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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Veggie Wrap

I really like this sandwich.  Not only is is low-fat, but it is down right tasty.   Easy to make too.

(makes 4)

*1/8 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
*1/2 teaspoon dried chives
*salt & pepper to taste
*1 mango, peeled, pitted & diced small
*1 tomato, cored, seeded & chopped
*1 cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
*1 teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
*1 teaspoon dried cilantro
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*4 low-carb whole wheat tortillas
*1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
*4 slices lite pepper jack cheese

~Mix cream cheese, dried chives, salt & pepper (to taste) in a small bowl.
~In a medium bowl, toss mango, tomato, cucumber, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper & cilantro.
~Let cucumber mixture to set for 15-30 minutes.
~Spread cream cheese mixture lightly on tortillas.
~Spread alfafa sprouts over cream cheese mixture.
~Lay pepper jack cheese over alfalfa sprouts.
~Spread cucumber mixture over alfalfa sprouts.
~Fold tortilla in half & serve.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

I love chicken enchiladas, so imagine my excitement when I discovered I could make them with far less calories!  I personally think it's very tasty.

(makes 9)

*9 low carb wheat tortillas
*1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
*1 small yellow onion, chopped
*1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
*1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
*1/2 cup low-fat mexican cheese, shredded
*1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 cup salsa
*1/4 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
*1/4 cup low-fat mexican cheese, shredded

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
~Spray a small skillet with cooking spray.
~Sauté onions, red pepper, green pepper and garlic.
~Remove from pan and mix 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, parsley, oregano, chili powder, salt & pepper in the veggies.
~Spread 1/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
~Roll tortilla and place seam side down into prepared baking dish.
~In small bowl, mix salsa & greek yogurt together.
~Spread evenly over tortillas.
~Sprinkle remaining cheese over salsa.
~Cover with aluminum foil.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Butterfinger Ice Cream

This is over the top good.   I love the hint of peanut butter in it, and of course with the butterfingers in it how could it not taste great?

(1 quart)

*1 cup crushed Butterfinger candy bars 
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 cup sweetened condensed milk
*1 cup heavy cream
*2 1/2 cups half & half
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~Crush butterfingers and place in freezer.
~Combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter, mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
~Blend in the heavy cream, half & half and vanilla.
~Put into your ice cream maker and mix according to instructions.
~Once mixture is thick, slowly add crushed butterfingers.
~Put into a freezer safe container and freeze for 4-6 hours.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Old Fashion White Bread

This is how I remember my mom & grandma's bread tasting.  Nice and fluffy.   Your house will smell wonderful and what  a treat.  I love to slice a small piece off when it's hot and put a little butter on it, yummy!

(2 loafs)

*4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*3 tablespoons white sugar
*2 1/2 cups warm water
*3 tablespoons lard
*1 tablespoon salt
*6 1/2 cup flour

~Dissolve yeast & sugar in water in a large bowl.
~Allow to sit for 10 minutes, to proof.
~Stir in lard, salt.
~Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time.
~Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
~Knead dough for about 6-8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
~Lightly grease a large glass bowl.
~Place down into greased bowl, mover around and flip.
~Cover bowl with a damp clean cloth.
~Let dough rise in a warm, draft free area, until doubled, about 1 hour.
~Punch down dough, and let rest for 10 minutes.
~Grease two (9x5) loaf pans.
~Divide dough into equal parts.
~Place the dough into loaf pans.
~Cover with a damp cloth.
~Let dough rise in a warm, draft free area, until doubled, about 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Once the oven has reach that temp, put the loaf pans in the oven and decrease the oven to 375 degrees.
~Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hallow when tapped.
~Remove from oven.
~Tip over loaf pan, and let the bread gently fall out of the pan.
~Rub butter along the top of the hot bread.
~Let cool, before slicing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chocolate Mint Cookies

I love mint and these cookies hit the spot. It's hard to limit yourself with this waferstyle cookie coated with mint-chocolate. It makes a lot, but then again, you may eat a lot of these. It's a little time consuming, but worth the effort. I personally think these taste a lot like the girl scout thin mints.

CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES (makes about 8 dozen)

*1 (18.25 ounce) chocolate fudge cake mix
*4 tablespoons shortening, melted
*1/2 cup cake flour, sifted (measure before sifting)
*1 egg
*3-4 tablespoons water
*semi-sweet chocolate chips (3 bags)
*3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
*6 tablespoons shorting.

~In a large bowl, combine cake mix, melted shortening, flour, & egg.
~Add water a tablespoon at a time, until dough can be formed into a ball.
~Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Roll out dough on a lightly floured clean service.
~Roll to about 1/16 inch. (very thin)
~Cut out dough with a 2 inch round cookie cutter.
~Place on a greased cookie sheet.
~Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven and cookie sheet.
~Cool completely.
~Melt chocolate chips, shortening, & peppermint extract in a medium sauce pan over low heat.
~Stir until smooth and remove from heat.
~Poke cookie with a fork and dip into chocolate mixture.
~Let excess chocolate drip off into the pan.
~Place cookies on a waxed paper and refrigerate until cool & set.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Marinara Sauce

Very easy to make, and is better than anything you'll buy in the store.  Make several batches at one time and freeze or can it.  Then you will have it ready whenever you want it.

(5 cups)

*1 quart stewed tomatoes
*1 (6 ounce) tomato paste
*1 tablespoon dried parsley
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 teaspoon ried oregano
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon tomato paste
*3 teaspoons olive oil
*1/2 onion, finely chopped
*1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)

~Mix in a blender or food processor, tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano & parsley.
~Blend until it becomes smooth.
~In a large skillet, sauté onions in olive oil, over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
~Add, tomato mix & wine.
~Cook over low heat, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spinach Garlic Rice

Easy to make, good for you and tasty.  This makes a great side dish or lunch.

(serves 4)

*1 cup brown rice
*2 cups water
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 cup onion, minced
*1 (10 ounce) bag spinach
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*1/2 lemon, juiced
*1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)

~Place rice, water, garlic, onions, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes into a medium pot.
~Cover, and cook over high heat.
~Once water is starts to boil, turn heat down to a low.
~Add spinach, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until rice is tender.
~Remove from heat, squeeze lemon juice over rice, and fluff rice.
~Plate rice and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.

-substitute brown rice for white rice (cook only 20 minutes).
-add 1/4 cup shredded carrots (when you add the spinach).
-add 1/4 cup chopped red peppers (add when you add rice).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rocky Road Brownie Bites

These are so good.  I make homemade brownies with this recipe, but you can buy the box type.   I just personally think that homemade are moister and gooier and tastier.  :-)

(makes 48)

Brownie Ingredients:
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*1/2 cup butter, melted
*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

Rocky Road Ingredients:
*4 cups mini marshmallows
*4 tablespoons butter
*1 1/2 cups peanuts, chopped
*1 cup chocolate chips
*Merkins chocolate or milk chocolate chips

Brownie Bites Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan with a cooking spray.
~MIx instant coffee into melted butter, until coffee is dissolved.
~In a large bowl, mix together oil, butter mixture, sugar & vanilla.
~Beat in eggs one at a time.
~Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder & salt.
~Slowly stir into the egg mixture until just blended.
~Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
~Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 way full.
~Bake for 12-14 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~Let sit for about 5 minutes, and then gently remove from muffin pan.
~Cool completely.

Rocky Road Directions:
~In a large bowl, microwave the marshmallows and buyer until puffy, about 2 minutes.
~Quickly stir in chopped peanuts.
~Fold in chocolate chips.
~Working quickly, use a spoon or your fingers (I find this easier), and scoop about a tablespoon of rocky road mixture on the top of each brownie.
~Place brownies on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
~Melt merkins chocolate or milk chocolate chips over a double boiler over low heat.
~Once chocolate is melted, dip each brownie into the chocolate covering the rocky road mixture.
~Let sit in refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until the chocolate hardens up.

If you more brownies than rocky road like I did, just dip them in the melted chocolate or leave plain.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dirt Cake

Both of my sons normally request this dessert for their birthday. Tonia doesn't care for Oreos (unbelievable) so for her I would use a different base.

(serves 12)

*1 (15.5 ounce) package Oreo cookies
*1/2 cup butter, melted
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 (12 ounce) container cool whip, thawed & divided
*3 (4 ounce) boxes instant chocolate pudding
*2 cups whole milk

~Crush Oreo cookies until they are almost a powder form.
~Remove a 1/4 cup of crushed Oreos and set aside.
~Mix remaining crushed Oreo cookies and melted butter.
~Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
~Cream softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, & 1/2 of the thawed cool whip.
~Spread cool cream cheese mixture over top of the Oreo crust.
~Mix pudding & milk together until thick and mixed well.
~Spread pudding mixture carefully over cream cheese layer (I normally will just drop in small spoonfuls).
~Spread the remaining cool whip over the pudding layer.
~Sprinkle the 1/4 crushed Oreos over top of the whip cream.
~Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

`substitute chocolate pudding with whatever flavor is your favorite (I have a couple that love pistachio pudding).
`substitute oreo cookies with, vanilla sandwich cookies, or a graham cracker crust.  You really could use any of your favorite cookies for the crust.

**I will often make this with one end of the dessert chocolate pudding and the other end with pistachio pudding.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Island Chicken Salad

Loved, loved, loved this salad.   I consider this a meal in itself.   I will normally make some 'soft breadsticks' to go with this meal.

(serves 4)

*2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
*1/2 cup teriyaki marinade sauce (I make my own)
*2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped
*1 small onion, chopped
*1-3 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
*1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/4 cup dijon mustard or regular mustard
*1/4 cup honey
*1 tablespoon white sugar
*1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*Juice squeezed from one lime
*1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*1 (16 ounce) bag of spring mix lettuce
*1 small can pineapple rings, drained
*4 cups corn tortillas
*1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)

~Place chicken in a zip-loc bag and pour teriyaki marinade sauce over chicken.
~Mix well & marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
~In a small bowl mix the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, garlic and cilantro.
~Cover salsa and refrigerate for a couple hours.
~Preheat grill to high heat or use a stovetop grill, cooking over medium high heat.
~Brush a little olive oil on pineapple rings.
~Grill pineapple rings on an stovetop grill or pan.
~Remove from pan, cool and cut into bite-size pieces.
~Lightly oil grill.
~Remove chicken from marinade, and throw away marinade.
~Place chicken on the grill, cook for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until chicken is done.
~Remove chicken from grill, let cool for 5 minutes, cut into strips
~Arrange lettuce on plates.
~Spoon salsa over each salad.
~Sprinkle the pineapple bites over the salsa.
~Break tortilla chips into large pieces and sprinkle over salads.
~Lay the chicken over each salad.
~Drizzle dressing over each salad.
~Sprinkle feta cheese on top & serve.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rotisserie Chicken

This is so easy, so moist, and so good. I never buy it from the store anymore. The meat will fall off the bone, and the skin is nice and crispy. I use any left over meat for a pot pie, soup, or wraps.

(serves 8)

*2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon onion powder
*2 teaspoons paprika
*1 teaspoon dried thyme
*1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon white pepper
*2 tablespoons minced garlic
*2 small onions, quartered
*2 (approx. 4 pound) whole chickens

~Mix together all spices, in a small bowl.
~Remove giblets from chicken. (discard or freeze until ready to make chicken stock)
~Rinse chicken inside and out.
~Pat dry with paper towel.
~Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture.
~Place 1 onion (quartered) & 1 tablespoon minced garlic into the cavity of each chicken.
~Place chickens into a zip-lock bag and refrigerate over night. (if you don't have a bag, double wrap it with plastic wrap.
~Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
~Place chickens in a roasting pan.
~Bake uncovered for 5 hours. (internal temp. 180 degrees) Check it in 4 1/2 if your oven cooks hot.
~Let the chickens stan for 10 minutes before carving them. This will help to keep them moist.

**You can also cook this in a slow cooker.
~ I cut the seasoning in half (only because I can only fit one chicken into my slow cooker at a time).
~Place the chicken in the slow cooker after in sitting in the seasoning over night in the fridge.
~Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 6-7 hours.

Helpful Hint: If you aren't going to be home to put the chicken in the oven 5 hours before you are going to be home, use the delay timer on your oven that most ovens have.

If you have a small family, freeze the second chicken (raw), with the spices on and the onion & garlic in the cavity. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw and cook as directed.