I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spiced Cranberry-Orange Jello

This delicious recipe was given to me by my friend Mary Beth.   I added it to my many Thanksgiving day Dinner side dishes.  This would also be a great recipe for Christmas dinner.



SPICED CRANBERRY-ORANGE JELLO
(serves 10)

Ingredients:
*1 package (8 serving size) raspberry flavored gelatin
*1 1/2 cups boiling water
*1 cup cold water
*1 can (16 ounce) whole-berry cranberry sauce
*1 tablespoon lemon juice
*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
*1 orange, peeled, sectioned and diced
*1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
~Dissolve gelatin completely in boiling water in a large bowl.
~Stir in cranberry sauce, cold water, lemon juice, cinnamon & cloves.
~Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until thickened.
~Stir in the orange & walnuts.
~Spoon into a bowl or a 5-cup ring mold.
~Refrigerate until firm.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Marinated-Grilled-Vegetables

Simple to make and pretty tasty.   Best part, a big serving is only  64 calories.   I do love grilled veggies.


MARINATED-GRILLED-VEGETABLES
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 large zucchini, sliced thin
*1 large yellow squash, sliced thin
*2 medium carrots, sliced thin
*1 yellow onion, sliced thin
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 tablespoons fat free italian dressing
*1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
~Slice on the veggies, and place into a large bowl.
~Mix in italian dressing, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.
~Let marinate for 1-2 hours.
~Heat stove top griddle or skillet over medium high heat.
~Place veggie mixture into hot pan.
~Cook until veggies are tender, about  minutes, stirring often.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gingerbread Men

I like to play this gingerbread song/story, because it leaves something to the imagination and not nightmares for the babies.  If you think your kids will be fine with the real story try this one gingerbread man.  After we make & decorate the gingerbread men.  Then we reenact the story.  We even use our " Fisher Price little people" and toy cow, horse & fox.  Sometimes we add a giraffe, zebra, pig and whatever other little people animals we have.  It is a lot of fun and on top of that taste wonderful.




GINGERBREAD MEN
(makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup molasses
*1 egg
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 teaspoon ground cloves
*dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:
~In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter & sugar until smooth.
~Stir in molasses & egg.
~In a large bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & cayenne pepper.
~Mix the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well mixed & smooth.
~Cover or put in a ziploc bag and chill for at least 90 minutes.
~Preheat ove 350 degrees.
~Cut dough into several sections.
~Keep one section out and return the rest into the refrigerator.
~Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
~Cut out with gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape you prefer).  I like to place my dough between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper because then I don't have to use as much flour.  This makes for a softer cookie.)
~Place cookies 2-inches apart on a ungreased cookie sheet.
~Take a pastry brush and brush off any flour (optional).
~Bake for 8-10 minutes.
~Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
~Let cookie sheet cool down before adding next batch or use a different cookie sheet (I think they come out better when put on a cool cookie sheet).
~Once cookie is cooled, decorate and enjoy.

Helpful Hint:  If you like this idea but don't think your children will eat gingerbread cookies, make them with a sugar cookie recipe.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Breakfast Bars

Make them up and then you have an easy & quick breakfast for those busy days.  Great for a snack too.





BREAKFAST BARS:
(servings 12)

Ingredients:
*2 cups rolled oats
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup wheat germ
*1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup dried cranberries
*1/2 cup slivered almonds
*1/2 cup chocolate chips
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup honey
*1 egg, beaten
*1/2 cup pumpkin puree
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, cranberries, almonds, chocolate chips & salt.
~In a small bowl, mix honey, egg, pumpkin & vanilla.
~Mix, mix honey mixture into dry ingredients.
~Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and spread out, leaving about a once inch space around the sides (it will spread out to the edges as it cooks).
~Bake for 20-25 minutes, or when the edges start to turn a light brown (do not overcook).
~Cool for 5-7 minutes and then cut.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Butterfly Pork Chops & Spicy Blackberry Sauce

I do love a good pork chop.   I also love to change them up a bit.  This is really different, a little spicy but oh so good.  If you don't like spice try leaving out the jalapeño pepper.



BUTTERFLY PORK CHOPS & SPICY BLACKBERRY SAUCE
(serves 4)

*4 cups blackberries
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 jalapeño pepper, chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
*1/8 cup olive oil
*1/2 small yellow onion, minced
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 teaspoons cumin
*1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
*2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*4 butterfly pork chops
*1/2 -3/4 cup chicken stock

Directions:
~In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, over medium heat cook blackberries, jalapeño pepper & sugar, stirring constantly.
~Once they are heated up, mash them with a potato masher.
~Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
~Place a wire mesh strainer over a glass bowl.
~Pour blackberry mixture through the mesh strainer and into the bowl.
~Discard the pulp & seeds left in the strainer.
~Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan (I use my cast iron skillet).
~Add onions & garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
~Add the blackberry mixture, cumin, vinegar & salt.
~Simmer for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly.
~Remove from heat.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Season pork chops with remaining salt & pepper.
~Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a oven-proof skillet (I use my cast iron pan).
~Cook the pork chops over medium heat, for about 5 minutes on each side side.
~Pour chicken stock into the pan.
~Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil.
~Bake for 30 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~If the pan is dry add a 1/4 cup more chicken stock.
~Spoon blackberry sauce over each pork chop.
~Cover and bake another 15-20 minutes.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Garlic-Poppyseed-Bread

This is such a good bread.   I love the seasonings on it.   Goes great with just about any meal.   I will often use the leftover olive oil mixture to marinate chicken in it.




Ingredients:
*2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
*1 1/2 cups warm water
*1 tablespoon granulated sugar
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 tablespoon salt
*4 cups bread flour
*2 tablespoons poppy seeds
*1/8 cup kosher salt
*3/4 cup olive oil
*3 garlic cloves
*2 tablespoons dried oregano
*2 tablespoon dried basil

Directions:
~In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast & sugar into water.
~Let set for about 10 minutes to proof.
~Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil & 1 tablespoon salt.
~Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing at low speed.
~Knead for 3-5 minutes with dough hook (if you don't have one knead until smooth and elastic).
~Place into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover.
~Let rise in a warm draft free area for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
~Gently punch down dough.
~Divide dough into four loafs.
~On a plate, mix poppy seeds & kosher salt together.
~Roll each loaf into the poppy seed-salt mixture.
~Place on a large cookie sheet.
~Place 3/4 cup olive oil, garlic, oregano & basil in a blender.
~Blend on high until well mixed and garlic is minced.
~Brush olive oil mixture over each loaf of bread.
~Cover gently with plastic wrap.
~Let it rise in a warm, draft free area for 45 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Remove plastic wrap from dough.
~Bake for 10 minutes.
~Reduce oven to 400 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until bread is a golden brown.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Peanut-Butter Chocolate Brownies


This recipe gives your tongue all the different flavors it craves.  Salty, sweet, chocolate and peanut butter.   What else could you want?  I really love the pretzel crust.





PRETZEL-PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
(serves 20)

Pretzel Crust Ingredients:
*4 cups pretzels
*3/4 cup butter
*1/2 cup sugar

Brownie Ingredients:
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*1/2 cup melted butter
*1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
*2 cups white sugar
*4 eggs
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt


Peanut Butter Cream Ingredients:
*1 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup butter, room temperature
*1-3 tablespoon whole milk

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients:
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*6 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I use mini, for easier melting)

Pretzel Crust Directions:
~Crush pretzels in a bag or food processor (do not process into a powder).
~Melt butter in microwave.
~Mix the butte & sugar into the crushed pretzels.
~Press the pretzel mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.
~Bake for 10 minutes.
~Remove from oven and let cool.

Brownie Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Mix instant coffee into melted butter, until coffee is dissolved.
~In a medium bowl, mix together oil, coffee-butter, sugar & vanilla.
~Beat in eggs one at a time.
~Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder & salt.
~Slowly stir into the egg mixture until just blended.
~Spread evenly over pretzel crust.
~Bake for 25-30 minutes.
~Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cream Directions:
~In a medium mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter & powdered sugar until well incorporated & smooth.
~Add enough milk to make it spreadable.
~Spread on top of brownies when they are cooled.

Chocolate Frosting Directions:
~Heat heavy cream in a microwavable bowl, for around 30 seconds, or until it starts to boil.
~Remove from microwave and whisk in chocolate chips, until they are melted and mixture becomes shiny.
~Spread over peanut butter cream.
~Let set for about 1/2, cut and serve.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Banana Pumpkin Bread

I love all the things that I can make with pumpkin.   This is so moist and wonderful.   The mixture of banana, pumpkin & spices make this bread awesome.   I like to make this bread into muffins or mini loafs.  Great with a mug of hot apple cider.



BANANA PUMPKIN BREAD
(makes 1 loaf or 24 muffins)

Ingredients:
*3 very ripe bananas, mashed
*2 large eggs, room temperature
*1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
*1 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
*1/2 cup honey
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
*3/4 cup dried cranberries
*1/4 cup chocolate chips
*1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
~Preheat over to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan, muffin tins or mini loaf pans with a cooking spray.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix bananas, eggs, applesauce, pumpkin puree, honey & sugar.
~In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves together.
~Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
~Fold in cranberries, chocolate chips & walnuts.
~Pour mixture into prepared pans.
~Bake the large loaf pan for 40-45 minutes.  Bake the mini loaf pans for 25-30 minutes.  Bake the muffins for 18-22 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean when inserted into bread.
~If using the large loaf pan, cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.  If using a mini loaf pan, let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  If using muffin pan, remove after sitting for 2-3 minutes (I usually will use paper liners & spray them for the muffin pans.   Those you can remove immediately after removing from the oven).

Variation:
`substitute dried cranberries with raisins.
`substitute dried cranberries with dried blueberries.
`substitute chocolate chips with butterscotch chips.
`omit dried cranberries, nuts or chocolate chips or all if you want.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Snicker-doodles with Maple Cream Frosting

This cookie recipe screams "Fall Time" to me.   With the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & maple in the cookies, how can you not help but think fall.   I think this goes wonderful with a hot cup of apple cider or hot tea.




PUMPKIN SNICKERDOODLES WITH MAPLE FROSTING
(makes 4 dozen)

Cookie Ingredients:
*3 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 cup butter, room temperature
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*3/4 cup pumpkin puree
*1 large egg, room temperature
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


Frosting Ingredients:
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
*1 stick butter, room temperature
*1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
*2 cups confectioners sugar

Cookie Directions:
~In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger.
~In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar & butter together until mixture is light & fluffy.
~Mix in the pumpkin puree, egg & vanilla until well mixed.
~Mix in the dry ingredients.
~Cover & chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (I leave mine over night).
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray cookie sheet with a cooking spray.
~In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
~Set cinnamon sugar aside.
~Scoop cookie dough and roll into balls.
~Roll the cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar and put onto the prepared cookie sheet.
~Flatten the cookie dough with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass.
~Bake for 10-12 minutes.
~Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
~Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Maple Cream Frosting Directions:
~In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese & 1/2 cup butter together until smooth.
~Add maple flavoring, and mix through.
~Add powdered sugar, and continue beating until mixed well & smooth.
~Spread on cooled cookies.








Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte

So easy to make and much cheaper than Starbucks.  If you really like the pumpkin flavoring, pour in the full 2 ounces of syrup.  You can make the coffee as strong as you like it, or just use a couple shots of expresso.  I do not like coffee, but everyone I made it for seemed to love it.   I'm thinking this is about 50 cents to make (if you already have the spices).







PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE


Pumpkin Syrup Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups water
*1 1/2 cups sugar, sifted
*4 cinnamon sticks
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Directions for Pumpkin Syrup:
~Sift sugar 4 or 5 times.
~In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water & sugar.
~Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring often.
~Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
~Simmer for 10 minutes (Do Not Boil).
~Remove from heat.
~Put a small mesh strainer over a small/medium bowl.
~Place a piece of cheesecloth in the strainer.
~Pour pumpkin syrup into the mesh and let it drain into the bowl (let it drain on it's own, without pushing it through).
~Allow syrup to cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Ingredients to make the latte:
*1/2 -1 cup very strong brewed coffee
*1 cup milk (whole is best, but 2% is better for you)
*1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
*1-2 ounces pumpkin syrup
*dash of pumpkin pie spice
*whip cream (I use homemade)

Directions for making the latte (per cup):
~Brew 1 cup of very strong coffee.
~In a small saucepan, mix milk, 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice & pumpkin syrup.
~Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot but not scalding.
~Pour hot mixture into blender.
~Mix at highest setting for 30 seconds, until frothy.
~Pour hot mixture into coffee cup.
~Pour in coffee.
~Top with whip cream.
~Sprinkle a dash of pumpkin pie spice & enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pull Apart Pumpkin Bread with a Maple Glaze

Fall time to me means pumpkin recipes.  This is a great bread to make for Thanksgiving breakfast.   It is a gooey, sweet, fluffy amazing bread of wonderful fall tastes.




PULL APART PUMPKIN BREAD WITH A MAPLE GLAZE
(serves 8)

Bread Ingredients:
*2 tablespoons butter
*1/2 cup whole milk
*1 (envelope) active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
*3/4 cup pumpkin puree
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 1/2 cups bread flour, sifted
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Maple Glaze Ingredients: 
*2 1/2 tablespoons butter
*1/4 cup brown sugar
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
Bread Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, brown 2 tablespoons butter.
~Allow the butter to bubble up and turn a golden brown, but be careful not to burn it.
~Remove from heat and add milk.
~Return to the burner and heat through.
~Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
~Allow hot mixture to cool down to warm (about 110 degrees).
~Add yeast & 1/4 cup granulated sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
~Add pumpkin puree, salt & 1 cup flour.
~Mix, add rest of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing between each addition.
~Knead dough, until dough is smooth & elastic and a little sticky.
~Place dough into greased large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
~Allow to rise is a warm, draft free, area for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
~In a medium saucepan, brown 2 tablespoon butter, careful not to let it burn.


~Remove from stove.
~Add 1 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg and mix, set aside.
~Grease & lightly flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
~Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
~Knead for 2 minutes.
~Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.
~Roll dough into a 20x12 inch rectangle.
~Sprinkle dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press gently into dough.
~Cut into 6 strips.
~Lay the strips on top on each other
~Cut stacked strips into 6 even squares.
~Stack dough strips vertically into prepared loaf pan.
~Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a dark golden brown.
~Use a butter knife to loosen all the sides of the bread.
~Gently turn it onto a plate.
~Place another plate on top of the bread and flip it right side up.

Maple Glaze Directions:
~In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix butter, milk & brown sugar.
~Bring to a boil and remove from stove.
~Stir in maple flavoring & powdered sugar.
~Whisk until it's smooth.
~Drizzle over top of bread.
~Serve warm.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chipotle Nacho Cheese

I love homemade nacho cheese.  It is a great base for homemade nacho supreme.  You will want to prep all your ingredients before making it.   Very quick to make.   You will also want to keep it warm while you are dipping your tortillas.  It will set when it gets cold.  You can make this as spicy as you like.   My recipe is fairly mild.  Just make sure you taste as you add more hot sauce and add only a little at a time.







CHIPOTLE NACHO CHEESE

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 tablespoons butter
*1 tablespoon corn starch
*2/3 cup whole milk
*1/4 cup cream cheese, cubed small
*1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
*3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
*1/2-1 tablespoon hot sauce
*1 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper

Directions:
~Melt butter in a medium, sturdy, saucepan, over medium-low heat.
~Whisk in corn starch.
~Add milk & cream cheese, stir until cream cheese is melted, smooth & slightly thickened.
~Add the cheddar & monterey jack cheese, stir until melted.
~Stir in chili powder & chipotle chile pepper.
~Stir in hot sauce until mixed & serve with or over tacos or tortilla chips.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicken Roll-Ups

This can be mild or spicy, depending on how hot you like your salsa.  It's an easy meal to make and tastes wonderful.  I love that this is baked and not fried.  I like to serve this with sour cream.


CHICKEN ROLL-UPS
(makes 6)

Ingredients:
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 small yellow onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 cups salsa (I make my own)
*3 tablespoons water
*1/8 cup chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
*1 cup refried beans
*1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
*6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
*2 tablespoon olive oil
*Chipotle Sauce (optional)

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Spray a baking dish with a cooking spray.
~In a large saucepan, over medium heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
~Saute onion & garlic, until onion is translucent.
~Stir in salsa, water, chili powder, cumin & cinnamon.
~Blend mixture in a blender or with a immersion blender, until smooth.
~Return to saucepan, stir in chicken and cook until heated.
~Divide refried beans evenly down the center of each tortilla.
~Divide the  chicken/salsa mixture over the refried beans.
~Sprinkle cheese evenly over the chicken/salsa mixture.
~Fold tortillas & secure with toothpicks.
~Place seam-side down into prepared baking dish.
~Brush 2 tablespoon olive oil over tortillas.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until golden brown.
~Dip in Chipotle Sauce (optional)

**If you want to freeze them, but have them taste fresh.
    `before you bake them, roll them up in aluminum foil.
    `when you are ready to eat them, put in oven frozen & still wrapped and bake for
     40 minutes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thai Chicken Wraps

A wonderful, filling, easy to make, healthy meal.  I really like the mixture of tastes in this recipe & the hint of heat.  Before you ask the broccoli slaw is a package mix that you can buy in the grocery store or you can make your own.  Only 285 calories.




THAI CHICKEN WRAPS:
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast strips
*1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*4 cups broccoli slaw
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
*2 tablespoons water
*1 tablespoon soy sauce
*1 garlic clove, minced
*2-4 teaspoon hot sauce (depending on how hot you like)
*4 (10 inch) whole wheat tortillas, warmed or low carb wraps

Directions:
~Sprinkle chicken strips with garlic salt & pepper.
~Spray a large frying pan with a cooking spray.
~Cook chicken over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink.
~Remove from pan, wrap with aluminum foil to keep warm.
~Add broccoli slaw & ground ginger to pan.
~Cook for 3 minutes.
~In a small saucepan, over low heat mix  peanut butter, water, soy sauce, minced garlic, & hot sauce.
~Cook until smooth, whisking continually.
~Spread tortillas with peanut sauce.
~Divide chicken evenly over the wraps.
~Divide the broccoli slaw evenly over chicken.
~Roll each tortilla.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This is so simple and quick to put together.   It's very good.  To make it even easier, buy your own marinara sauce.  Another plus side is this one is healthier than my other recipe, because you don't fry the chicken first.



CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
*6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*2 cups marinara sauce (I make my own)
*2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded & divided
*1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated & divided
*1 (5 ounce) package of garlic or garlic croutons

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spay a 9x13 inch baking dish with a cooking spay.
~Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the baking dish.
~Add minced garlic along the bottom of the baking dish, stir a little in the olive oil
~Sprinkle red pepper flakes evenly over olive oil & garlic.
~Place chicken breasts in dish.
~Pour marinara sauce evenly over chicken, making sure it covers chicken well.
~Sprinkle dried basil & dried oregano evenly over top of marinara sauce.
~Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over sauce.
~Sprinkle 1/2 cup parmesan cheese over mozzarella cheese.
~Spread croutons over cheese.
~Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella & parmesan cheese over croutons.
~Bake for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mixed Berry Syrup

I could eat this syrup by the spoonfuls.  In fact I think I have.   This is good, over pancakes, waffles,  healthy waffles, french toast and ice cream.






MIXED BERRY SYRUP
(makes 1 pint)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup water
*2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
*1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
*1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries or raspberries
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon grated lemon peel.
*1 teaspoon cornstarch
*1/8 cup cold water

Directions:
~Blend 1/2 cup water, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, sugar, lemon juice & lemon peel ingredients in a blender.
~Pour mixture into a medium size saucepan.
~Cook over medium heat, stirring often until a light boil.
~Remove from heat.
~Pour mixture through a sieve and into a clean saucepan to remove seeds (I do this twice).
~Bring mixture back up to a light boil, stirring often.
~In a small bowl, whisk 1/8 cup water and corn starch together until smooth.
~Pour cornstarch mixture into berry mixture.
~Whisk and continue cooking until syrup thickens slightly.
~Remove from heat, serve warm or cold.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini-Chicken Boats

A very tasty low-calorie meal.   Great for lunch or dinner.  They are only around 190 calories each.





STUFFED ZUCCHINI-CHCIKEN BOATS

Ingredients:
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 cups tomato sauce
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon cumin
*2/3 cup chicken stock
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
*4 medium zucchini
*1 teaspoon vegetable oil
*1/2 cup green onions, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
*1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
*1 teaspoon dried cilantro
*2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
*1 teaspoon cumin
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1/4 cup chicken stock
*1 tablespoon tomato paste
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
~Spray a medium saucepan with pam & sauté 2 gloves of minced garlic.
~Add chicken stock, tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper & cayenne pepper.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low & simmer for 15-20 minutes.
~Remove from heat & set aside.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
~Cut zucchini's in half lengthwise.
~Scoop out pulp from inside of cucumber, leaving around 1/4" thick.
~Chop up pulp & set aside.
~Carefully put cucumber boats into boiling water.  Boil for 2 minutes, remove & set aside.
~In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil.
~Sauté green onions, red & green bell peppers & 2 minced garlic cloves for about 2 minutes.
~Mix in pulp from cucumber.
~Add dried cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper, water & tomato paste and cook for 6 minutes.
~Add cooked chicken and cook for 4 more minutes.
~Spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
~Place zucchini boats scooped out side up.
~Fill each zucchini with chicken mixture, pressing mixing down into zucchini.
~Top with tomato sauce mixture.
~Sprinkle cheese over top.
~Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered.

Variations:
`top with chopped green onions.
`top with chopped black olives
`top with a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

French Toast

My family all loves a good hardy French Toast.  Believe it or not, fresh bread does not make the best french toast.   You want your bread to be a little stale.    I love the custard style egg mixture that you dip the bread in.   It makes amazing french toast.



FRENCH TOAST
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1/2 cup milk
*3 tablespoons honey, warmed up
*4 eggs
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*8 slices stale bread, cut 1/2 -1 inch thick
*4 tablespoons butter

Directions:
~Cut bread and let is air out for at least 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
~In a pie plate, whisk heavy cream, milk, warmed honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla.
~Dip bread into egg mixture, and let soak for about 20-20 seconds per side.
~Place bread on the wire rack, to drip off excess egg mixture.
~Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet/griddle over medium-low heat.
~Place 2-4 slices of egg soaked bread into the skillet/griddle at a time.
~Cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
~Remove from pan and place on a cookie sheet.
~Keep in warm oven until all the french toast is made.
~Repeat until all of the bread has been cooked up.
~Serve hot with syrup or cinnamon sugar, top with whip cream if desired.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

B & B Crushed Potatoes

These are very simple and oh so good.  I prefer yukon gold potatoes, but use whatever potato you like.






CRUSHED BOILED/BAKED TATERS
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 teaspoon salt
*12 yukon gold potatoes
*3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

Directions:
~Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
~Season the water with 1 teaspoon salt.
~Add potatoes, and cook until fork-tender.
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over a large cookie sheet.
~Put the cooked potatoes on prepared cookie sheet, leaving room between the potatoes.
~Gently press each potato down with a potato masher, just until it's slightly mashed.
~Rotate the potato to the other side and gently mash again.
~In a small bowl, mix olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper & rosemary
~Brush the tops of each potato with the remaining olive oil.
~Sprinkle the potatoes with the kosher salt, pepper, garlic salt & rosemary.
~Bake potatoes for 25 minutes.

Variations:
`add crumbled cooked bacon, (the last 5 minutes of cooking or after it's cooked)
`add chopped green onions, after it's cooked
`add a dollop of sour cream, after it's cooked
`add shredded cheddar cheese, (the last 5 minutes of cooking or after it's cooked)
`add a pinch of dried thyme to olive oil.
`add 1/8 teaspoon onion powder to olive oil.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crispy Bread Bowls

My family loves chili in bread bowls.   The crust on this recipe is crispy & and the bread is dense.   I love that I can mix this up the night before and bake them the next day.





CRISPY BREAD BOWLS
(makes 6 small or 4 medium)

Ingredients:
*3 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
*2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*2 1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 tablespoon vegetable oil
*1 1/2 cup warm water

Directions:
~Measure warm water into a large mixing bowl.
~Sprinkle yeast into water & lightly stir.
~Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.
~Stir in all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, dry milk, salt & vegetable oil until mixed.
~Knead dough until it is smooth.
~Cover the dough, rise in a warm, draft free area for 1 hour.
~Divide the dough into 6 pieces.
~Roll each piece into a ball.
~Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
~Sprinkle with a little corn meal (optional)
~Place bread dough on a greased cookie sheet.
~Cover with greased plastic wrap.
~Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
~Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before are ready to eat.
~Uncover and let rise for 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~After bread has rose, slash the top surface several times with a sharp knife.
~Bake 24-28 minutes, until the bowls are a deep brown and have a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
~Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
~Slice off top of bread and scoop out inside (I keep the insides of the bread to make stuffing).
~Fill with soup and enjoy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stuffed Tomatoes

This is not the 'tuna stuffed' tomato that I grew up having.  I do love tuna stuffed tomatoes, but this is out of this world good.  I also love that it's vegetarian.  They are only 185 calories each.





STUFFED TOMATOES
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 large tomatoes
*1 (10 ounce) container chopped frozen spinach, thawed
*1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
*3/4 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
*1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*a pinch nutmeg
*1 egg yolk
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional
*1/4 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
*1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
*3 teaspoons olive oil
*1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:
~Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
~Carefully drop tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minutes.
~Remove from water and put into a large bowl of ice water.
~Squeeze liquid from spinach.
~In a large saucepan, spray a cooking spray into the bottom of a large sauté pan.
~Sauté mushrooms, over medium-high heat, until they begin to brown.
~Add chicken/vegetable stock to the mushrooms.
~Reduce heat to medium.
~Add minced garlic, thyme, italian seasoning & lemon juice.
~Cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
~Remove from heat, and cool.
~In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mushroom mixture, spinach & egg yolk together.
~Mix in salt, pepper, thyme & italian seasoning.
~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
~Peel tomatoes & slice off the tops.
~Carefully scoop the pulp out of the tomatoes into a small bowl.
~Set pulp aside.
~Carefully stuff the tomatoes with the cheese-mushroom mixture.
~Place place stuffed tomatoes into an oven proof baking pan.
~Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
~Bake for 30 minutes.
~While the tomatoes are cooking, whisk spicy brown mustard, vinegar, olive oil & basil into a small bowl.
~Remove tomatoes from oven when done, drizzle mustard mixture over the tomatoes & serve.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Steak Teriyaki Wraps

Very good & easy to make.   This would be even good & lower calorie without the wrap.  It's also very good served over rice.  If you want to make it quicker, buy pre-made teriyaki sauce.




STEAK TERIYAKI WRAPS
(serves 4)

*1 tablespoon cornstarch
*1 tablespoon cold water
*1/4 cup brown sugar
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/2 cup soy sauce
*1/4 cup cider vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
*1 pound lean steak 
*1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
*1/2 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
*1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
*1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
*1 medium sweet onion, sliced
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*4 tortilla wraps or 4 low carb tortilla wraps
Directions:
~In a small saucepan over low heat, cornstarch, cold water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar & 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
~Let sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, until it thickens.
~Remove from heat & set aside.
~Sprinkle salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper over steak.
~In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil/vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
~Cook steak for about 2 minutes on each side and remove from pan.
~Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil/vegetable oil to skillet.
~Add peppers and saute for about 2 minutes.
~Add mushrooms & onions saute for another 4-5 minutes.
~Place the steak back into the pan, reduce heat to low.
~Add the teriyaki sauce & let simmer for 1 minute.
~Divide evenly among the 4 tortillas & serve hot.

Variations:
`substitute steak with boneless, skinless chicken
`omit tortilla and serve of rice
`omit tortilla and wrap in a large lettuce leaf 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grilled White Fish with Strawberry Mango Salsa

I love fish & I love salsa, so this is the perfect recipe for me.  Very quick and tasty. The grilled fish is tasty even without the salsa.  This recipe is a mere 160 calories per serving.



GRILLED WHITE FISH WITH STRAWBERRY MANGO SALSA
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*3/4 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced
*3/4 cup fresh mangos, finely diced
*1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*4 (4 ounce) fish filets (I use cod or tilapia)
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1 teaspoon dried basil
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground pepper
*1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
*1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, mix strawberries, mangos, red onion, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
~In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, olive oil, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon juice & parsley.
~Place the fish filets into a zip-loc bag.
~Pour the olive oil mixture over the fish.
~Seal & refrigerate for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.
~Preheat grill to high.
~Oil grate.
~Remove fish from marinate, and drain off excess liquid.
~Grill fish 5-6 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
~Remove from heat, plate, and spoon strawberry-mango salsa over fish.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

I love just about anything with raspberries in it.   I love the creamy texture of this ice cream.  A little homemade hot fudge syrup over it and it's outstanding.




RASPBERRY SWIRL ICE CREAM
(makes 1 quart)

Ingredients:
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 1/2  cups fresh raspberries
*1 cup whole milk
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*3/4 cup sugar
*2 cups heavy whipping cream
*5 egg yolks
*1 vanilla bean
*2 cups cool whip (optional)

Directions:
~Place raspberries & 1/4 cup sugar in a blender.
~Cover and process on high, until liquified.
~Place a sieve over a medium bowl.
~Pour raspberries into sieve and let drain to get rid of all the seeds.  I use a wooden spoon to help push it through.
~Cover raspberry sauce and put in the refrigerator.
~Slit vanilla bean down the center.
~In a medium sauce pan, heat whole milk, salt,  3/4 cup sugar & vanilla bean over medium-low heat until milk is steaming, but not boiling.
~Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for one hour.
~Prepare an ice water bath in a bowl large bowl.
~Set another bowl inside of the large bowl.
~Set a sieve over the smaller of the two bowls.
~Pour whipping cream into the smaller bowl.
~In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, until they are smooth.
~Reheat milk mixture over medium-low heat (do not let boil).
~Remove from heat.
~Remove vanilla bean.
~Remove 1 cup of milk mixture and in a slow stream pour it into the yolk mixture, whisking continually.
~Slowly add egg mixture into the hot milk, whisking continually.
~Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wood spoon (you can run your finger through the mixture over the back of the coated spoon and if the mixture stays in place and does not run, it should be thick enough).
~Strain the custard mixture through the sieve and into the chilled heavy cream.
~Allow custard to sit in ice bath, stirring occasionally until completely chilled.
~Place a plastic wrap over custard and refrigerate for a least 4 hours.
~Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's directions.
~Fold in raspberry sauce.
~Fold in whip cream.
~Transfer into a freezer-safe covered container.
~Freeze for 4 hours.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Banana Nutella Bread

My youngest daughter LOVES nutella.  I am always looking for new recipes for her.  This was a definite hit.




BANANA NUTELLA BREAD
(makes 2 loafs or 4-6 mini loafs)


Ingredients:
*4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking soda
*1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons cinnamon
*6 overly ripe bananas, mashed
*1 (6 ounce) container plain greek yogurt
*4 large eggs, beaten
*1 1/2 cups butter, melted
*2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup slivered almonds
*1 cup nutella

Directions:
~Mash bananas in a large bowl, set aside.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease & lightly flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans or 8-12 mini loafs.
~Sift the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt & cinnamon together in a large bowl.
~Mix the yogurt, eggs & vanilla into the bananas.
~Stir in the melted butter into the banana until well mixed.
~Gently fold the banana mixture into the dry mixture until just combined.
~Stir in almonds.
~Spoon nutella into a microwave safe bowl.
~Microwave for 20-30 seconds, just to make nutella more spreadable not melted.
~Stir the nutella into the batter, just until it looks swirled, not completely mixed.
~Pour evenly into bread pans.
~Bake 55-60 minutes for large loaf or 25-30 minutes for mini loafs.
~Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
~Remove and cool on a wire rack (I wrap bread in plastic wrap as it cools.  This keeps it very moist).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lasagna Soup

When I make Lasagna, it's an all day project, but well worth the work.  It's one of my most requested recipes.  This soup although it really doesn't taste like my lasagna, it's still awesome.   It's easy to make and is wonderful on a chilly fall or winter day.




LASAGNA SOUP
(serves 10)

Ingredients:
*1 pound lean ground beef
*1/2 pound Italian sausage
*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
*1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*2 teaspoons dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
*2 bay leaves
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
*1 (32 ounce) box chicken stock
*1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
*1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
*2 cups, broken lasagna noodles or 8 ounces fusilli pasta or 8 ounces small shells
*1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*8 ounce ricotta cheese
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
*2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded


Directions:
~Mix parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes in small bowl.
~Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.
~In a large dutch oven, combine ground beef, italian sausage, onion, green pepper, red pepper & garlic.
~Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the ground beef & italian sausage, until meat is browned & in crumbles.
~Drain any grease off.
~Stir in oregano, basil, 1 tablespoon parsley flakes, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leafs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, brown sugar, chicken stock, diced fire roasted tomatoes & tomato sauce.
~Bring soup to a low boil.
~Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
~Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
~Cook noodles until done & drain.
~Put desired amount of noodles into individual soup bowls.
~Ladle soup over noodles.
~Put a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture in each soup bowl.
~Top with mozzarella cheese.

***If you wan't to make this extra yummy.  Put the soup into oven proof bowls and place under oven broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese in brown & bubbly.

***Do not add noodles until ready to dish up soup, or the noodles will soak up the extra liquid.

Variations:
~Add some toasted garlic bread to soup.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tomato Squash Casserole

I love to make this for meatless Monday's or any as a side dish with just about anything.  It is super simple to make and so very good.  I do believe it's around 200 calories per serving.  The calorie count for this recipe is 86 calories per serving.





TOMATO ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE
(serves 8)

Ingredients:

*1 large Vadalia Onion, thinly sliced
*2 zucchinis, sliced 1/4" thick
*2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4" thick
*2 cups cherry tomatoes
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 teaspoon italian seasoning
*3 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~In a large oven proof skillet (I like to use my cast iron pan), layer onions on the bottom of the pan.
~Next layer zucchini & yellow squash over the onions.
~drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the onions.
~Drop cherry tomatoes over the squash.
~Spread minced garlic over the squash.
~Sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme & italian seasoning over veggies.
~Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
~Drizzle olive oil over everything.
~Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Overnight Dutch Oven Bread

This is the easiest bread to make.   No need to knead it, but you do need a dutch oven.  I just start it in the the morning or early afternoon and have it for dinner the next day.  It is great with a bowl of soup or chili.  You must let this bread cool completely, before cutting.  If cut to soon, it will be doughy.  This also makes for some awesome french toast.   I love the rustic look of this bread.



OVERNIGHT DUTCH OVEN BREAD

Ingredients:
*6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon active-dry yeast
*2 1/2 teaspoons salt
*2 2/3 cup cold water
*6-8 quart dutch oven
*butter

Directions:
~Combine flour, yeast & salt into a large bowl.
~Mix in water until well incorporated (dough will be wet & sticky).
~Cover & seal the bowl with plastic wrap.
~Allow to rise for 12-16 hours at room temperature.
~Once the dough has darkened & has bubbles over it, it is ready.
~Place dough on a lightly floured surface.
~Using floured hands, keep tucking the dough underneath to form a ball, do this until the dough is a semi-smooth ball (3-5 times).
~Dust a cotton towel (not a terry cloth) with flour.
~Place the dough seam side down on the dusted towel.
~Dust the top & sides of dough with flour.
~Place another cotton towel over the top of the dough.
~Let rise for 2 hours or until double in size.
~When the dough has been rising for 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Place the ungreased dutch oven  with lid on in the oven as the oven heats up.
~When the dough has finished rising, carefully remove dutch oven from oven.
~Remove the the lid.
~Remove top towel.
~Carefully (so you don't burn yourself) flip the dough into the hot pot, seam side up.
~Cover and bake for 40-50 minutes.
~Remove the lid and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until bread is a deep chestnut brown.
~Remove bread from pot, and rub a small amount of butter over the top while it's still hot (I sometimes sprinkle garlic salt after I butter it).
~Cool completely on a wire rack, before slicing (if you slice it before it's cooled the bread will become doughy).


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mexican Chicken Wraps

Very tasty and easy to make.   I love mexican food but hate the calories.  This is not to bad.   Regular Flour tortilla = 290 calories   -  Low Carb = 247 calories.




MEXICAN CHICKEN WRAPS
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 cup cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
*1 cup chicken, cooked & shredded
*1 green onion (white & green sections, finely sliced 
*1/2 red bell pepper, diced
*1/4 green bell pepper, diced 
*1 tablespoon dried cilantro
*1 lime, juiced    
*1/2 tablespoon chili powder
*1 teaspoons ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
*1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
*6 large flour tortillas
*sour cream (optional)

Directions:
~Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin, cilantro. garlic salt and lime juice.
~Sauté red pepper and green pepper for about 3 minutes.
~Add onion and sauté for another minute or two.
~Add chicken, green onion, red pepper and green pepper to rice mixture. 
~Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2 inch border around edges.
~Arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.
~Top with sour cream if desired.
~Roll tortillas, leaving edges open and slightly flatten the wraps with the palm of your hand.
~Spray seam-side of the wrap lightly with cooking spay.
~Heat a large griddle over medium heat for 1 minute.
~Place wraps seam side down, and cook until golden brown and crisp 9about 2-3 minutes per side).
~Serve warm.

                                                                                         

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cinnamon Pretzels

These are very addicting.   I love the taste of salt & sweet.  I think I could eat the entire bag all by myself.  Yummy!   Yummy!  Yummy!


CINNAMON PRETZELS

Ingredients:
*1 (15 ounce) bag tiny twist pretzels
*2/3 cup vegetable oil
*1 tablespoon cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Pour pretzels into a roasting pan.
~In a small bowl, mix vegetable oil, cinnamon, nutmeg & sugar, until well blended.
~Pour over pretzels & mix until well coated.
~Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
~Remove from oven & let cool.
~Store in an airtight container, if you have any leftover.

Variations:
`substitute nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cinnamon Chocolate Turnovers

In our house we call this 'Nathan's Dessert'. He's the one that came up with this recipe when he was in high school. So easy to make and very good.


CINNAMON CHOCOLATE TURNOVERS
(serves 10)

Ingredients:
*1 can of refrigerator biscuits
*1 cup milk chocolate chips
*1/8-1/4 cup butter, softened
*1/4 cup cinnamon sugar
*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
~Flatten each biscuit out with palm of hand.
~Place biscuits on a cookie sheet.
~Distribute chocolate chips evenly over the biscuits.
~Fold biscuits in half and seal edges.
~Gently spread butter over top of folded biscuits.
~Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top of butter.
~Bake as directed on biscuit can.
~Remove from oven, and serve hot.
~Put whipped cream over turnovers is desired and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken Tzatziki Wraps

Yummy!  I really love these, but don't make them often because they are around 420 calories each.  Having said that, they are very filling and you wouldn't need anything to go along with it.


CHICKEN TZATZIKI WRAPS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*4 pitas
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
*1(6 ounce) container plain greek yogurt
*2 tablespoons honey
*2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
*2 teaspoon lemon zest
*2 teaspoons hot sauce
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/8 teaspoon sea salt
*1 english cucumber, cut in half lengthwise & sliced very thin
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*1 cup tomato, diced small & seeded
*1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
*4 black olive, pitted & finely chopped
*2 teaspoons dried parsley
*1 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1 garlic clove, minced
*4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
~In a mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, 2 teaspoon lemon juice, lemon zest, hot sauce, 2 minced garlic cloves, oregano, cumin, pepper & 1/8 teaspoon sea salt.
~Place chicken strips & yogurt mix into a gallon size zip-loc bag.
~Roll bag around to mix sauce over chicken well.
~Refrigerate for 3-5 hours.
~Lay a mesh sieve over a bowl.
~Put cucumber slices in sieve.
~Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
~Leave sit for about 30 minutes, or until cucumbers are soft & the liquid begins to drain into the bowl, stirring occasionally.
~In a medium bowl, combine tomato, onion, olives, dried parsley, dill weed, olive oil & 4 teaspoons lemon juice.
~Add drained cucumbers & stir.
~Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
~Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade).
~Grill chicken until done.
~Divide chicken over the pitas.
~Spoon tomato relish over chicken.
~Spoon sour cream over relish.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peach Bread

Yep, it's peach season here in Michigan.   That means Peach Pies, Peach Cobbler, Peach Ice Cream & Peach Bread.   This bread is so good and so versatile.  I sometimes add blueberries to it.   Sometimes I add chocolate chips.  Sometimes I add nuts and sometimes I add all them.



PEACH BREAD
(makes 2 loafs or 8 mini loafs)

Ingredients:
*3 eggs
*2 cups granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 cup unsweetened applesauce
*2 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted & mashed
*3 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
*1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans or 8 mini pans.
~In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly.
~Add sugar, applesauce & vanilla, mix well.
~Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon, mix until slightly blended.
~Stir in peaches, nuts & chocolate chips.
~Pour batter into prepared pans.
~Bake for 1 hour, bake mini loafs for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peach Pie

I live in an area that in known for there delicious peaches & apples.   Every fall when the peaches come in I make peach pie & peach cobbler.   I waiting right now, for a peach cobbler to cool down so I can have a serving.



PEACH PIE
(8 servings)

Ingredients:
*8 large fresh peaches, pitted & sliced
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1 tablespoon cornstarch
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
*1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
*2 (9 inch) pie crusts
*cinnamon sugar, optional

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
~Place one crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan.
~In a large bowl, mix peaches, flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg.
~Pour into pie pan.
~Drop butter over top of peaches.
~Top with lattice strips of pie crust.
~Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over lattice crust, optional.
~Bake for 15 minutes.
~Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
~Bake another 30 minutes.
~Turn off oven and leave pie in oven for about 1 to 2 hours.
~Slice when completely cooled.


Monday, August 27, 2012

popsicles

Remember when you were a kid?  I'm sure there still is a part of you that is.   These remind me of being a kid and how excited I was to get a popsicle.  You can mix and match so many flavors with this.  If you don't have popsicle molds, use the small dixie cups and a craft stick.



POPSICLES
(makes about 18-20)

Ingredients:
*1 (3 ounce) package jello, any flavor
*1 package unsweetened kool-aid, any flavor
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*2 cups boiling water
*2 cups cold water

Directions:
~Dissolve the jello, kook-aid & sugar completely in the boiling water.
~Stir in cold water.
~Pour into popsicle molds.
~Freeze for 4-6 hours.







Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ice Cream Sundae Dessert

This is my "Adopted" daughter's favorite recipe.   Technically I she's really not adopted, she is just been a part of our family for to many years to count.   We love her like she's ours.   Simple to make and very good.





ICE CREAM SUNDAE DESSERT
(serves 12)

Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
*3 tablespoons sugar
*1/3 cup melted butter
*1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
*1 cup peanuts
*1/2 cup butter
*1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
*2 cups powdered sugar
*1/4 cup light corn syrup
*1 cup evaporated milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Mix in a medium bowl, graham cracker crumbs, sugar & melted butter.
~Pat into a 9x13 inch pan.
~Bake for 8 minutes.
~Cool crust completely.
~Once crust is cooled, spread 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream over it.
~Sprinkle peanuts over ice cream.
~Cover & freeze for 4 hours.
~In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter & chocolate chips.
~Once melted, add sugar, corn syrup & milk.
~Cook until smooth and a low boil.
~Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
~Place saucepan in a large bowl with ice.
~Occasionally stir frosting to cool it down.   Frosting will thicken up some as it cools.
~Once it is completely cooled, pour over ice cream & peanuts.
~Return to freezer for another 1-2 hours.