Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Brownies


* 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
* 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine (2 sticks)
* 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Place 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips and the butter in a saucepan on very low heat, and stir, until melted, being careful not to scorch. Allow melted chocolate to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread walnuts (optional) on a baking sheet (if not already toasted), and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; remove pan from oven and allow nuts to cool before chopping. Mix together eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl; stir in vanilla and salt. Sift flour, and add in small portions to egg, mixing well after each addition, until thoroughly blended. Stir in cooled chocolate and mix well; then fold in chopped nuts (if using). Add remainder of chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups) to the batter and stir well. Pour batter into a greased 9x11-inch pan and spread evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for approx 25-30 minutes, then allow brownies to cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes approx 15 brownies, depending on size preference.
Panko Crusted Tilapia Nuggets With Fancy Dipping Sauce (Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Coarse salt and pepper

2 cups panko (see notes above about where to locate that ingredient)

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning or Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 lbs tilapia fillets, cut into wide strips (see note, above)

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving


To make fish nuggets, cut tilapia fillets in half and then chunk into nugget size pieces. Preheat oven to 475, with racks in top and bottom third. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil; set aside. Place egg in a wide shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine panko, cajun seasoning, and oil. Dip tilapia into egg, shaking off excess, then into panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, parsley, mustard, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve fish sticks with sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

* 7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 2 pkgs quick-rising yeast
* 2 tsp. salt
* 1 cup skim milk
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 stick butter, cut up
* 2 eggs, at room temperature
* Filling:
* Approximately 1/2 stick butter, melted
* 1 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
* Brown Sugar Icing:
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
* 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 4 or 5 tsp. skim milk


Method

Reserve 1 cup of the flour. In a large bowl, mix remaining flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In microwave oven, heat milk, water and butter until mixture reaches 120 to 130 degrees; mix into dry ingredients. Stir in eggs and enough of the reserved flour to make a moderately soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to form a 14x20 inch rectangle. For Filling, brush with approximately 1/2 stick melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up from the long side. Moisten and pinch the seam closed, forming a tube. Using a sharp knife, cut into fifteen, 1 1/4" slices. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet with sides or a jelly roll pan, in five rows of three, placing cut sides of rolls up. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place about 60 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake at 375 degrees about 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. While still warm, spread with Brown Sugar Icing: Combine powdered sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and enough milk to make of spreading consistency.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes


1 dozen cupcakes
Ingredients

* 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
* 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries, drained

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease 12 cupcake pan cups or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the strawberry extract. Combine the self-rising flour and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in strawberries last. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 218 | Total Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 78mg

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

makes 24 cupcakes

For the Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray

To Make The Cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
Cool on wire rack.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8) ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
juice of one lemon

Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. Finally mix in vanilla and lemon juice.
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe


Ingredients

* 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
* 1-1/3 cups water
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 3 eggs
* 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
* 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Directions

* In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
* Spoon batter by 1/4 cupfuls into paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of pie filling onto the center of each cupcake. Set remaining pie filling aside.
* Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted on an angle toward the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
* Frost cupcakes; top with one cherry from pie filling. Serve additional pie filling with cupcakes or refrigerate for another use. Yield: 2 dozen.


Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 252 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 187 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes Recipe


Ingredients

* 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
* 1-1/3 cups water
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 3 eggs
* 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
* 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Directions

* In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
* Spoon batter by 1/4 cupfuls into paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of pie filling onto the center of each cupcake. Set remaining pie filling aside.
* Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted on an angle toward the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
* Frost cupcakes; top with one cherry from pie filling. Serve additional pie filling with cupcakes or refrigerate for another use. Yield: 2 dozen.


Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 252 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 187 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.
Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients

1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup KRAFT Italian Vinaigrette Dressing made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 lb. boneless beef chuck for stew, cut into 1-1/4-inch cubes
1 lb. small red potatoes (about 8), cut into bite-size pieces
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, cut into bite-size pieces
2 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup water
Make It

MIX first 4 ingredients in slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except flour and water; toss to coat. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours).

TRANSFER meat and vegetables to serving bowl with slotted spoon; cover with foil.

MIX flour and water until well blended. Whisk into juices in slow cooker; cover. Cook on HIGH 15 min. or until sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon over meat and vegetables.

Friday, January 21, 2011

5 GREAT SLUSHY IDEAS


1. Watermelon smoothie- In a blender put 3 cups of chopped watermelon and 5 ice cubes. Blend until no ice chunks are present.

2. Banana and Dragonfruit smoothie- In a blender place 1 banana, 1 dragonfruit and 5 ice cubes. Blend until ice is gone.

3. Orange, Mango, and Starfruit smoothie- Put 1 orange, 1 mango, 1 starfruit and 5 ice cubes in a blender. Again, blend until the ice is gone.

4. Strawberry and banana smoothie- Blend 2 cups of strawberries, 1 banana and 5 ice cubes until the ice is unnoticeable.

5. Pineapple and Watermelon smoothie- Blend 1 1/2 cups watermelon, 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple and 5 ice cubes until the ice is gone.

Hope these can help you stick with, or start, your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homemade Salsa

Ingredients

* 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
* 1/4 cup chopped red onion
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
* 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
* 1 clove garlic, peeled
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients; cover and process until chunky. Transfer to a small bowl.

When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face.
*
Nutritional Analysis: 1/3 cup equals 34 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 336 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1 vegetable.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake Recipe


Ingredients:

**if you prefer a crust without nuts, the recipe for the no-nuts crust is at the end of this recipe**
Crust:

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
3/4 cup finely chopped vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:

1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions:

Crust Directions:

1. Mix all nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered springform pan, trying to line the sides as much as possible about 1 1/2" up the sides of the pan, set aside.

Cheesecake Directions:

1. All the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.

2. Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with an electric mixer set on low (keep the setting at low during the entire mixing process).

3. Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.

4. Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.

5. Add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

6. Add the sour cream and beat well.

7. Pour cream cheese mixture into the springform pan.

8. Place on the top rack in the middle of a 325 degrees preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes.

9. When time is up turn oven off, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour.

10. Remove from oven and let cool then refrigerate for 24 hours.

11. Remember this important tip : A cheesecake should season. The wait is worth it. The flavor ripens and becomes enriched.


**The crust recipe below is for those who prefer a crust without nuts**

No-Nuts Crust

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted margarine


Directions:

1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix in melted margarine.

2. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper.

3. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.

4. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here are ten friendly foods for those who are fighting cancer. Please try and include one from each group into your food during the day.

1)ONIONS, GARLIC, SCALLIONS


2)BLUEBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, STRAWBERRIES, POMEGRANATES


3)BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER, BOK CHOY, CABBAGE


4)PUMPKIN, WINTER SQUASH, CARROTS, SWEET POTATOES


5) MUSHROOMS


6) ROSEMARY, PARLSEY, THYME, OREGANO, AND MINT


7) GINGER


8)TURMERIC AND CURRY


9) SEAWEED


10) GREEN TEA

Friday, January 14, 2011

Junior's Brownie Swirl Cheesecake Recipe (courtesy of The Taunton Press)
For the brownie crust and brownie bites:

* 8 ounces bittersweet
* or semisweet chocolate
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 6 extra-large eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cheesecake:

* three 8-ounce packages
* cream cheese (use only full fat),
* at room temperature
* 11/3 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 extra-large eggs
* 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
* 2 ounces bittersweet
* or semisweet chocolate
* 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

How To Make A Cheesecake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the baking pan (but not the springform) with parchment or waxed paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the sides. Wrap the outside of the springform with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
2. To make the brownies, melt the chocolate (page 23) with the butter and let cool. In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high until light yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar, then the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture just until it disappears.
3. Spread 2 cups of the batter in the springform to make the crust and the rest in the baking pan. Bake just until set around the sides, about 10 minutes for the crust and 25 minutes for the baking pan. (The centers will be slightly soft.) Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Leave the brownie crust in the springform. Lift the brownies out of the square pan onto a plate, using the paper hanging over the sides as handles. Cover both the crust and the square of brownies with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4. Cut the square of brownies with a serrated knife into 1-inch squares and set aside. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the 2/3 cup of cream just until completely blended. Don’t overmix! Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and set aside for the chocolate swirls.
5. Cover the chocolate brownie crust in the pan with small brownie bites (12 to 16), covering as much of the crust as possible. Use only one layer of brownie bites in order to leave plenty of room for the cheesecake batter. (Eat the rest of the brownies!) Gently spoon the white batter over the brownie bites.
6. Now make the chocolate swirls. Melt the chocolate (page 23) and stir into the reserved white batter until completely blended. Using a teaspoon, drop the chocolate batter on top of the white batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a swirling “figure 8” design, just until chocolate swirls appear.
7. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top of the cake has golden and dark chocolate swirls, about 11/4 hours. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
8. To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon cream in a 1-inch border around the top edge of the cake (this helps keep the nuts in place). Sprinkle the walnuts over the cream, pressing the nuts down gently, making a 1-inch border around the top outside edge. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover leftover cake and refrigerate or freeze up to 1 month.
9. Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, about 3 inches high.
Slow Cooker Cheesecake



Crust

- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used Mi-Del gluten free Arrowroot Cookies)
- 2 T brown sugar
- 3 T melted butter
c
Filling

- 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I nuked mine for 30 seconds to get it soft)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature (I put the eggs in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (mmm. cream.)
- 1 t good vanilla
- 1 T flour (I used Pamela's. It didn't make it into the picture)

Directions.

Find a heat-resistant dish that will fit into your crockpot for the cheesecake. You are going to create a bain marie, or water bath. I used a 1.5 qt Corning Ware dish and it fit nicely into 6qt oval. I tried a round cake pan in a 4 qt round, and that fit too. But I opted for my 6qt, because I'm more comfortable with how it heats.

In a plastic zipper bag, beat the animal crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin. Put a cup of the crumbs into a medium bowl, and add melted butter and brown sugar. Stir until it's wet and crumby. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the dish you are going to use.

In a separate bowl, cream the cheese, sugar, eggs, flour, cream, and vanilla with a hand-mixer. Unless you have one of those fancy Kitchen Aids. Then use that. Pour the cheese mixture on top of the crust. Lick the bowl.

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water to the bottom of your crockpot. Lower the dish inside, being careful to not slosh water into your cheesecake.

Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours. Check after 1 hour, just in case. The cheesecake is done when the edges are no longer shiny and have set. Touch lightly to see that you don't get a bunch of stuff on your finger---then you know it's done. My cheesecake wasn't perfectly set in the middle, but I unplugged the crock anyhow.

I cooked it for exactly 2 hours. Let the cheesecake sit in the cooling crockpot for an hour, before removing and transferring to the refrigerator. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before cutting and serving.
Easy Beef Chimichangas



--1 1/2 pound hunk o' meat (I used top round. I bet you could use pork!)
--salt and pepper
--1/2 cup water
--1 T dried minced onion, or 1 diced fresh onion

to add later:
--1 can tomatoes and chiles--drained
--1 can diced tomatoes--drained

burrito-sized tortillas, and whatever toppings your family likes

The Directions.

You are going to have to be in the kitchen if you plan on making the meat mixture into chimichangas. It doesn't take long, but there is no way around this---you need to fry up the cute little tortilla packets.

If you are feeling cranky and aren't in the mood to cook, don't make this. Crock something else.

In the morning:

salt and pepper your meat on all sides. Plop it into the crockpot and cover with 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low all day---I cooked this for 8 hours.
Shop for fresh ingredients for toppings, tortillas. I chose to use the brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe's. If you aren't gluten free, I'd pick the whole grain no-lard flour tortillas (because I'm mean).


After your meat has cooked all day, remove it carefully. Skim the fat out of the liquid at the bottom of your stoneware, and remove excess juice. You really only need about a cup of juice left in the crock.

Put your meat back inside, and shred it with two forks. The meat should come apart easily. If it doesn't, cut it in pieces and cook on low a few more hours.

Add the can of drained diced tomatoes and drained tomatoes and chiles.

Turn your crock to high to warm everything up.

Prepare your toppings.

When the meat is hot again, start making your little chimichanga packets. Steam a few tortillas at a time by stacking them on a plate and covering with a dampened paper towel. Microwave for 60 seconds.

Take a steamed tortilla and plop a spoonfull of meat in the center. If you use too much meat, it won't fold correctly. Trust me.

Fold the bottom and top of the tortilla, then the sides. The sides need to overlap a bit, so the meat doesn't escape.

Heat up some oil in a big skillet. When it is super hot, carefully put the chimichanga into the oil, seam-side down. Fry until golden brown (about 1 min) then flip.

Top with cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef




--1 lb thin beef (I used rib eye)
--1/4 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
--2 T white wine
--2 T apple cider vinegar
--1 T brown sugar
--2 t sesame oil
--2 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
--1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
--1 bag thawed broccoli florets (to add later)


The Directions.

--add the liquid to the crockpot
--chop up your garlic, add to mixture
--stir in spices

--slice meat into thin strips
--toss ( I used my hands. it wasn't gross! )in the liquid and spice mixture to coat thoroughly

--cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the cut of meat. Thicker pieces will take longer to tenderize.
--an hour before serving, add entire bag of broccoli, cover and cook on high for another hour or so.

--stir gingerly to coat broccoli

serve over steamed rice.
Crock Pot Pizza Soup



The Ingredients.

--1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
--3 empty jars full of water
--1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
--1/2 red onion, chopped
--1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
--2 already-cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)
--1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters (Hormel turkey pepperoni is labeled gluten free)
--8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
--1 T dried oregano
--1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried pasta (if your pasta is tiny, use 1/3 cup. if it's big, do 1/2. I used 1/2 cup Trader Joe's brown rice penne)
--shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)

The Directions.

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 4 hungry adults, or 2 hungry adults and 2 kids with enough leftovers to feed them all again.

Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot. Cut up the sausage into small pieces--I sliced, then cut the pieces in fourths. Add to crockpot. Cut up the pepperoni, add it, too. Add basil and oregano. Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high. My pasta only took 20 minutes to soften quite nicely.

Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Crock Pot Broccoli and Three Cheese Soup



The Ingredients.
--1 qt chicken broth (or vegetable)
--2 cups milk (I used 2% cow's)
--2 10 oz bags of frozen broccoli florets
--1/2 diced white onion
--1/2 t black pepper
--1/2 t kosher salt
--1/2 t ground nutmeg
--1 cup each of three different cheeses, I used jarlsberg, gruyere, and cheddar.


The Directions.

Mince the onion into really small pieces. I used my pampered chef chopper thingy. The onions are going to soften in the milk and the broth, and need to be quite small so you don't crunch on onion pieces when the soup is complete.

Add the onion to your crockpot, and top with the milk, broth, and spices. Stir in the two frozen bags of broccoli.

Cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 4-6. The broth is done when the onion is cooked nicely.

20 minutes or so before serving, shred all the cheese you are going to use, and stir it in. The cheese will be stringy and will stick to the broccoli florets---that's okay!

Serve with your favorite rolls or drop biscuits.

UPDATED: so, um, some of you have issues with texture and HATE the way the broccoli and cheese collide. You should blend this a bit, then. Use a hand held stick blender to blend some of the large broccoli florets. In doing so, the broth will thicken without needing to add extra calories with a roux, and the texture will be more even. And no worries, there's no judgment from me... :-)
Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup



The Ingredients.

--5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
--1 teeny onion, diced
--4 cloves garlic, minced
--1 teaspoon seasoned salt
--1/2 teaspoon black pepper
--1/2 teaspoon red pepper
--2 quarts chicken broth
--2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, to add at the end
--crumbled bacon and green onion or chives as garnish (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them into the stoneware. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings, and pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender. You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held immersible blender. I suppose you can also leave the potatoes in chunks, if you really wanted, but I wanted a smooth soup.

After smashing the potatoes, crumble in both packages of cream cheese, and put the lid back on. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved. Stir a few times during the 30 minutes.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and I'd assume cheddar cheese would be just delightful.

The Verdict.

When I first started hanging out on the internet, I was surprised at how much bacon talk there was. Everywhere I turned (clicked), it seemed there was somebody else going on and on and on some more about their love for bacon. Since I don't eat pork, I really didn't get it, and just figured it was a weird internet thing.

But yesterday I figured out the secret to really good turkey bacon. Fry it in a ton of butter.
Slow Cooker Ultimate Breakfast Casserole Recipe



12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 cups toasted (or stale) bread cubes (I used Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free bread)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a 4 cheese Mexican blend)
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
8 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk (I used fat free cow's, any would work just fine)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. This makes a lot! Cook bacon to desired crispyness, and toast the bread. Set these aside. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray, and set that aside, too.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cheese, mushrooms, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

Put the bread cubes into the bottom of your sprayed slow cooker, and pour the egg mixture evenly over the entire thing. Place bacon pieces on top.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until eggs have set, or on high for about 3-4 hours. When the eggs have completely set, and your casserole has begun to brown on top and pull away from the sides, take the lid off the cooker and let the steam and moisture evaporate for about 15 minutes before serving.
Slow Cooker Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole



The Ingredients.

--30 oz package of plain frozen hash brown (shredded) potatoes
--4 already-been cooked sausage, or leftover diced ham (I used chicken and apple sausage)
--1/2 onion, diced
--1 green bell pepper, diced
--1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
--12 eggs
--1 cup skim or fat free milk
--1 tsp kosher salt
--1 tsp black pepper

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart Smart-Pot for this recipe.

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. Dump in the whole package of hash browns. Spread them out with your fingers, and break up any clumps.

In a mixing bowl, mix the dozen eggs with the milk, salt and pepper, cheese, cut up sausage, and diced vegetables. Pour everything on top of the hash browns.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. This is done when the eggs are fully cooked and the edges start to brown a bit. If you want the cheese to brown and get a bit crispy on the sides, cook it longer.
Slow Cooker French Toast Bake



The Ingredients.

--1 whole loaf of bread (I made a gluten-free raisin bread)
--1 dozen eggs
--2 t vanilla
--4 cups of milk (1 used 3 cups of soy, and 1 cup of heavy cream)
--1/4 t salt
--2 t cinnamon
--1/4 cup brown sugar
--1/4 cup walnuts, or other desired nuts (optional. I did not use nuts this time.)

The Directions.

I used a 6 qt Smart-Pot Crock-Pot for this. I'd recommend a 5 or 6qt for this dish. If you have a smaller crockpot, scale back a bit. Maybe only use 1/2 a loaf of bread.

Grease the inside of your crockpot very well with butter, shortening, or cooking spray. Slice your bread into large slices (if it's already sliced, just dump it in) and place the bread into the crockpot.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla together. Pour on top of the bread.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is done when the bread has soaked up all of the liquid and the egg has cooked (you can tell because you'll see bits of cooked egg stuck to the bread). The bread will expand---it's like one of those spongy foam things that come in the capsules and turn into a dinosaur. Very cool.

After 8 hours, I had a bit of liquid left in the crockpot, but the bread on top was browned nicely and the egg was done. I took the lid off and went hunting for the camera, and then checked email, and then watered the garden. 30 minutes had passed before I remembered that I had left the lid off of the crockpot, and that it was still plugged in. BUT! all the moisture was gone and the french toast was perfect.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken with Mango Lettuce Wraps



The Ingredients.

--1 1/2 lbs frozen, skinless breast pieces (I used 3 humongous breast halves)
--10 oz jar mango jam (I couldn't find mango, and used apricot-orange. It was great)
--3 T soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat free are GF)
--1 T sesame oil
--2 chopped garlic cloves
--1 tsp. chili paste (usually found in the ethnic aisle, but you could use red chili flakes)
--1 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ground)
--2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
--1/2 red onion, chopped
--2 whole jalapeno peppers (do NOT cut, just toss in whole)
--1/2 tsp salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper

to add later:
--2 mangoes, peeled and chopped (if you can't find fresh mango, use frozen)
--romaine lettuce leaves
--2 limes
--2 T sesame seeds

The Directions.

I used a 6.5 quart eLume crockpot.

Put the frozen chicken in. Add the jam, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste. Chop the garlic, onion, and cucumber. Add that too.
Add spices and ginger. Toss in the whole jalapeno peppers.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5. The meat is done when it shreds easily with a fork.

Cut the mango now while the kitchen is already dirty and put it in a tupperware for later.

When fully cooked, shred the meat with two large forks, and serve 1/2 cup at a time on large romaine lettuce leaves. Add cubed mango, a squeeze of lime, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Slow Cooker Rotisserie-Style Chicken



The Ingredients.

--1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)
--2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
--1 tsp paprika
--1 tsp onion powder
--1/2 tsp dried thyme
--1 tsp Italian seasoning
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp black pepper
--pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)

--4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
--1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart crockpot for a 5 pound bird. It fit nicely.

Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity. This takes a while, and is gross. Keep small children away so you don't freak out about salmonella. I skin whole chickens because I hate the idea of the chicken fat simmering all day in the crock---it also looks disgusting when the chicken is cooked because it's all slimy and icky.

I get it that I'm weird. If chicken skin makes you happy, then by all means, ignore me.

In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.

If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken



The Ingredients:

--4 boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces or equivalent
--1/2 cup flour (or Pamela's)
--1 T kosher salt
--6 oz (1/2 can) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
--3 T brown sugar
--1 t balsamic vinegar
--3 T ketchup
--olive oil for browning chicken

The Directions:

--cut chicken into strips or largish chunks
--dredge in flour and salt, shake off excess
--brown chicken in a skillet with a bit of olive oil (you are not trying to cook the chicken--just give it some color and get the flour mixture to stick a bit)


--place into crockpot
--mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the top of chicken pieces
--cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6-8


Serve over rice, drizzle with remaining sauce.


This tastes amazing all on it's own, but next time I might add a bit of red pepper flakes to the grown-up portions for a bit of a kick.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole



--1 1/2 cups of brown rice
--1 1/2 cups chicken broth
--1 1/2 cups milk, divided (stick with 2% or lower in fat content. I used soy.)
--3/4 cup flour (I used Pamela's)
--1 small yellow onion, diced
--8 oz sliced mushrooms
--3-4 chicken breast halves or equivalent parts (1 used 3 huge frozen breast halves)
--1/2 tsp onion powder
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/4 tsp paprika

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker.

You need to use the stove top for one part. This is tricky for me, because I always, always, always have things boil over. Which is why the canned soup in the Little Dipper is so exciting.

I did it again. And needed to be reminded by my 4-year-old that "bad words aren't nice, mommy." But I had JUST cleaned the stove top, and even ran the burner thingy-mabobs through the self-cleaning cycle of the oven last Thursday. So they were spotless.

Combine all of the chicken broth (1 1/2 cups) and 1/2 cup of milk in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat on the stove. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of milk with 3/4 cup flour.
When the broth and milk have begun to boil, reduce heat, and slowly stir in the milk and flour mixture. When everything is fully incorporated, set the pot aside to cool.

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray.

Add the rice and seasonings to your crock. Chop up the onion, and add it with the mushrooms. Stir in your broth, flour, and milk mixture. The rice will turn a bit red from the paprika.

Lay the chicken pieces on top.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for about 8. I cooked ours on high for 4, and let it stay warm for another 2.

When you take the lid off of the crockpot, stir the rice. If the rice is fully cooked and you have extra liquid, keep the lid off for about 15 minutes. The liquid will absorb quickly.
Slow Cooker Bacon and Cheese Chicken Recipe



--2 T olive oil
--4-6 chicken breast halves, or equivalent bird pieces (I used 8 breast tenders)
--12 pieces cooked and crumbled Turkey bacon
--1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Tamari's wheat-free that I found at Whole Foods)
--1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
--1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


The Directions.

Put the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of your crock and spread it around. If you are using thighs or fattier cuts of meat, this step is probably optional.

Put the chicken in the crock on top of the oil.

In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce and the ranch dressing. I kept tasting this---the flavor is so bizarre and tasty; I've never had anything like it.

Pour sauce over the top of the chicken. Add the shredded cheese and the crumbled bacon to the crock, getting between the chicken pieces, if you can.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4. The cooking time will depend on how thick your chicken pieces are, and if they are fresh or frozen.

Since I used the tiny breast tenders (frozen) our dinner cooked in only 3 hours on high.
Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken Recipe



--12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 6 boneless, skinless breast halves
--1 cup brown sugar (it's okay. you can brush your teeth after.)
--1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (stay with me...)
--2/3 cup vinegar (I used white wine, but think regular white would be fine)
--3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
--2 T soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat free are GF)
--1 tsp ground black pepper

The Directions.

Use a 4 quart crockpot for this recipe.

Plop the chicken into your crockpot. Cover with the brown sugar, pepper, chopped garlic, and soy sauce. Add the vinegar, and pour in the soda. It will bubble!

Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. The chicken is done when it is cooked through and has reached desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.

Serve over a bowl of white rice with a ladle full of the broth.
Slow Cooker Barbecued Chicken and Cornbread Casserole



The Ingredients:

--1 pound of cooked, or practically cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (I browned my chicken for a while on the stove, then lost interest. It was almost cooked, but not yet edible.)
--1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (optional.)
--1 red onion, diced (optional. I didn't use this, although I intended to, and am kind of kicking myself for the accidental omission.)
--1 cup frozen or fresh corn
--1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (18 oz)
--1/4 cup hot water

cornbread topping:

use a mix and follow the directions on the box (minus the oil or butter), or mix together the following:

--3/4 cup corn meal
--1 1/4 cups of flour (I used a Bob Red's Mill GF mix--we were out of Pamela's)
--1 cup milk
--1/4 cup sugar
--1 egg
--1 tsp baking powder (only if using regular all-purpose flour)

The Directions.

I used a 4 qt round crockpot for this---it was the perfect size.

Spray the inside of your stoneware with cooking spray. Cut up the chicken and sweet potato, and add to the crock. Add the corn. Empty the contents of the barbecue sauce bottle, and then add 1/4 cup of hot water to the bottle, shake, and pour that out, too. Mix well with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cornbread topping. You don't need to mix well, I just used a fork. Spread the topping on to the chicken mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Ours cooked on low for exactly 6. If you are planning on being out of the house, cook for the shorter amount of time. You can always switch to high to brown the top when you get home

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rudolph's Chocolate Truffle Cake




Ingredients

* 8 (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate squares
* 2 1/2 cups milk
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 3 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Chocolate Truffle Filling, divided
* 10 (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate squares, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
* 1 to 2 (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate squares, finely grated

Preparation

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, and let mixture cool slightly (about 10 minutes).

Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate mixture until blended and smooth.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; whisk into chocolate mixture until blended and smooth.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

Spread 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Chocolate Truffle Filling evenly on top of 1 cake layer. Top with 1 cake layer; spread 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Chocolate Truffle Filling evenly on top, reserving remaining 1/2 cup Chocolate Truffle Filling. Top with remaining cake layer.

Microwave coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate squares and cream in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute and then every 30 seconds until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Let cool slightly (about 15 minutes).

Spread warm semisweet chocolate mixture over top and sides of cake. Chill cake 30 minutes or until chocolate glaze is firm. Pipe border using a rosette tip around bottom of cake with remaining 1/2 cup Chocolate Truffle Filling. Sprinkle finely grated semisweet chocolate evenly over top of cake.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Angelic Cupcakes
By, DC Cupcakes



INGREDIENTS
1 box (16 ounces) angel food cake mix
1‑1/4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
Red food coloring
4‑1/2 cups light whipped topping
Green food coloring (optional)

PREPARATION:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 36 standard (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.
2. Beat cake mix, water and peppermint extract, if desired, in large bowl with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat 1 minute.
3. Pour half of batter into medium bowl; carefully stir in 9 drops red food coloring. In each muffin cup, alternate spoonfuls of white and pink batter, filling baking cups 3/4 full.
4. Bake 11 minutes or until cupcakes are golden with deep cracks on top. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
5. Divide whipped topping between three small bowls. Add 2 drops green food coloring to one bowl of whipped topping; stir gently to combine. Add 2 drops red food coloring to one bowl of whipped topping; stir gently to combine. Frost cupcakes with red, green and white whipped topping as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Pomegranate Passion Smoothie



1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
2 bananas, peeled
1 cup blueberries, frozen

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and puree on high until smooth.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Panino alla Margherita
Giada De Laurentiis



Ingredients:

* 2 slices (1/2-inch-thick; about 2 ounces) fresh mozzarella
* 2 slices (1/2-inch-thick) rustic white bread
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 slices (1/4-inch-thick) tomato
* 6 medium fresh basil leaves or 3 large
* 2 teaspoons (about) olive oil

Directions

Place the mozzarella atop 1 bread slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the tomato slices and then the basil leaves. Top with the second bread slice. Brush both sides of the sandwich with the oil.

Heat a grill pan over medium-low heat. Grill the sandwich until the bread is golden brown and the cheese melts, pressing down with a metal spatula or grill press, about 4 minutes per side.

Friday, January 7, 2011

CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM CAKE



1 3/4 c. flour
2 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 c. plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. anisette liqueur
1 1/2 c. heavy cream, cold
1 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350*. Butter the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans and fit with 2 circles of parchment paper. Butter the paper and pan sides and dust with flour. Set aside. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and maintain. Combine the flour, 2 c. sugar, 3/4 c. cocoa, salt, powder, and soda in a large bowl. Beat in the oil, milk, eggs, vanilla, and anisette using a mixer set on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add 1 c. of the boiling water. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick in middle comes out clean. Cool the cake in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Unmold the cakes and return to the wire rack until completely cool. Make the frosting: Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the remaining sugar and 1 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa until combined. Assemble the cake. 1 cake down frost and put half of mini chocolate chips. 2cake and frost entire things and top with remaining chocolate chips. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes: 16 servings. Each serving 344 calories.
CHOCOLATE-PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM CAKE




1/2 c. cake flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
5 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

Filling:
2 pints peppermint ice cream, softened

Cake: Preheat oven to 400*. Line a jelly roll pan with nonstick foil. In bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Place egg whites and yolks in 2 separate large bowls. With mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 c. of the sugar. At high speed, beat whites just until stiff-but not dry-peaks form. With same beaters, beat yolks with remaining 1/4 c. sugar for 3 minutes until thickened;beat in vanilla. At low speed, beat half the flour mixture into yolks. Fold in half the whites. Fold in remaining flour, then remaining whites. Spread in pan. Bake 12 minutes, until top springs back when pressed. Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar; invert cake onto towel. Remove pan; peel off foil. Starting from a long end, roll up cake in towel; place seam side down on the rack; cool completely. Filling: Unroll cake; spread evenly with peppermint ice cream; roll up cake. Wrap tightly in nonstick foil and freeze, seam side down, overnight, until firm. Unwrap cake; trim ends. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice; serve immediately.

Makes: 16 servings. Each serving is 157 calories per serving.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

CHEESEBURGER SOUP

½ LB.GROUND BEEF
¾ CUP CHOPPED ONION
¾ CUP SHREDDED CARROTS
¾ CUP DICED CELERY
1 TSP DRIED BASIL
1 TSP DRIED PARSLEY FLAKES
4 T. BUTTER, DIVIDED
3 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH
4 CUPS PEELED, DICED POTATOES
¼ CUP FLOUR
2 CUPS CUBED AMERICAN CHEESE
1 ½ CUP MILK
¾ TSP SALT
½ TSP PEPPER
¼ CUP SOUR CREAM



In 3 quart saucepan brown beef. Drain and set aside. In same pan sauté onions, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 T. butter until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes.) Add broth, potatoes and beef. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes. Melt remaining butter. Add flour. Cook 3-5 minutes. Stir in soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce to low, add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Add sour cream and stir.
I played around with the seasonings and added more. I also used more sour cream. More cheese would make it even cheesier.
Enjoy!
Low-Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins
By: 3LIONCUBS
"These muffins are just as delicious and moist as regular muffins! They'll be gone before they have time to cool. Low-fat, healthy and yummy, imagine that."



Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
* 1 cup nonfat milk
* 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1 egg
* 2/3 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup blueberries

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or use paper muffin liners. Mix together wheat bran and milk, and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together applesauce, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat in bran mixture. Sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into bran mixture until just blended. Fold in blueberries. Scoop into muffin cups.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 123 | Total Fat: 0.9g | Cholesterol: 18mg
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Quinoa
By: CPolencheck
"Chicken, quinoa, and apples, combine in this tasty, easy curry!"



Ingredients

* 1 1/2 pounds diced chicken breast meat
* 3/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 1/4 cups chopped celery
* 1 3/4 cups chopped Granny Smith apples
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1/4 cup nonfat milk
* 1 tablespoon curry powder
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 1/3 cup quinoa

Directions

1. Place the chicken, onion, celery, apple, chicken broth, milk, curry powder, and paprika into a slow cooker; stir until mixed. Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in the quinoa during the final 35 minutes of cooking. Serve when quinoa is tender.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 188 | Total Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 60mg
Chicken with Peas and Quinoa
By: Campbell's Kitchen
"Ever tried Quinoa? It makes a nice substitute for rice or couscous, and this recipe is a delicious introduction to its fabulous taste and texture."




Ingredients

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken tenders
* 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock
* 1 (24 ounce) jar Prego® Veggie Smart Smooth & Simple Italian Sauce
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas, thawed

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm.
2. Add the paprika and quinoa to the skillet and stir to coat. Stir in the stock and sauce and heat over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender. Stir in the peas. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cook until the chicken is cooked through.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 503 | Total Fat: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 65mg
Simple Turkey Chili
By: AMFISCHER
"This is a very simple and hearty chili with plenty of flavor. It's even better the second day! I serve this with lowfat Cheddar cheese and lowfat sour cream. It's also delicious with crackers."




Ingredients

* 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 pound ground turkey
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 cups water
* 1 (28 ounce) can canned crushed tomatoes
* 1 (16 ounce) can canned kidney beans - drained, rinsed, and mashed
* 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place turkey in the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Stir in onion, and cook until tender.
2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and garlic. Season chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 198 | Total Fat: 7.2g | Cholesterol: 42mg
Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
By: Mary Bane
"Quick and easy to prepare, and the kids love it too!"




Ingredients

* 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/2 cup prepared mustard
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste, and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika, and parsley. Mix well. Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the chicken, and brush to cover.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and brush with the remaining 1/2 of the honey mustard mixture. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 3.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rocky Road

1 pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 can sweet condensed milk
5 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows
2 1/2 c. no salt peanuts

Wax paper a 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl add peanuts and marshmallows set aside. In a microwaveable bowl melt milk, chocolate chips, and butter together for 2 minutes. Stir and continue until melted. Pour the chocolate mixture in with peanuts and marshmallows. Stir until well mixed, and then put into wax paper covered pan. Put in refrigerator and let set usually about 2-3 hours.

Cut into 1 inch squares. Always a favorite around Christmas!!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup "white" whole-wheat flour (see note)
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, cream sugars with butter or margarine. Stir in vanilla, egg and water. Sift together flours, toasted wheat germ, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet and flatten slightly with fork. Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on baking sheet before removing to cool completely on wire racks.

Note: "White" whole wheat flour has a milder flavor than regular whole wheat flour. It is available in most supermarkets and whole food markets.

Makes 24 cookies. Per cookie: 73 calories, 3 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 68 mg sodium.
Pear Crisp

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 Tbsp. walnuts
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. canola oil
6 firm, yet ripe pears, peeled (if desired), cored and cubed
1/4 cup raisins
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Caramel pecan or vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt or lowfat ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 8- or 9- inch round cake pan.

In food processor, pulse oats and walnuts 15 seconds. Add flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Blend 15 more seconds. While running, drizzle oil and blend 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, toss pears with next 6 ingredients. Spoon pears into prepared cake pan. Cover with oat mixture, pressing down gently. Bake 45-50 minutes, until topping is brown and pears are bubbling. Serve hot, topped with nonfat frozen yogurt or lowfat ice cream, if desired.

Makes 9 servings.

Per serving: 164 calories, 4 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 34 g. carbohydrates, 2 g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 3 mg. sodium.
Apricot Bar Cookies

Featured in the revised edition of The New American Plate

Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
5 Tbsp. apple juice, divided
1/2 cup apricot jam, preferably fruit-sweetened
1 package (7 oz.) dried apricots, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 X 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda until well combined. In small bowl, whisk oil and 3 tablespoons juice together and pour over oat mixture, blending well until moist and crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup for topping. Press the remainder evenly into prepared pan. In small bowl, blend jam with remaining 2 tablespoons apple juice. Stir in dried apricots. Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over apricots, lightly pressing down with fingers. Bake 35 min. or until golden. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 16 bars. Per serving: 162 calories, 5 g total fat (<1 saturated fat), 28 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 63 mg sodium.
Grilled Fruit
with Strawberry Dip

8 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp. plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 tsp. dried, ground ginger
8 strawberries, halved
4 peaches, halved or quartered
8 chunks pineapple
4 plums, nectarines, or papayas, halved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. granulated sugar

In a blender, purée cheese, strawberries, yogurt and ginger together until smooth. Refrigerate the dip for 2 hours before grilling fruit.

When ready to grill fruit, thread pieces of prepared fruit onto 8 skewers. Mix together vinegar and sugar. Grill fruit until lightly browned, turning frequently and brushing with vinegar mixture during grilling.

Serve grilled fruit with sauce on side.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 102 calories, 2 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 18 g. carbohydrate, 4 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 40 mg. sodium.
Apple Pie

Below is our updated, healthier version of the traditional apple pie. Slice for slice you will save 200 calories, 16 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat, as compared to a traditional "Joy of Cooking" recipe for apple pie.
Ingredients:

Crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. cold butter
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3-4 Tbsp. ice water or cold apple juice

Filling:
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2-3 tsp. apple pie spice, or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, to taste
Pinch of salt

Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste
Pinch of salt
1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
Instructions:

To Prepare Crust:

In food processor, place flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few seconds to combine. Add butter and oil. Pulse until well combined and flour resembles crumbs. With food processor running, add ice water, beginning with one tablespoon, then gradually adding more until dough begins to gather into uniform ball. If too crumbly, add a bit more water. Gather dough into ball andlet rest for few minutes. On sheet of wax paper, press dough into flattened disk. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper, and, using rolling pin, roll dough into 12-inch circle. Remove top sheet of wax paper and invert dough over 9-inch pie plate. Remove paper and gently press dough down against sides and bottom of plate, pressing out any air bubbles. Crimp edges.Refrigerate. Prepare filling.

To Prepare Filling:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, place apples. In another bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Toss into apples, coating well. Gently spoon apple mixture into prepared crust. Prepare topping.

To Prepare Topping:

Mix first six ingredients in bowl until well combined. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in melted butter and canola oil until mixture resembles crumbs (it is helpful to use clean fingers). Sprinkle evenly over apples, pressing down gently. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until apples are tender and bubbly.

Makes 10 slices. Per slice: 236 calories, 9 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 39 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 3 g fiber, 89 mg sodium.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Banana Oatmeal Cookies are the kind cookies that makes digging through old cookbooks rewarding.

Canola oil spray
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 large egg white
3 Tbsp. butter (preferably unsalted), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 small banana, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Set baking racks in top and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 baking pans or cookie sheets with oil spray.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice in a mixing bowl. Mix in oats, raisins and nuts.

In a blender on medium speed, mix egg white, butter and sugar until smooth. Blend in banana and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Pour banana mixture into bowl with dry ingredients, mixing with spatula until well combined. Batter will be fairly stiff.

Drop batter by walnut-size spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly with the back of a wet spoon, wetting spoon frequently between cookies, to make 2-inch cookies.

Bake 10 minutes. Switch position of pans in oven. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and almost firm in the center when pressed with a finger. Transfer cookies to a baking rack and cool. Stored in airtight container, these cookies keep up to 1 week.

Makes 2 dozen cookies. Per cookie: 76 calories, 3 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 13 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. protein, <1 g. dietary fiber, 42 mg. sodium.
Shortcake Biscuits with Berries

This easy-to-make shortcake biscuit, which uses baking powder, will bring back memories of traditional versions.

Canola oil spray
1-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
3 to 4 Tbsp. sugar for the biscuits, plus more for the berries,
according to taste
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 lb. fresh strawberries
1 pt. fresh blueberries or 2 cups frozen
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, softened slightly (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with oil spray. Set aside.

Hull strawberries and slice into a bowl. Add fresh blueberries, if using. Mix in orange juice and sugar to taste. Set aside 30 to 60 minutes. (If using frozen blueberries that are defrosted, stir in just before assembling shortcakes.)

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter and oil into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the milk all at once. Stir until it is just incorporated and there are no lumps.

Form 8 biscuits by dropping well-rounded quarter cups onto the cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are done. (Use a toothpick to test centers). Cool on a wire rack.

Use a serrated knife to gently slice off the top third of each biscuit. Top with some berries and juice. Lay the top third of the biscuit on berries. Top with more berries and juice. Place remaining berries around each biscuit. Garnish with frozen yogurt, if using, and serve.

Makes 8 servings.Per serving: 270 calories, 11 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 41 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 405 mg. sodium.
Bulgur with Apples, Currants
and Toasted Pecans

Serve this warm treat for breakfast instead of the traditional oatmeal.

1 medium unpeeled apple, minced
1/3 cup currants
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup dried bulgur, cooked according to package directions
1 cup plain or vanilla-flavored soy milk, heated
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans

In small bowl, combine apple, currants and cinnamon; set aside. In medium saucepan, prepare bulgur. Spoon bulgur evenly into 4 bowls. Pour warm soy milk evenly over bulgur; drizzle with maple syrup. Spoon apple mixture evenly on top; sprinkle with pecans. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 322 calories, 4 g fat (<1 g saturated fat), 69 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 10 g dietary fiber, 18 mg sodium.
Cauliflower-Potato Bake


1 medium yellow or white potato, peeled
and cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic granules or powder
1/4 tsp. onion granules or powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. skim or reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with canola or olive oil cooking spray and set aside. In medium bowl, toss potato, red pepper and cauliflower with oil and garlic and onion granules. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer vegetables to prepared baking dish. Drizzle milk evenly over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

If desired, brown cheese by placing dish under broiler for 30 seconds, watching carefully. Garnish with parsley and serve hot as side dish.

Makes 6 Servings. Per serving: 66 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 64 mg sodium.
Brown Rice Pilaf with Sage, Walnuts and Dried Fruit

* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 medium stalk celery, ends trimmed and chopped
* 2 cups uncooked brown rice
* 2 1/2 cups water
* 2 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
* 1/4 cup dark raisins
* 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
* 1 tsp. dried sage
* 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage

Spray large skillet with canola oil cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and celery until tender, about 5 minutes. Add brown rice, and saute for 5 minutes. Add water, broth, raisins and apricots; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 50 minutes. Stir in walnuts if desired, sage, salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with fresh sage and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 213 calories, 1 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 45 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 150 mg sodium.
Superbowl Chili Mac

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 lb. 93% lean ground sirloin
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
Salt, to taste
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, drained
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 can (15 oz.) pink beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups cooked whole-wheat macaroni (4 oz.dry)
1 cup (2 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, green pepper and garlic until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, cook until it is browned, about 4 minutes.

Mix in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the spoon. Mix in the cilantro. Simmer 20 minutes, until the chili is moist and the meat is soft. Mix in the beans.

Just before serving, mix in the pasta. Divide the Chili Mac among six deep bowls, sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 365 calories, 10 g. total fat (4 g. saturated fat), 46 g. carbohydrate, 27 g. protein, 8 g. dietary fiber, 331 mg. sodium.
Pork Tenderloin with Apples, Fennel and Onions

1 pork tenderloin (3/4 to 1 lb.)
Canola oil spray
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 pound yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch crescents
1/2 medium fennel bulb, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium Fuji apples, quartered, cored and cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground chipotle or other chile powder
1 cup fresh apple cider
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the pork crosswise into 4 pieces. Cut each piece into 2 or 3 slices. Arrange them cut-side down on a work surface, cover with wax paper and, using a mallet, the bottom of a metal measuring cup, or the side of a heavy knife, pound until each is 3/4-inch thick.

Coat a large skillet liberally with cooking spray and heat at medium-high. Brown the pork, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and cover loosely to keep it moist.

Add the oil to the pan. Sauté the onions and fennel at medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions wilt. Add the apples and cook 5 minutes, stirring often so the onions color but do not brown. Mix in the thyme, chile and cider. Reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until the apples are just barely tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the pork to the pan and spoon the apple mixture over it. Cook on low to medium heat until the meat is no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes. Divide the apple mixture among 4 plates. Arrange pieces of pork on top, spoon any remaining pan juices onto the meat and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 282 calories, 9 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 32 g. carbohydrate, 20 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 64 mg. sodium.