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, May 29, 2012

Nutty Gooey Bars

If you like nuts & peanut butter, you are going to like these.  Super simple to make.  They will stick to the bottom of the pan if you don't completely layer it with the nuts first.


Ingredients:
*2 (10 ounce) containers of salted peanuts
*3 tablespoons butter
*1 (12 ounce) bag mixed peanut butter & chocolate chips
*1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan with a cooking spray.
~Pour about 1 1/4 cans of peanuts over the bottom of the pan, making sure it's completely covered.
~In a medium saucepan, melt margarine and peanut butter & chocolate chips over low heat.
~Add sweetened condensed milk and mix well.
~Remove from heat and let sit for 1 minute.
~Mix in marshmallows, just until mixed (no need to melt them).
~Spread over peanuts.
~Sprinkle remaining peanuts over top.
~Press peanuts down into mixture.
~Chill, covered for at least 1 hour before cutting.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Slow cooker Chicken Tacos

One day I was thinking about my friend Jenn.   She is an amazing mother of quads.   Because her life is busy, (whose wouldn't be with 4 little ones running around) she likes slow-cooker meals.  I decided to play around with a recipe that would be super easy to throw together and would taste wonderful.    My family really liked this, I hope she will too.  These are about 278 calories each if using the low-carb wraps (317 if using flour tortillas).




SLOW COOKER TACOS
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*1 green pepper, chopped
*1 red pepper, chopped
*1 onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth
*1 bay leaf
*1 ( ounce) packet of taco seasoning (I use mild)
*2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
*1 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon onion powder
*1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*6 tortilla wraps (if watching calories use a low-carb wrap)
*1 1/2 cups reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
*1 tomato, chopped (optional)
*lettuce, shredded (optional)
*sour cream (optional)

Directions:
~Add chicken stock, bay leaf, parsley flakes, dill weed, garlic powder, onion powder, basil & pepper to slow cooker, mix ingredients together.
~Add chicken.
~Add red pepper, green pepper, onion & garlic.
~Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
~Remove chicken and shred.
~Return chicken to pot and mix.
~Scoop some chicken mixture on tortilla, top with tomato, lettuce & sour cream.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Angel Food Cake & Toppings

I love that this is relatively low calorie for a cake.   It's light, moist and yummy.  Really good with chocolate drizzled over it, orange glaze drizzled over it or to be used as a strawberry shortcake.  Do not use a non stick pan for this cake.



ANGEL FOOD CAKE & TOPPINGS
(serves 8)

Ingredients:
*12 egg whites (or 1 1/2 cups), room temperature
*1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 cup sugar

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Sift powdered sugar and flour together, four times, set aside.
~In a large mixing bowl, pour room temperature egg whites, cream of tarter, vanilla extract, almond extract & salt.
~Beat at high speed (if you have a kitchen-aid use the flat beater at speed 8) for a couple minutes.
~Gradually add sugar, beating until the sugar dissolves and stiff peaks are formed.
~Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time (if using a kitchen-aid just turn it down to speed 1).
~Very gently spoon into an uncreased tube pan (do not use a non-stick pan).
~Using a knife cut though the batter, this removes any air pockets.
~Bake for 40-45 minutes or into cake is done.
~Remove pan from oven and immediately invert pan.
~Cool completely before removing cake from tube pan.




Toppings:  
~Chocolate Glaze~
*3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate or mint)
*3 tablespoons butter
*1 tablespoon light corn syrup
*1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
~In a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, butter & corn syrup.
~Stir until the chocolate is melted.
~Add Vanilla.
~Spread warm glaze over cooled cake.

~Raspberry Cream~
Ingredients:
*1 (12 ounce) container cool whip, thawed.
*1 (6 ounce) container raspberry yogurt.
*1/3 cup powdered sugar.
*1 cup fresh raspberries (optional)

Directions:
~Slice cooled cake in half, horizontally.
~Mix all the ingredients together, except raspberries.
~Spread about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of mixture over top of cut cake.
~Put the other half of the cake over frosted cake.
~Frost sides & top with remaining frosting.
~Decorate with raspberries.

Orange Glaze Recipe
Ingredients:
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
*1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:
~Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
~Pour over cooled cake.

Strawberry Shortcake
Ingredients:
*3 pints strawberries, hulled & sliced
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/4 cup water

Directions:
~Mix all ingredients and refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours.
~Pour over sliced cake.









Friday, May 11, 2012

Peanut Butter Cake & Frosting

Oh my, these are dangerous.   I think I could eat the entire pan of them by myself.  Very easy to make and will go a long way.  Very moist and the frosting is to die for.  


PEANUT BUTTER SHEET CAKE & FROSTING
(serves 36)

Ingredients:
*2 cups granulated sugar
*2 cups flour, sifted
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon hot water
*1 cup sour cream
*1 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 cup (2 sicks) butter
*1 cup water
*1/2 cup butter
*2/3 cup peanut butter
*1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
*2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Spray a 15x10 inch sheet/jelly roll pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
~In a large mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar & flour.
~Mix baking soda & 1 teaspoon hot water together until baking soda dissolves.
~In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, baking soda mixture & sour cream together until creamy.
~In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat bring 1 cup butter, 1 cup peanut butter & water to a boil.
~Pour peanut butter mixture into the flour mixture and mix.
~Add sour cream mixture and mix until well blended.
~Pour into prepared pan.
~Bake for 20 minutes.
~During the last 5 minutes of the cake baking, start the frosting.
~In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the 1/2 cup butter, 2/3 cup peanut butter & milk.
~Bring to a boil stirring constantly.
~Add powdered sugar and mix until lumps are gone.
~Remove from heat & let sit for 1 minute.
~Stir in nuts & vanilla.
~Pour well still hot over hot cake and spread evenly over cake.
~Once the cake & frosting is cooled completely, cut & serve.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Bars

Blueberry & lemon, who knew they were so awesome together.  A quick dessert to make, and easy to make.


BLUEBERRY LEMON BARS
(makes 16)

Ingredients:
*2 cups graham cracker crumbs
*6 tablespoons butter, melted
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
*zest of 1 lemon
*3 large egg yolks
*1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
*1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
*zest 1 lemon
*1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
~In a food proccesor or mixing bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice & lemon zest of 1 lemon.
~Press graham cracker mix into the prepared pan.
~Bake for 10 minutes.
~Allow crust to cool to room temperature.
~In a mixing bowl, mix egg yolk & sweetened condensed milk, until mixed well.
~Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice & remaining lemon zest, until mixture is smooth and thicken slightly.
~Fold in blueberries.
~Pour the mixture over the graham cracker crust.
~Bake for 15 minutes.
~Cool to room temperature.
~Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mixed Up Muffins

This is such a moist, filling, delicious muffin.   I love that they are  only 94 calories each.  This is so low in calories that you could put a teaspoon of peanut butter on it and not feel guilty.  Simple to make and will freeze well.



MIXED UP MUFFINS
(makes 18)

Ingredients:
*1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup oatmeal, dry
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
*3 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 cup carrots, grated
*1 medium zucchini, grated
*1 large apple, peeled, cored & grated
*1 cup cranraisins or raisins
*1 egg
*4 egg whites
*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup applesauce, unsweetened (I make my own)
*3 tablespoon walnuts, chopped fine
*3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Line muffin pans with muffin liners & spray them with cooking spray.
~In a medium bowl, whisk egg & egg whites together.
~Soak raisins in eggs for about 10 minutes.
~Mix applesauce & vanilla into the egg mixture.
~Run oatmeal through blender to make it fine (optional)
~In a large mixing bowl, mix in all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda &salt.
~Stir in carrots, zucchini & apples.
~Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (do not over mix).
~Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan about 3/4 full.
~In a small bowl, combine wheat germ & nuts.
~Sprinkle over top of muffins.
~Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

Variations:
`add 1/2 cup chocolate chips
`add 1/2 nuts to mix
`substitue walnuts with pecans

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ham & Cheese Sliders

Super easy dinner to make.  Great as is or with a bowl of soup.  This a meal that the babies love to make and say that they cooked dinner.



HAM & CHEESE SLIDERS
(makes 12)

Ingredients:
*12 hawaiian sweet rolls
*1 medium sweet onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 cup butter
*2 tablespoon dijon mustard
*2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
*1 pound shaved ham
*12 slices swiss cheese
*3 teaspoons poppy seeds

Directions:
~In large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.
~Add the onions, garlic, mustard & worcestershire sauce.
~Saute until the onions are soft.
~Stir in the poppy seeds and set aside.
~Line an 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil.
~Place the bottom halves of the buns into the 9x13 inch pan.
~Spread 3/4 of the onions mixture over the bottom bun.
~Divide the ham evenly over the onion spread.
~Place cheese over the ham.
~Place the top bun over the cheese.
~Press down the sandwiches a little.
~Spread the remaining onion mixture over top of the buns.
~Cover pan with aluminum foil over sandwiches.
~Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or up to 12 hours.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Bake for 30 minutes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spaghetti Squash & Chicken Sausage Bake

Soooooo good.   Just as good if you want it meatless and leave out the chicken sausage.   Even a couple of the picky babies like this one.   This is 265 calories with the sausage, 172 calories without the sausage.


SPAGHETTI SQUASH & CHICKEN SAUSAGE BAKE
(serves 6)

Ingredients:
*1 large spaghetti squash, halved & seeded
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1 red bell pepper, chopped
*1 green pepper, chopped
*1 yellow squash, sliced thin
*1 zucchini squash, sliced thin
*1 large onions, sliced thin
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced
*1 (12 ounce) package of chicken sausage (I use sun dried tomato type), sliced
*1 tablespoon italian seasoning
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
*1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a baking sheet with a cooking spray
~Sprinkle cut side of squash with 1/2 salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, & garlic powder.
~Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on prepared baking sheet.
~Pierce shell of squash with a fork 4 or 5 times on each side
~Bake for 50 minutes, or until a sharp knife can be inserted easily.
~Remove squash from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
~In a large skillet heat up olive oil.
~Saute green & red pepper for about 5 minutes.
~Add yellow squash & zucchini and sauté for around 4 minutes.
~Add onions, garlic, & chicken sausage, cook until veggies are tender & chicken is done.
~Add sliced tomatoes, and cook for 1 minute.
~Once cooled a little, scoop out stringy pulp of 1/2 of the squash into prepared 9x13 inch pan.
~Spread evenly in pan.
~Add half of the veggie mixture evenly over the spaghetti squash.
~Sprinkle 1/4 cup feta cheese over top of the veggie mixture.
~Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over feta cheese.
~Scoop out spaghetti squash from the other half and spread over cheeses.
~Add remaining veggie mixture.
~Add remaining feta & parmesan cheese.
~Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
~Cut into 6 servings.

Variations:
~Layer raw spinach before baking.
~Omit chicken sausage
~Add shredded chicken
~Add 1 cup mozzarella cheese to top, before baking.
~Add 1 can of tomato sauce before baking.




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Honey-Lime-Cilantro-Chicken-Quesadillas

It's easy to make, tastes great and is low cal (236 calories).   If you don't like the whole wheat low carb tortilla, buy a flour tortilla or better yet make your own.  I also use this marinate just for grilled chicken.



HONEY-LIME-CILANTRO-CHICKEN-QUESADILLAS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*12 ounces boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into pieces
*1 lime, juiced & zested
*2 teaspoons honey
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1 tablespoon yellow onion, minced
*1 teaspoon dried cilantro
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*dash of cayenne pepper
*1 tomato, diced small
*1 cup reduced fat cheddar shredded cheese
*4 whole-wheat-low-carb tortillas

Directions:
~Place the zest & the juice of the lime in a zip-loc bag.
~Mix in honey, olive oil, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper.
~Add cut up chicken & marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
~Cook chicken on a griddle over medium-high heat, until done.
~Place chicken, tomato & cheese on a tortilla.
~Fold in half and spray with a cooking spray.
~Cook on griddle over medium heat until golden brown, flip and cook other side until golden brown.

Variations:
`add chopped green onions & chopped olives to tortilla before grilling.
`add cooked crumbled turkey bacon to tortilla before grilling.