Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Crisp Bacon


  • 12 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 3 cups trimmed, halved Brussels sprouts (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bacon slices (I did 4 because we really like bacon)
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts, toasted (I put sliced almonds because that's what I had on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt and fat. Drain well.
  2. Steam Brussels sprouts, covered, 7 minutes or until tender. Drain and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts to the bacon drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in cooked pasta; cover mixture, and keep warm.
  5. Combine milk, flour, and broth, stirring well with a whisk. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended. Cook for 6 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Pour sauce over pasta mixture, tossing to coat. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, nuts, bacon, and pepper; serve immediately.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Found this recipe on Pinterest...surprise, surprise...however, the actual surprise is that I actually made it after I pinned it!  Ha!  It was really yummy!  Even my kids liked it (although they ate around the brussel sprouts. :)   I will def make it again!

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
  • 4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into 1/4" thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. (My batch of tiny sprouts only took about 12 minutes to cook.) Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.) Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes

Prep:   15 minutes   
Total:   29 minutes                                                          

4 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet                   
   Baking Chocolate                                          
½ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar                                   
2 eggs                                                                   
2 egg yolks                                                          
6 Tbsp. flour                                                       

PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees F.  Butter 4 (3/4-cup) custard cups or soufflĂ© dishes. MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 minutes or until butter is melted.  Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in sugar until well blended.  Whisk in eggs and egg yolks.  Stir in flour.   
Divide batter between prepared custard cups. BAKE 13 to 14 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are  soft.  Let stand 1 minute.  Carefully run a small knife around cakes to loosen.  Invert cakes onto dessert dishes.  Serve immediately.                                                                            

Makes 8 servings—1/2 molten cake each.  (I think 4 servings is more likely.)

Balti Butter Chicken

My friend Jess (from Hawaii) gave me this recipe from her stay in India when she was stationed there. This is a yumm-o dish and kid friendly! Serve on top of rice.

150 ml/ ¼ pint/ 2/3 cup plain or Greek-style yogurt
50 g/2 oz/ ½ cup ground almonds
1 ½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp crushed bay leaves
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ ground cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
4 green cardamom pods (I omitted this b/c I couldn't find it)
1 tsp ginger pulp
1 tsp garlic pulp
400 g/14 oz/2 cups diced tomatoes (I used canned)
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 kg/2 lb/6 ½ cups chicken, skinned, boned and cubed
75 g/3oz/6 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp canola or corn oil
2 medium onions, chopped or sliced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
4 Tbsp single (light) or double (heavy) cream, to taste

1.     Put the yogurt, ground almonds, all the dry spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and salt into a mixing bowl and blend together thoroughly.
2.     Put the chicken into a large mixing bowl and pour over the yogurt mixture.  Set aside.
3.     Melt together the butter and oil in a medium karahi or deep round-bottomed skillet.  Add the onions and fry for about 3 minutes.
4.     Add the chicken mixture and stir-fry for 7-10 minutes.
5.     Stir in about half of the cilantro and mix well.
6.     Pour over the cream and stir in well.  Bring to a boil.  Serve garnished with the remaining chopped coriander.
Serves 4-6

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (browneyedbaker.com)
Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 18 to 20 minutes

2/3 cup sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sour cream (I used plain yogurt because I didn't have sour cream)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lemon strong. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter together until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – a few lumps are better than over mixing the batter. Stir in the poppy seeds. Divide the batter evenly among the muffins cups.
3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vegetable Stir-Fry

I posted this because I loved the light flavor. I just used frozen veggies and whatever fresh stuff I had but I mainly wanted to post this because of the sauce. And if we weren't in a tofu mood I would add chicken instead.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and julienned
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup half-moon sliced yellow squash
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1 baby eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into large chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (check the label: no more than 2 grams sugar per serving)
  • 2 cups sliced bok choy
  • 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup snow pea
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil


Start by preparing and cutting all the vegetables and measuring your ingredients so that they are ready to go. Once you begin stir-frying, it goes very quickly.

In a wok or large skillet, heat canola oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the peppers and onion while stirring constantly. While continuing to stir, add successively the squash, broccoli, eggplant, tofu, garlic, and teriyaki sauce. Cook, stirring, constantly for 2 minutes. Add the bok choy, sprouts, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes more.

Stir in snow peas and sesame oil and remove from heat. Serve immediately. 

Chicken Monterey


  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 8 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt (I omitted this because I didn't have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, chicken stock, celery salt, white pepper and white wine. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and well blended, about 10 minutes. Mix 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese into the thickened sauce mixture, and stir until melted.
  3. In a shallow medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken breast halves in the flour mixture to coat. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned on all sides. Arrange breast halves in the prepared baking dish, and cover with the sauce.
  4. Top chicken breast halves with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.                

Sunday, February 12, 2012

taco chicken bowls

I found this recipe on budgetbytes.blogspot.com and it is a SLOW COOKER recipe

1.5 lbs. chicken breasts

1 (16 oz.) jar salsa

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained

1/2 lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn

1 Tbsp chili powder

1/2 Tbsp cumin

1/2 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp salt

to taste cracked pepper

2 cups dry rice

8 oz. shredded cheddar

1/2 bunch cilantro (optional)

STEP 1: Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with 1/4 cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.
STEP 2: Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.
STEP 3: Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).
STEP 4: After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

Orzo with Chicken and Lemon

Got this recipe from www.cookinghealthyforme.com
I put it here because it is easier for me to find! Haven't tried it yet but am going to this week
The juice of one lemon
1 large chicken breast, butterflied
1 ½ cup uncooked orzo
½ cup low-fat sour cream
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of one half lemon
½ pint grape tomatoes cut in half
5-8 basil leaves, chiffonade
Since you are going to use both the juice and the zest of a lemon, zest your lemon with a zester and set aside - you'll use the zest of one half lemon.
In a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Let it sit for about twenty minutes. Heat a grill to medium high-heat (or a grill pan)
Cook chicken until just done (about 3 minutes each side) remove from grill to a plate, cover with foil and set aside.
Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook Orzo according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, mix together sour cream, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil salt and lemon zest.
When the Orzo is cooked, drain and put in a large bowl – add the sour cream mixture, tomatoes and basil.
Cut the chicken breasts into strips and place on top of the orzo!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spinach Salad Wraps

Even though we're toward the end of the summer, I had to add this here because it was quite delicious (or delicioso as Roger would say - too much Diego in our house).

This is the original recipe, but since I'm a shamefully picky eater I changed it up.

Here's what you need:

mozzarella cheese
spicy ranch dressing (I bought the packet and made it - ohmyword - good) or sour cream
couple few hard boiled eggs
fresh spinach leaves

Cook up the bacon. Cut up the tomatoes and mushrooms and cook them in a little butter (or bacon grease if you like living on the edge) toss in whatever herbs you like - I think I did a little oregano and basil and some nature's seasoning. Cook them up then drain them. Lay out your tortilla and put either your sour cream of dressing on it. Layer on bacon, spinach, mozzarella, tomato/mushroom mixture and eggs. Wrap up the tortilla and wrap it in wax paper if you're into that sort of thing (which I am) and enjoy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

Hey girls!
Been awhile. Been thinking about this blog though because I keep getting into a rut. These recipes are so great, I need to spend some time looking back through all the ideas. Finding this recipe was the product of good planning, but poor execution this month. I planned to make pizza (good to have a plan), I didn't plan to buy enough red sauce (I might have said, "Dang it!" when I looked in my pantry). So, I had to get creative. I found this on a website called Our Best Bites - you really must check it out. Excellent. The original post can be found here: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/08/guiltless-alfredo-sauce/. Like I said, I used it on pizza and it was delish. I was a little scared to use it with the other ingredients I had on hand - pepperoni, corn, and black beans on one half and broccoli on the other. Wow, it sounds gross, but it was actually really good - even Lena ate it with no tears!

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

2 C low-fat milk
1/3 C (3 oz) low fat cream cheese
2 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves
1 C grated Parmesan cheese

Toss the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender.
Process until smooth and set aside.

In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Stand above the pan (but not close enough to scald your face) and inhale. Ahhh…butter and garlic. Okay, now get cooking again. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don’t want to burn it. It should be nice and bubbly.Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it’s nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

I use this sauce for so many things. Here’s a few ideas:

-Over pasta (obviously)
-As a dip for breadsticks
-As a sauce on pizza (this is the garlic cream sauce I was referring to in this recipe) and a half batch of sauce covers 2 medium pizza’s.
-Mix it with pesto for a creamy pesto sauce (so good)
-Mix it with marinara for a creamy marinara sauce

I recently was making mac and cheese and had the rest of this sauce leftover in the fridge so I thought, "what the heck?" and threw it in. Turned out great. I love recipes that are versatile like this one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bird's nest cookies

My sister's mother-in-law makes these in their family every year at Easter. She sent some to my sister last year and she shared! YUM!!! This recipe was on the back of a bag of pb m&m's.

Prep time: 25 min (this would be considered a weekend recipe for me!)
Baking time: 12-14 min

What you will need:

- 1 bag M&M's (this bag wants you to use pb - which are awesome...but I've also had them w/ just plain m&m's)(the Easter pastel colors are pretty in the "nest")
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1-1/3 cups flaked coconut

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, spread coconut on non-greased cookie sheet. Toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until it turns light golden, about 25 min

2. Remove coconut from cookie sheet and set aside

3. Increase oven temp to 350 degrees. In large bowl, add butter and sugar and whip until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla.

4. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Blend into a creamed mixture.

5. Form dough into 1-1/4 in. balls. Roll heavily into toasted coconut.

6. Place coconut cookies 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Make indentation with thumb in center of each cookie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Remove cookies and cool completely. Fill indentation with M&M's

Makes 3 dozen

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oh so good (for you) butternut pancakes

So I've been making pancakes several mornings a week for at least 2 years now. They are so easy for little ones to eat and I feel like I'm giving them something substantial to start their mornings off right. Also ... the leftovers are great snacks for later in the day!

I started out using my mom's delicious recipe, but have tweaked it here and there over the years and this is what I've come up with that we all like! :)

Mix together these dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
1 1/4 c. flour (white whole wheat from King Arthur is my favorite!)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (I grind it myself using our coffee grinder. Works great and I know it's fresh!)

Mix together these wet ingredients then pour into the well of your dry ingredients.
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. apple sauce
1/4 cup pureed butternut squash
1 1/4 c milk

Mix batter until all is combined.
I use 1/4 cup measure to pour batter onto pre-heated pan/griddle. And I use a non-stick skillet and if it's preheated then I don't have to use any butter or oil to keep them from sticking!
We also like to add mini-chocolate chips, blueberries, diced apples, or bananas (for you Ry!) etc. in the pancakes. I just put them on the pancakes individually after they're on the pan and cooking. Yum!
Makes 8-10 pancakes

**Added BONUS ** I really enjoy this blog Simple Bites and here are some yummy homemade syrup recipes to try on your pancakes! We've only made the Buttery Maple one so far and LOVED it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
  2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Double-Chocolate Biscotti

A friend of mine made biscotti a few months ago and told me it was actually really easy to make...and I love eating biscotti with a nice cup of hot tea. So I found this recipe in a magazine and tried it. Yum-o!

Makes: 2 dozen

8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 cup nuts (I used macadamia nuts but almonds could be used)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until smooth. Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat sugar and eggs together on medium speed until lightened. Add vanilla. On low speed, add chocolate mixture, then flour mixture. Stir in nuts. Dough will be soft. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface (I just used a cutting board). Form two 9 in.-long-by-3 1/2 in.-wide logs on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, until dough sets. Cool 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 275 degrees. Slice dough into 1/2 inch slices; place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Turn over; bake 20 minutes, until slightly dry. Let cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container. I then drizzled melted chocolate across the top...just because you can never have too much chocolate.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

EASY Lasagna

Is it sad to say that I use this blog all the time. I have gotten so used to a few of the recipes that I forget they weren't mine to begin with...ha! I also can not believe that there wasn't a lasagna recipe on here and as I was looking at past recipes I was inspired to keep using this blog and try some of the other recipes I haven't used at all or in a while. It is such a good reminder of dinner ideas! Love y'all! Keep posting! This is not my recipe but we are going to try it out!


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 4 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup hot water


Cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Stir in pasta sauce.

Spread one-third of meat sauce in a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; layer with 3 noodles and half each of ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. (The ricotta cheese layers will be thin.) Repeat procedure; spread remaining one-third of meat sauce over mozzarella cheese. Slowly pour 1/4 cup hot water around inside edge of dish. Tightly cover baking dish with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Easy Sugar Cookies

Somehow this got posted on my regular blog too! Ha! Oh well! They were a hit with the kids. I used cookie cutters instead of rolling the dough out and I chilled it for about 15 min. first.


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Macaroni 'n Cheese (with Butternut Squash)

So here's a recipe that I tweaked from "Deceptively Delicious". My kids (and those that I watch) ALL loved it and had seconds (which is HUGE since Jude is a bit picky at the moment). :) It's a really fast recipe ... takes about 20 mins to make (that is, if you already have the puree ready!)
*All my tweaking is along side the recipe in parentheses.

Macaroni and Cheese (with Butternut Squash OR cauliflower)
1 1/2 c. macaroni
1 Tbsp olive oil (I used butter ... LOVE butter!)
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 c. skim milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 c. butternut squash OR cauliflower puree
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used colby)
4 oz. reduced fat/nonfat cream cheese (I didn't use)
1/2 tsp salt (probably used only about 1/4 tsp)
1/8 tsp paprika (I didn't use)
1/8 tsp pepper (I didn't use)

1. Cook macaroni

2. While macaroni is cooking in med./large saucepan, over medium heat, heat oil (or melt butter), add flour and cook, stirring constantly until mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 - 2 mins.

3. Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then until the mixture begins to thicken, (3-4mins). Add the vegetable puree, cheese, cream cheese and seasonings, and stir until the cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in macaroni and serve warm.

Serves 4

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I'm so excited that we can now cook fall comfort foods. Actually, I make this one in summer a little, but it's so much more satisfying in the fall and winter. Ironically I got this from my sister-in-law who is a vegetarian!

1 1/2 - 2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups carrots, chopped
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half & half (I often use whole milk)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups (2-3 chick breasts), cooked and shredded
2 basic pie crusts

Saute celery and carrots in butter for 10 minutes or until tender and slightly brown. Remove carrots and celery. Add flour to sauteed butter, stirring well (sometimes I have to add a little more butter here to make the rue). Combine broth and half & half; gradually stir into flour/butter mixture. Bring to a boil; boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Add in salt and pepper. Add chicken and vegetable, stirring well. Pour mixture into pie shell. Cover with top shell and cut slits to allow steam to escape. Bake 40 minutes @400 degrees.

Friday, October 1, 2010

White Chicken Chili

Finally!!! I am getting around to posting this recipe. Sorry to those who have asked, begged, pleaded, and given up!
Here it is...

1 rotisserie chicken
3 cans great northern beans
16 oz jar of mild salsa or Rotel
2 cans of chicken broth
2 tsp cumin
16-18 oz cubed pepper jack cheese

Cook on high in crockpot for 3 hours...Serve with tortilla chips (I like the blue corn chips for color!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Healthy Cobb Salad

First of all, let me say I am so excited about the new recipes just posted! Can't wait to try them all!
Thanks! Having a stalemate with my dinner menus...need quick during the week yet healthy and child friendly! We have been eating a lot of Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, and veggies. Getting burned out!

I found this one in my People magazine...it is from Jillian Micheals from the Biggest Loser. I haven't tried it yet but it is on the menu for this week!

1 oz. Roquefort or other blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (my sister has been eating this for breakfast and loves it)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
4 slices turkey bacon (another new fav of mine! don't hate til you give it a try! ;)
8 cups or 2 heads thinly sliced Romaine lettuce
1 lb poached or grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 firm, ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced

1. Blend the Roquefort, yogurt, vinegar, water and pepper until smooth; reserve.
2. Cook turkey bacon, until crisp, about 8 min
3. Arrange lettuce on platter, scatter bacon, followed by chicken, tomatoes, eggs, avocado.
4. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Serves 6
(Sorry no picture...yet!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spaghetti with Eggplant & Tomato Sauce

These last 3 recipes I have all gotten from magazines and I like them because 1) they taste great! 2) ingredients that are fresh and I have on hand 3) different from the recipes I usually make. Plus I want to put these on this site because I know I will lose the magazine clipping and I know I will make these again and again.

1 medium size eggplant, diced (2 cups) I use a Japanese eggplant, more skin less flesh
2 T salt (for soaking eggplant)
3 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or use a couple cans of chopped/diced tomatoes like I did...less work)
2 T tomato paste
12 oz. spaghetti
oil for frying
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (very important ingredient)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Put diced eggplant into a colander over a plate. Sprinkle with 2 T salt; toss. Set aside to drain 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels (I didn't rinse mine and I really liked it with the salty taste). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes over medium-low heat until light golden. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften and sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, when water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook as package directs. While pasta cooks, heat 1/2 in. vegetable oil in another large skillet. Add eggplant and fry until golden, about 8 minutes (I found it to be longer because you want a crispy shell on the outside).
Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Stir eggplant into tomato sauce.

When pasta is cooked, reserve 2 T pasta cooking water, then drain. Return pasta to pot. Stir in sauce, reserved water, basil and cheese. Season with salt, pepper if desired.