Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Strawberry Layer Cake

I thought this recipe looked great- unfortunately I did not get to eat it because it is still Lent season! My friends, however, said it was fantastic and extra moist. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 1/4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsps baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1/4 tsp red food coloring


  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tbsps) softened
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur) OR orange juice
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • sliced strawberries for decoration (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. To prepare cake, place sliced strawberries in a food processor; process until smooth.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stirring with a whisk.
  4. Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a separate, large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in egg whites.
  6. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  7. Add pureed strawberries and food coloring; beat until just blended.
  8. Divide batter between 2 (8-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; Remove from pans and allow to completely cool.
  10. To prepare frosting, place cream cheese, 1/3 cup butter, and liqueur (or orange juice) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until blended.
  11. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Slice strawberries and decorate (optional).

Recipe from Cooking Light

Calories (per slice, 16 slices per cake): 348, Fat 11.3g (sat 6.9g, mono 2.8g, poly 0.6g), Protein 4.3g, Carb 57.7g, Fiber 0.7g, Cholesterol 55mg, Iron 1.1mg, Sodium 212mg, Calcium 74mg.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken with Asparagus

The chicken was so flavorful, that I couldn't believe it didn't come off the grill. This dish is also so easy to make- can be on the table in 30 minutes. I only had to buy the Greek yogurt and a lemon; everything else came from my pantry. I hope you enjoy!

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (I substituted cumin)
  • Grated peel and juice of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into thirds
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, 1 tbsp olive oil, the chili powder, coriander (or cumin), lemon peel and 1-1/2 tsps lemon juice.
  2. Season the chicken with salt & pepper, then toss with the yogurt marinade; let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the broiler. Position a greased rack on a rimmed baking sheet, then arrange the chicken in a single layer on top; drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Broil the chicken about 3 inches from the heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn with tongs, drizzle with olive oil and broil until browned and cooked through (reaches 160 degrees), approx. 8-10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, on another baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 1 tbsp olive oil, then season with salt & pepper and arrange in a single layer.
  7. Broil until crisp and tender, about 5 minutes

To serve atop a salad, top watercress or green leaf lettuce with the asparagus and chicken. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and remaining lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper.

Recipe from Rachael Ray magazine.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tamale Pies

If you love Mexican food as much as I do, then you will love this dish! It's so simple to make and makes a very pretty presentation of two individual tamale pies. (Warning- if you don't like beans, you won't like this dish. I'm sure you can make substitutions.) Yummy! I cannot wait to make this dish again.

  • 2 1-1/2 cup ramekins (oven safe)
  • 4 ounces ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper (if you don't have this, you can use 1/8 tsp chili powder plus 1/8 tsp of black pepper)
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles, undrained (you may not be able to find this in the stores, so you can just use regular fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 large egg white
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook turkey in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add onion, corn, and garlic to pan. Saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and chipotle; cook 30 seconds
  5. Add beans and tomatoes to pan, cook 1 minute.
  6. Divide turkey mixture evenly between two ramekins coated with cooking spray
  7. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  8. Combine milk and egg white, stirring with a whisk.
  9. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir until just moist.
  10. Spoon batter evenly over turkey mixture.
  11. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until crust is browned.

Calories (per one pie): 431 (11% from fat); Fat 5.2 g (saturated 1.4g, mono 1.9g, poly 1.3g); Protein 25.9g; Carb 68.7g; Fiber 9.4g; Cholesterol 45 mg; Iron 5mg; Sodium 96.4mg; Calcium 186 mg.

From Cooking Light magazine.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Homemade Cornbread

This is a family recipe that I was grown up on. It's not sweet like "traditional" Texas cornbread, but it is a tasty addition to any meal. I even dyed it green for St. Patrick's Day. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a small square or round pan. Assemble all ingredients and mix well. Spoon into prepared dish and bake for 25 minutes or tester comes out clean.

Slow Cooker Meatballs

I found this recipe from allrecipes.com. It's so simple to make and assemble. I actually made the meatballs the night before so all I had to do was toss it all together in the morning. I would recommend using a flavored jar spaghetti sauce, because mine was a little too tomato based. You could also just season the sauce more with your own spices. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or 1 cup chopped frozen onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, onion, and egg. Shape the mixture into 16 meatballs.

In a slow cooker (a larger one), mix the spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato puree. Place the meatballs into the sauce mixture. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Serve over spaghetti noodles with fresh parmesan cheese.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Natalie's Stuffed Peppers

This dish is from my sweet friend Natalie. It's so easy to make since it is mainly cooked in the microwave. I love to try new things, and this will definitely become one of my monthly favorites.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 bell peppers, tops removed seeded and cored
  • 1 lb hamburger meat, cooked
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup minute rice, cooked
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • Cavender's all-purpose Greek seasoning
  • shredded cheese to top (optional)
Place bell peppers in a shallow dish with 1/4 cup of water. Microwave for 2 minutes to soften peppers. Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook hamburger meat in a large skillet with onion, garlic, and salt until done. Decrease temperature to low; add tomato sauce and mix well. Add rice and stir. Sprinkle with Cavenders to desired taste. Spoon rice/meat mixture into bell peppers evenly. Place peppers on a shallow dish and microwave for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce

Yum! This recipe is from Cooking Light of this month. At first I was a little apprehensive about the blue cheese being overpowering in this dish, but it definitely was not. The buffalo sauce adds a nice kick! I couldn't find the red peppers for the buffalo sauce so I used finely chopped jalapenos instead (hence the green sauce). This dish is a very healthy alternative to fried chicken wings! I hope you enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tbsp butter

Buffalo Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tsp butter (this doesn't make sense to me- I just did 1 tbsp)
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped drained bottled roasted red bell peppers- I just used jalapenos
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pockets. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish. Work with one chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour, egg mixture, and panko.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes until browned. Turn chicken over, place skillet in oven. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done.

While chicken bakes, combine butter, bell peppers, water, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Cook until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce. Serve sauce with chicken.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mini Meatloaves and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I know that this dish combines probably the two most hated foods.. meatloaf and brussel sprouts. But, my friend Monica told me about the mini meatloaf recipe, and it sounded so delicious since I hadn't had meatloaf since I was a kid. Also, because the meatloaves are small, you can easily freeze the leftovers. Extra tasty; you can mix it up any way you wish. I hope you enjoy!

Mini Meatloaves:

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 box of stuffing mix (any kind or brand)
  • barbecue sauce
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Roasted Brussel Sprouts:

  • 1 package of frozen brussel sprouts, thawed
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

To prepare meatloaves, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a small muffin pan (6 cups). Mix ground beef and package of stuffing mix with hands in a small bowl. Press into muffin tins. Make a small divot into each meatloaf with the back of a spoon. Spoon in about 1 tbsp of barbecue sauce into each meatloaf. Bake 20 minutes, then sprinkle shredded cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until meatloaves reach 160 degrees.

For brussel sprouts, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a small casserole dish or similar. Cut brussel sprouts in half lengthwise. Toss brussel sprouts in a medium-sized bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Spread into baking dish, trying to keep in a single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).
You can bake the meatloaves and brussel sprouts at the same time!
I hope you enjoy; you'll be surprised how good meatloaf and brussel sprouts can be.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Easy Pancakes

If you're like me, you constantly run out of milk by the end of the week. So what do you do if you still want pancakes on a Sunday morning? I found this recipe online that doesn't use milk- and it was delicious! I didn't have enough all-purpose flour so I substituted whole wheat flour. I also added a little bit of vanilla for some more flavor. There's nothing better than pancakes on a Sunday morning :) (Probably thanks to my Dad's delicious pancakes- which still can't be beat)

  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl combine egg, water, oil, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until mixed (batter may still be lumpy). Preheat a skillet or griddle and lightly oil. Griddle is ready when water is dropped onto it, and it immediately sizzles. Pour pancake batter onto griddle. Flip pancakes when edges are golden brown and bubbly or pancake is lightly browned underneath when checked. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken

I love Mexican food, so this was the perfect dish to come home to. It's so simple and tastes fantastic! I shredded the chicken and served it on tortillas with shredded cheese and avocados. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning mix (about 1/2 packet)
  • 1 1/2 cups of thick n' chunky salsa
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper and green bell pepper (or 1 cup frozen pepper mix)
  • shredded cheese (for serving)

Place chicken in slow cooker and add flour and taco seasoning mix. Stir in salsa, corn, and bell peppers.

Cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.

Shred to place on tortillas or serve atop rice. Enjoy!