
  4. Transfer to larger pot (unless using a dutch oven) and add broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2o minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, for muffins, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Divide batter evenly among 6-8 muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 16 minutes or until browned.
  6. Remove chili from heat; stir in chocolate and salt. Serve over spaghetti. Top with cheese if desired.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light for this month, I instantly ripped it out. With the "cooler" weather, I begin to crave apple pies, pumpkin things, and nutty flavors. This dish does not fail your expectations (minus the pumpkin). Substitute any nut you have on hand (I used almonds). I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 (3.5 oz) bag boil-in-a-bag brown rice
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 lb chicken breast cutlets (about 4)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated apple cider
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (or other)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  1. Cook rice according to package directions in a small saucepan; drain.
  2. While rice cooks, melt 1 tsp butter in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2-3 minutes or until syrupy. (I add flour to thicken mixture because I was impatient).
  3. Add chicken to pan, turning to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Melt remaining 5 tsps butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Lower heat to medium; add pecans, and cook for 1 minute or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add rice and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt; toss well to coat.
  5. Serve rice with chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

Serving size: 1 cutlet and 1/2 cup rice. 333 calories.

Look at my cute new salt and pepper shakers! Woo pigs!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Slow-Cooker Tropical Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

I feel like I should name my slow-cooker, so I know who to thank at the end of each meal. Any name suggestions? Anyways, this is another crowd-pleaser! A one-pot meal that tastes delicious. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice, drained and juice reserved
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tsp Jamaican jerk (or Caribbean Jerk) seasoning, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup dried onion flakes (I just used chopped onion)
  • 3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated lime peel
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, slightly crushed (or just ground cumin)
  1. Place sweet potatoes in slow-cooker. Add water chestnuts, raisins, and pineapple tidbits. Mix well.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with jerk seasoning. Arrange chicken on top of potato mixture.
  3. Combine reserved pineapple juice, onion flakes, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, lime peel and cumin in a small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours or until chicken and potatoes are fork tender.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Slow-Cooker Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

This dish is yet another example of the joy of slow-cooking. I especially enjoyed how simple they were to assemble (no pre-cooking anything!). I think I over-cooked mine just by about an hour because the peppers became a little wrinkled; it still tasted great. Make sure to buy peppers that sit up on their own to avoid them hitting the slow-cooker walls and burning. I hope you enjoy!
  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded pepper jack cheese (or similar)
  • 3/4 cup medium salsa
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each bell pepper. Carefully remove seeds and membrane, leaving pepper whole.
  2. Combine beans, cheese, salsa, corn, onions, rice, chili powder and cumin in a medium bowl. Spoon filling evenly into each pepper. Place peppers slow-cooker.
  3. Cover; cook on LOW 4-6 hours (before peppers begin to get "wrinkly").

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Yum..the joy of slow cooking! I am so excited to begin slow cooking again because I got a timer which turns on the slow cooker at a certain time. Therefore, no more over-cooked meals; it cooks for exactly the time I want! I love how this recipe uses dried kidney beans- much less expensive and easier to keep. I hope you enjoy!

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 (14-oz) package turkey smoked sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions.
  1. Combine first 12 ingredients in electric slow cooker. Cover with lid; cook on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Discard bay leaf; stir in salt. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with green onions.

Also good over cornbread. For recipe click here

From Cooking Light April 2003.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lemony Blueberry Cupcakes

Yum! I haven't tasted them yet because I'm taking them to Bible study tonight, but if they taste as good as they look then we're in business. Fruity and relatively low-calorie dessert for any occasion. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 10 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking POWDER
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking SODA
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 tsp grated fresh lemon rind
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed


  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • fresh blueberries for decoration (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and place 12 muffin cup liners into muffin cups.
  2. The prepare cupcakes, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour intro dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Measure 1 tbsp flour; level with a knife. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour plus 1 tbsp, granulated sugar, baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Combine melted butter and egg in another large bowl; stir with a whisk.
  4. Add buttermilk, milk, and 1 tsp rind to butter mixture; stir with a whisk.
  5. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  6. Toss blueberries with remaining 1 tbsp flour. Fold blueberries into batter.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely.
For frosting:
  1. Place cream cheese, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp rind, vanilla, and 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed just until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar. Stir in juice. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes. Garnish if desired. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

**Decorating tip: For fast cupcake frosting, simple turn the cupcake upside-down and submerge top of cupcake into icing bowl. Twist gently and pull straight up. It's that easy!

From Cooking Light

Monday, September 13, 2010

Easy Steak Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Delicious and simple, that's what I like about this dish. Unfortunately, I have a stove from like the 1970's, so I broiled the steak, otherwise an outdoor grill or grill pan would've added some flavor. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 medium limes)
  • 1 (1 lb.) skirt steak, trimmed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 cup diced, seeded plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp cilantro flakes)
  • 1 tbsp diced seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced avocado (about 1 medium)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  1. Combine 1/4 cup juice and steak in a shallow dish. Sprinkle cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and red pepper over both sides of steak. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  2. Heat grill pan or grill over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Cut steak into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Combine tomato and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a bowl. Gently stir in avocado and 1/4 tsp salt.
  4. Heat tortillas in microwave, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

From Cooking Light November 2009

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Garlic-Ginger Shrimp Stir-Fry

I have really enjoyed branching out of my comfort zone with the Asian dishes this week. I've added two new skills to my cooking repertoire: peeling and grating ginger root and sectioning an orange. Also, I've really learned the advantage of prepping food in prep bowls (thank you for the beautiful prep bowls, April!) so all you have to do is throw things together in a pan. I liked this dish, but I think the seasonings were off a little bit. On my last bite I thought.. "maybe I should've added salt & pepper." Also, the sauce didn't thicken up as it said it would. I really enjoyed the oranges in the dish to give a little sweetness. Fun dish to create and play with. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 1/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped red bell pepper (or green pepper- it's usually cheaper)
  • 3 tbsp Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry (I used sherry)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 cup orange sections (about 2 oranges)
  • 3 cups hot cooked short-grain rice
  • 1 cup (1-inch) cut green onions.
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine oil, ginger, and garlic in a wok or large nonstick skillet. Place over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until ginger and garlic begin to brown.
  4. Add shrimp and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  5. Add bell pepper; stir-fry 2 minutes.
  6. Add wine and vinegar; bring to simmer. Cook 1 minute or until wine mixture is syrupy.
  7. Gently stir in oranges. Serve over rice and sprinkle with onions.

Serves 4. Calories per serving: 417.

From Cooking Light June 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gingery Pork Meatballs with Noodles

So it's Asian food week in Abbey's Kitchen, and this first dish lives up to its name. I didn't heed to my own warning of using red pepper to taste, so, needless to say, it was very spicy. It was still delicious, and the meatballs were so flavorful! Yum! I couldn't find any rice noodles at my grocery store, so I simply substituted fettuccine. You could even use spaghetti noodles if you'd like. I bought fresh ginger root, which can be peeled like you would peel the skin off an apple. I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone; I hope you enjoy!

Prep time: 35-45 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or 1 tbsp cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (or Panko)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten


  • 8 ounces uncooked wide rice noodles, or similar
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 1 cup julienne-cut snow peas
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  1. Place a foil-lined baking sheet in oven. Preheat to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir gently just until blended. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Divide into 20ish equal portions. Shape each portion into a meatball. Arrange meatballs in single layer on preheated pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until done.
  3. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
  4. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, peas, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cook 5 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  5. Add noodles; toss to coat.
  6. Serve about 1 3/4 cups of noodles with 5 meatballs. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp green onions.

Serves 4.

From Cooking Light September 2010.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Seared Pork Chops with Orange-Chipotle Glaze

I have to admit that I have never cooked pork outside of the slow cooker. So in the spirit of branching out, this dish inspired me to step outside of my chicken comfort zone. I did it! It was wonderful. I especially love the smoky-spicy flavor with the sweetness of the orange marmalade. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp cilantro flakes)
  • 1 tbsp minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce with 1 tsp of the sauce
  • 4 4-oz. boneless pork loin chops or similar
  1. In a medium bowl combine the orange marmalade, cilantro and chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tsps olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper to taste; add to pan.
  3. Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from pan; set aside.
  4. Add orange marmalade mixture to pan. Simmer, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens and reduces slightly.
  5. Return pork chops to pan and cook 1 minute or until tender but still slightly pink in the middle. Spoon glaze over the pork.

From Fitness Magazine September 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chicken Tamale Casserole

I'm pretty sure yummy is and understatement for this dish. You know I love Mexican food, and this comforting casserole is the perfect ending to a long day. You won't be disappointed with this dish. Think southwestern cornbread meets cheesy chicken. Need I say more? I hope you enjoy- and please leave a comment or post whether it "looks good", you "tried it" or "love it" below.

  • 1 cup pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 oz) box corn muffin mix
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9" baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with fork. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.
  4. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes.

Serving size: 1/8 dish: 354 calories, 14.1 g fat, 18.9 g protein, 2.5 g fiber.

From Cooking Light

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken

I started this blog last year with the intent of constantly cooking new recipes and rarely repeating anything. I have surprised myself with how many dishes are fantastic, including this one. I guess that goes to show that anything I pull out of a magazine will suit my taste. I hope to branch out and choose recipes that I would never think to try.. so stay tuned!

Once I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, I instantly thought of my brother-in-law who loves the chipotle-honey chicken crispers at a Chili's. This healthier (non-fried) version definitely lives up to it's spicy name, but is perfectly paired with the honey glaze. I have found that broiling chicken really preserves its juiciness especially when compared to using a counter-top grill. A downside of this recipe is that it does take a lot of ingredients, so can be rather expensive if you buy all the spices at once. Make substitutions as needed. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs)
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl and toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. (I would suggest a broiling rack, coated with cooking spray, on a cookie sheet covered in foil for easy clean-up) Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture over chicken. Broil one minute. Turn chicken over and brush with remaining honey mixture. Broil additional one minute.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crispy Ravioli with Homemade Tomato Sauce

This tasted just like an appetizer that could be served at an Italian restaurant; it was that good! Yum! I think I'm going to crave this for awhile. I flavored up the tomatoes a bit with oregano and Italian seasonings. Feel free to season to your own taste. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese (or just Kraft grated Parmesan)
  • 1 (9-oz) package of fresh ravioli (such as Buitoni)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups (2 pints) grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  1. Combine water and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well.
  2. Combine panko and cheese in a shallow dish, stirring well with a fork.
  3. Dip each ravioli in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tbsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  5. Add half of ravioli to pan in a single layer; saute one minute on each side or until golden. Remove ravioli from pan; drain on paper towels. (Keep warm by placing in oven preheated on warm).
  6. Repeat procedure with remaining olive oil and ravioli; wipe skillet with paper towels.
  7. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper to pan; saute two minutes. Add garlic to pan; saute 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  8. Divide ravioli onto plates and top with tomato sauce and additional cheese if desired.

From Cooking Light

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Yum! I tried to think of what dessert goes with Mexican food, and this one is so delicious and easy to make. A can of crescent rolls is so versatile. Not exactly healthy, but well worth the splurge every once-in-a-while. I hope you enjoy!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans reduced-fat crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9 x 13" rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish.
  3. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough (kind of tricky).
  4. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the cheesecake. Top with almonds.
  5. Bake in oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  6. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Yum! You know I love cookies, and these are one of my favorites. Inspired by my love for the cookies at my dining hall in college- these are fantastic! Good memories from yummy cookies. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macademia nuts
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture.
  5. Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate.
  6. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

15-minute Tex-Mex Dinner

When you've had a stressful day and all you want is food in your mouth, and quick, this is the perfect Tex-Mex meal for you! With few ingredients and limited cooking time, it's a sure to quench your food craving. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa etc. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 package Taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can (10.75 oz) Campbell's condensed tomato soup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked instant white or brown rice
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained (optional)
  1. Cook beef or turkey and taco seasoning in skillet until browned. Pour off fat if necessary.
  2. Add soup, water, rice, and beans. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until rice is done.
  3. Top with desired toppings. Use chips to scoop or enjoy in a taco salad shell.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Yum! This dish is super tasty and the perfect pairing of flavors. Sarah and I made this for our girl's night, and it was delicious. I hope you enjoy!

  • 20 jumbo shells
  • 1 bag (or box) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, rinsed, and drained
  • 1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
  • salt & pepper
  1. Cook shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Pour spaghetti sauce in bottom of large casserole dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix spinach, ricotta cheese, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and oregano. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon about 2 tbsp of mixture into each shell and place stuffing side up in casserole dish.
  6. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese to coat.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes.
  8. Increase heat to broil and bake an additional 2-5 minutes or until cheese mozzarella cheese has browned.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vegetable-Pasta Soup

This soup is so simple and delicious. Not much to it. I hope you enjoy!

  • 32-oz. box vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup medium-size pasta
  • 2 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes with onions and peppers
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  1. In a large covered saucepan bring broth to boiling. Add pasta, potatoes, peas and carrots, and undrained diced tomatoes. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  2. Ladle soup into bowls. Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 171 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, *1,372 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 7 g protein.

*It's high in sodium, so I wouldn't overdue it with salty crackers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shredded Pork Tacos

Yum! If you haven't figured out by now, I love Tex-Mex food, and I'm always looking for fun new ways to make tacos. Who knew that salsa could be so flavorful in a slow-cooker? This will definitely become a monthly favorite. I hope you enjoy!
  • 2 lb boneless pork roast
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilis
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • toppings: cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocados etc.
  1. Place pork roast in slow cooker.
  2. Top with salsa, chilis, garlic salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook on LOW for 8 hours.

Clean-up tip: I used the crock-pot disposable liners to make this meal, and I am definitely not turning back. No more scrubbing! Simply allow the slow-cooker to cool, and throw away the bag.

Easy Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple

This is a recipe I kind of created after experimenting with different marinades for grilled shrimp. It's one of Tim's favorites. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 lbs. large jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • cooked rice
  • pineapple slices (see pineapple cutting post by clicking here)

Heat grill pan (or grill) over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Take cleaned shrimp and toss in medium-size bowl with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Skewer shrimp on skewers. Take pineapple slices and place on preheated grill pan. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until pineapple shows grill marks and is a darker yellow in color. Remove pineapple and place shrimp into grill pan. Cook 4-5 minutes per side or until no longer clear. Serve shrimp over rice.

Clean-up tip: For easy clean-up of the grill pan, immediately rinse off pan with water, scrubbing if necessary. Otherwise, the food will cool and stick, making it nearly impossible to clean.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I know this is not a recipe, but I thought I would share my super, awesome pineapple cutter! Who knew this gadget would work so well? Stay tuned for my grilled pineapple tomorrow night.

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken

Yum! What a delicious and healthy recipe that's so full of flavor. It's very simple to prepare and can simply be eaten with a bed of leafy greens. Yum! I hope you enjoy!

  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (I just used milk)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 (6-ounce) chicken cutlets OR 4 chicken breast halves
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
  4. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

This recipe is from Cooking Light magazine, and was a little time intensive, but worth it! You can save time by buying pre-made pizza dough, but you made need to adjust the cooking time. I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 precooked mild Italian chicken sausages, casings removed, chopped OR 1/2 lb. ground turkey, Italian seasoned, cooked
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 tsps chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsps chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  1. To make dough, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl. Stir flour mixture into yeast mixture until dough forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour to prevent dough from stick to hands (dough will feel sticky).
  3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  4. Roll dough into an 11x15-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough in a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; press dough up sides of dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups of cheese evenly over dough. Arrange chopped sausage evenly over cheese.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Chop tomatoes; place in sieve. Stir in oregano and basil; drain tomato mixture 10 minutes.
  7. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms to pan; cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in bell peppers; cook for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Arrange vegetables over sausage; spoon tomato mixture evenly over vegetables and sausage. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until crust browns and cheese bubbles.
  9. Cool 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional information (makes 8 servings): Calories 330; fat 9.2 g; protein 17.8g; carbs 44g; fiber 3.2g; chol 31mg; iron 3.9mg; sodium 365mg; calc 244mg.