Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies

For years and years (x8) I've been asking for a Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas and this was the golden year.  I've been thinking of anything and everything I can make with it.  I just love it!!!!  So yesterday my neighbor's kids came over for the day and while they played school I played cafeteria lady and made cookies.  Since I started back on Weight Watchers on Monday I looked in my Cooking Light cookbook to find something that sounded decent and something that I actually had the ingredients for.  These cookies are soooooo good and are actually only 2 Weight Watcher points per cookie.

1 1/4 cups all purpose four
1 cup regular oats (I'm not sure what "regular" is.  I used the quick cooking kind and it was fine.)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I didn't toast mine and they were fine.)
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate minichips (I used milk chocolate reg chips.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
  3. Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add vanilla and egg; beat until blended.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.  Stir in pecans and minichips.  Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on pans 2 minutes.  Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
  4. Yield 3 dozen.
Serving size 1 cookie: calories 81; fat 3 grams; fiber 0.5 g

Pimiento Cheese

Here's another wonderful recipe out of my Paula Deen cookbook.  I'm sorry but you just can't go wrong with her recipes.  She's amazing!!!! 

I was going to make this for tailgating this past Sunday but I ended up staying home with a sick 4 year old.  Yes, I missed that WONDERFUL Pats game but my blondey needed her mommy.  So, when Jon got home from the game that evening I made it to snack on since I was bad and didn't cook supper.  I literally couldn't get out of the bowl.  Again....Blair L, lots of cheese!!!! 

I added a little more mayo than what it called for b/c I wanted it a little more creamier.  I couldn't find the extra-sharp cheddar in the preshredded bags so I shredded a block myself.  Its possible that I shredded too much and the proportions were off a little.  Just use your best judgement.

One 8 oz package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
One 8 oz package shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
One 4-oz jar pimientos, with juice
1/4 cup mayo
Salt and pepper

Mix the shredded cheeses together with the pimientos, with juice.  Stir in the mayo.  With a metal spoon (pimientos will stain plastic or wood), stir until the mixture is well blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir again.  Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.  It is easier to spread if left out  on the counter for about 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with Wheat Thins or as a sandwich filling.

Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Quick and Easy Rellenos

We had this with sausage casserole and bisquits and gravy for Christmas brunch.  It was just as good as the first time I had it!  A friend of mine in TX made this one morning when we got together for breakfast and I just had to have the recipe.  Well, I'm giving her credit but techincally I think her mom made it. :-)  It has a little kick to it but not too much.  Lots and lots of Blair L you will love it!

1 lb cheddar cheese
1 lb monterrey jack cheese
3 (7 oz) cans green chili's, drained and seeded
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 1/2 TBSP flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. Line bottom of either a 8x8 square pan or a 9x12 pan (I used 9x12) with the chili's.  Sprinkle all but 1/2 cup of the cheese over the chili's. 
  3. In seperate bowl mix the beaten eggs, milk, and flour then pour over the cheese.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top of the casserole. 
  4. If using a 9x12 pan, bake for 50 minutes....if using a 8x8 pan bake for 60 minutes.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf

This meatloaf is delish and healthy!  Problem is....I don't think going back for seconds will keep it too low fat! :-)  This recipe came from the Weight Watchers website.

1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup low fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup ketchup
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet.  Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic for about 3 minutes.  Let cool.
  3. Combine onion mixture, cheese, and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss to moisten bread crumbs.  Crumble turkey ontop of mixture and mix until all combined.
  4. Place mixture into a loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Combine 1/2 cup ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl.  Stir well.
  5. Spoon ketchup mixture on meatloaf and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Yield 5 servings.  2 slices per serving.  6 points per serving

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chicken Parm Pasta Casserole

This is an extremely easy recipe and very kid friendly.  Something that I'm sure will become a regular at our house for when Jon is away.  It calls for canned chicken.  Never in my life have I eaten canned chicken. wasn't too bad.  I'll probably try cut up chicken breasts next time b/c I'm sure it'll be that much better.  Thanks Amy E for the recommendation! (even though its been years since you told us about it. LOL)

8 oz pasta (I used No Yolks)
2 cups (10 oz) diced chicken breasts (I shredded it before putting it in)
2 cups tomato pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzeralla
6 TBSPS grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Coat a 2 qt baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and toss with chicken and 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce.  Stir 1 cup Mozzarella and 4 tbsp parmesan cheese.  Transfer to dish.
  4. Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce over casserole.  Sprinkle the remaining mozzeralla and parmesan cheese.  Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

SW Slow Cooker Chicken & Potato Soup

This is a yummy and easy soup recipe!  It's actually a Weight Watcher recipe that a friend, Jenn Davis, discovered and passed along to me.  Instead of white potatoes you actually use sweet potatoes.  Very different but very good!

3/4 lb uncooked boneless chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
29 oz canned diced tomatoes, salsa style with chilies (I forgot to get the one with green chilies so I used regular diced tomatoes and a can of 7 oz green chilies.  Jen also substitutes 3 cans of Rotel for the 29 oz can.)
14 1/2 oz fat free chicken broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, not thawed
  1. Mix chicken, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, broth & seasonings in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker, cover & cook on low heat setting for at least 6 hours.
  2. Stir in corn, cover and cook on high heat setting until chicken is no longer pink in center & veggies are tender....about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Brunch Menu

The brunch was a success and the food was devine.  I had a lot of favorites and a lot of new recipes I tried and it all came out great.  I just love breakfast foods!  I can't wait to cook Christmas morning.  In my family we did the traditional turkey, ham, dressing, etc lunch but in my husband's family my mother-in-law cooked breakfast.  So I'm going to continue that tradition on in this Robinson household. :-)

I hope you enjoy these recipes.  Some came from friends, a couple came from my idol :-) Paula Deen, and some came from the Southern Living Cookbook.  So delish!!!!

These next recipes came from my Paula Deen cookbook.  My Southern girl!  I made her sausage balls, french toast casserole, and Bloody Marys.  You HAVE to try the french toast casserole.  I made one, not hers, before and it didn't taste all that great so I was a little iffy about making this one.  A friend reassured me that it is delicious so I made it.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy....DELISH!!!

Praline French Toast Casserole
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-n-half
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
10-12 slices soft bread, 1 inch thick

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Generously butter a 13x9 inch casserole dish. (make sure you really butter your dish.  I didn't do it enough and it stuck a little.)
  2. Mix the eggs, half-n-half, maple syrup, and sugar in a bowl.  Place the bread slices in the prepared casserole dish and cover with the egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.  Remove the casserole from the fridge.
  4. Make the topping: Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the sugar and maple syrup and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the pecans.  Pour the mixture over the bread and bake for 45-55 minutes.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. (you may want to put a pan under the casserole dish to catch anything that drips over.  My oven is a mess now b/c I didn't!
  5. Serves 8
Sausage Balls
I love sausage balls!!!  These are a staple at my Mother-in-Law's for Christmas morning.  A tip that was in another cookbook was to let the sausage and cheese sit out for about 20-30 minutes to make the mixing easier.  I forgot this time around and it's definitly more difficult if you don't.

One 1-pound package of ground sausage
3 cups Bisquick
4 cups grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/8 tsp pepper, or more if desired.
  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 15x10x1 baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large glass bowl; mix well with your fingers.  The mixture will be very crumbly.  Form into 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture so it holds together, then rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls.  Then place the balls on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.  To prevent sticking, move the sausage balls with a spatula halfway through cooking.  Cool, then remove from the cookie sheet.
  4. Makes 5 dozen.
Bloody Mary's
One 46 oz can V8 
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup vodka
1 TBSP celery seed
4 shakes Tabasco
Celery sticks, for garnish

Pour the juice into a large pitcher.  Add the pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, vodka, celery seed, and hot sauce.  Stir well.  

Sausage Casserole

 This recipe came from my Mother-in-Law.  Its another staple at Christmas time in their house.  I highly recommend it!!!!  You can leave the bell pepper and onion out but it is sooooo good with it in!!!!

2 cans cresent rolls
1 lb sausage
8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/2 onion
1/2 bellpepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. In a 9x13 pan, put 1 can of crescent rolls pressed in the bottom.  You will have to work it kind of thin but it does fit.
  3. Saute the onions and bellpeppers and set aside.
  4. Brown your sausage then drain the grease.  Add the onion and bellpeppers and cream cheese.  Once cream cheese is melted, put sausage mixture on top the cresent rolls.
  5. Put the other can of crescent rolls on top the sausage mixture.
  6. Bake for approx 30 minutes.
Can't wait to make this for Christmas!!! 

You know me by now and know I love to bake.  So I had to make a couple of sweet things.  One is an Apple Spiced cake from the Southern Living cookbook and another is called "White Trash".  Both very yummy and addictive.

Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
Chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
  1. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.  Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended.  Stir in apple slices and 1 cup walnuts.  Spread into greased 13x9 inch pan. (will be thick!)
  2. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting; sprinkle with toasted walnuts, if desired.  Store in refrigerator.
  3. Yield: 12-15 servings.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
3 TBSP butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and 3 tbsp butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/8 tsp salt, beating until blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Yield: 1 2/3 cups.

White Trash
1 cup Cheerios
1 cup pretzels
1 cup Chex cereal
3/4 bag M&Ms
1 cup mixed nuts
Almond bark

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl.  Melt the bark and pour over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Spread onto wax paper.  When bark hardens break in small pieces.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cheese Buttons

Never in my life have I heard of "cheese buttons" and everyone I asked never heard of them either.  I'm throwing a brunch Saturday morning and am planning on making these.  Anything with cheese in it is always good to me so why not.  Plus, I found the recipe in the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook and anything with "Southern" in the title is good enough for me. :-)  One good thing about it is that you can prep them, freeze them, then cook them when you want to serve them.  Perfect in my eyes since the brunch is at 10:30 and we have a Christmas party the night before.  My menu is going around the idea that I won't want to wake up. LOL

So I prepped the 3 dozen the other day and froze them.  3 dozen sounds like a lot but looking at them I decided I wanted to double the batch.  I decided to throw 3 in the oven to cook so I can make sure they are good before I make more.  WOW....if you are like me and LOVE cheese you will love, love, love these!!!!  They are so simple to make and you can freeze them up to 1 month before actually cooking them.

It calls for an 8 oz package of shredded cheese.  If you use the preshredded it comes out more like a "button".  If you shred your own in the food processor it'll be more like lace cookies.  I did the buttons b/c honestly, I can't find my shredding attachment for my food processor.  If you choose to shred your own make sure you switch the disc back to the knife blade. (these are the suggestions from Southern Living.)

1 (8 oz) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process until mixture forms a ball.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets (see note).
  • Bake, in batches, at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden.  Let stand 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 3 dozen

Make Ahead Note: Freeze dough balls before baking; place frozen dough in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and seal.  Store in freezer up to 1 month, if desired.  Bake frozen dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets at 400 for 15-17 minutes or until edges are golden.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grandmamma's Brunswick Stew

I got this recipe from my Body for God cookbook.  A delicious meal on a cold night!!!!

Grandmamma's Brunswick Stew

6-8 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can (16oz) white shoe peg corn
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen small butterbeans
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup ketchup
2-3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 -1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1/4 tsp marjoram

Place chicken in a Dutch oven and add enough water to cover well.  Add onion, celery, and pepper.  Boil until chicken is tender but cooked through (about 20 minutes).  Remove chicken to cool.  If time permits, chill broth and remove any fat from the top.  Heat broth and add corn, butterbeans, tomatoes, potatoes, ketchup, and vinegar.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces (I shredded it) and add to the vegetables.  Add Worcestershire, Tabasco and marjoram.  (For thinner soup, add more water or a can of low sodium, no msg, fat free chicken broth).  Serves 6-8

There isn't a time of how long to cook so we cooked it for about 30 minutes then let it sit for a little while.  It was so good and made enough to put in the freezer!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tailgate Dip

This is another one of those Mandi recipes that I rave about.  This cream cheese mold is sooooo good.  It was another hit with my tailgating friends!!!

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp fine onion
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tsp worcheshire sauce
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 tsp worcheshire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Mix together thoroughly "mold ingredients".  Mold onto a platter and chill for 2 or more hours.

In a sauce pan melt 1/2 stick butter, 1 tsp worcheshire, 1/2 tsp prepared mustard, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup of chopped pecans.  Caramelize all in a pan.  Let it cool down.  Pour it over cream cheese mold, cover with wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Serve with wheat thins.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Applesauce Muffins

These are really good.  I got them from the nurse practitioner that's in Taylor and Bailey's pediatrician's office.  I was bringing cupcakes into Taylor's class for her birthday and also needed a "healthy option" for the kids.  I omitted the nuts from the muffins but I bet that makes it extra yummy.  I can't say if the kids liked them or not.  Not because they chose the cupcakes ove the muffins but because Taylor ended up with the flu and we didn't get to bring either in.  I can say I liked them and so did Bailey. :-)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (reserve 1/2 cup until the end.  Sometimes the apples are sweet enough and you don't need the other 1/2.  I did end up adding it but I like them sweet and probably could have added more.)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup peeled, chopped apples (granny smith's or gala)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

  1. Stir together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Mix in eggs, applesauce, and butter.
  3. Next add the apples and nuts.
  4. Now taste.  If you want it sweeter add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  5. Spoon into muffin pan and bake at 350 for approx 15-20 minutes or when toothpick comes out clean.
It made approx 18 muffins.

A tip my mom gave me was not to stir the mix too much or it won't come out too fluffy.  Stir until it's just moistened.  Thanks Chef Lynn!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

French Dip

This is so delicious and hubby approved!  I put this in the crockpot Sunday before we left for the game so it was nice a ready when we got home.  My friend Julie gave me the recipe and suggested eating it like a sandwich (dip sandwich in juices) and eat the leftovers over rice the next day.  I did both and it was so good!!!!  I even had enough leftovers to put some in the freezer.  I'm all about freezing things these days!!!  Definitly a keeper for game days......Easy, Easy, Easy!

3 lb. chuck roast
2 cups water (I did 1 1/4 beef broth 3/4 water.  I was afraid of the sodium level with the broth.  May
     try all broth next time.)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 to 2 tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf
ground pepper
1 to 2 tsp. rosemary
1 to 2 tsp. thyme

Put roast in your crockpot. (I browned mine beforehand to try to hold the juices in but that is optional)  Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over roast.

Cook on high 5-6 hours. (It is ready when it is easy to break apart (shred) with a serving fork.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cheeseburger Soup

Wow this soup is good!!!!  I made it this afternoon for lunch and I ate so much I was just miserable.  Another A+ in my book!  Thanks Carri for the recommendation!!!

1/2 lb Ground Beef, browned (I used ground turkey and actually used the whole pound.  It was delish and extra meaty!)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp basil (reduce to 1/2 tsp if desired)
1 tsp parsley (reduce to 1/2 tsp if desired)
4 TBSP margarine
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced potatoes
1/4 cup flour
8 oz. Velveeta cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

  1. In large, deep skillet, saute carrots, onions and celery in 1 TBSP marg. for 10 min.
  2. Add broth, potatoes, basil, parsley and beef.
  3. Bring to boil, then simmer covered for 10 min.
  4. In small saucepan, cook and stir remaining margarine and the flour for 3 min.
  5. Add to soup and bring to boil for 2 min. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti

Last week I must have been in the mood for spaghetti.  In my mind I was trying to think of good freezable foods so I made my list of two recipes and headed to the grocery.  Came back home only to realize it was for two spaghettis!  One is one that I make quite frequently and is my Mom's favorite.  It's a tomato base spaghetti out of Paula Deen's "Paula Deen & Friends" cookbook.  It is very easy, very good, and makes a ton.  Perfect for freezing! 

The other spaghetti is a chicken spaghetti casserole that I found on My Recipes.  This is turning into one of my new favorite websites.  The one thing that caught my eye is this recipe is prepared to make two casseroles in 8 in casserole dishes.  Perfect for me....Tay and I can eat one and I can throw the other in the freezer.  Turned out that Jon was home for dinner this one particular night so I threw it all into an 11x13 dish.  My one suggestion for this dish is to cut the veggies up finely.  I don't know if it's cause I put it in a bigger dish than what it called for but the veggies were a little crunchy.  It was still delicious though!

Chichen Spagetti
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (I used a rotessirie chicken from the grocery)
2 cups uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces (about 7 ounces)
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine broth, salt, pepper, and soup in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add soup mixture to chicken mixture; toss. Divide mixture evenly between 2 (8-inch) square or (2-quart) baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over each casserole. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Alice Jo's Spaghetti Sauce
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
 Brown the beef in a large, heavy bottomed pot, then drain off the fat.  Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic, and saute until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, 1 cup water, and seasonings.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Let cool.  The sauce will keep for several days, covered, in the fridge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sour Cream Apple Pie

My neighbor and I took the kids apple picking on Monday and when we came back home she made the best apple pie!  Instead of a traditional pie top it is a crumbled topping and personally, I think that's what makes the pie.  Last night Jon came home at a decent hour and actually had dinner with us so I surprised him with making it.  It was the first time I've ever made a pie and it was so easy!  Talk about delicious with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream....we were in heavan last night!!!!!

For Filling:
1 pie shell (I used the kind that you roll out in a pie pan.  Got it in the dairy section)
6-7 apples (I used 7 and it was perfect)
2 TBSP Flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream

For Topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 to 1 stick butter....a little softened (I used 1 stick but prob will try 3/4 next time)

  • Preheat over to 400.
  • Peel apples and slice thin.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the apples with the flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  You may want to adjust the taste if you want by adding more sugar or cinnamon.  I think it's delicious the way it is but thats my opinion. :-)
  • Add the sour cream and mix.
  • Spoon into the pie shell and press down.  (it may look like a lot but it cooks down.  I nearly took some apple slices out of the pie but I'm so glad I didn't!)
  • Combine the topping ingredients: dry ingredients first, the blend in the butter in slices and combine with a fork to make it crumbly.
  • Sprinkle mixture over the pie.
  • Place the pie plate on a foil lined cookie sheet b/c it will bubble over.
  • Bake at 400 for 15 min.
  • Reduce heat to 350 and bake 45 min longer. (after 45 min take a knife and check the center to see if apples are soft.  It will probably need more time depending on the thickness of the apples.  Just make sure the topping doesn't burn!  I actually cooked it for 55 min and think it could have gone a little longer.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Olivia's Texas Chili

Here is a delicious and easy recipe for chili.  It reminds me a lot of my chicken taco soup that I make.  Olivia's husband is a true Texan and this recipe comes from his family.

1 can corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg dry ranch seasoning
1 lb hamburger meat browned with an onion
1 can water (optional)

  • Brown the meat with the onion.
  • Put everything in a pot and heat.  That's it!!!!
  • Serve with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips
A suggestion she gave me, which I used, if you don't drain the beans, corn, etc then don't put the water.  It really depends on how thick you want it.  In my opinion, chili should be thick so don't add it. :-)  I bet you can also do this easily in your crockpot.  So delicious!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spicy Meatloaf

Here's another Weight Watchers recipe.  I'm trying to get back on track so decided to start doing my points again.  The meatloaf was ok....honestly, I thought it was a little bland but it could be b/c I didn't add the hot sauce it calls for.  It also fell apart alot easier than a normal meatloaf.  You are probably wondering why I'm blogging about it if I'm so negative about it.  It really was pretty good.  I added a little ketchup to it and made it alot better.  The main reason I'm blogging is b/c I found it really kid friendly.  It calls for veggies to be finely chopped in there so you can't even taste them.  I'm not one to like to hide veggies in order to have Taylor eat them but if that's what the recipe calls for then that's what it calls for. :-)

Spicy Meatloaf

2 tsp canola oil
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 large egg
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage, or pinch dried
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp hot red pepper sauce
1/4 cup tomato puree or tomato sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350; spray a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil.  Saute the mushrooms, onion. carrot, and celery until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sauteed vegetables, beef, oats, egg, tomato paste, worcestershire, garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, and pepper sauce.  Shape into a loaf.  Bake 30 minutes.  Top with the tomato puree (diluted with a little water, if needed) and bake 30-45 minutes longer.  Cut into 8 slices.
Per Serving (2 slices): 275 Cal, 10 g Fat
Point value: 6

Monday, September 21, 2009

Football Party

Who needs husbands to have a football party. :-)  Some friends of mine and I got together at my house yesterday to watch the Patriots game.  We won't talk about the outcome but the food was delicious!  Some of the items like, jambalaya and apple dip, I've already posted but here are some of my other favorites:

Corn Dip
2 cans Mexican corn
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup regular mayo
1 cup shredded cheese (I use 2 cups)
1 cup jalepeno's, chopped (I did 1/2 cup chopped.  It was pretty spicy so I'll probably cut that back even further.)
Tony's to taste

Mix and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Don't make ahead!

Homemade Gourmet's BLT Dip
This one is always a crowd pleaser.  If you've never heard of Homemade Gourmet, it's really delicious mix that only calls for very few ingredients to make.  I love the stuff so much that I used to sell it!

3 TBSP BLT Seasoning Mix
1 cup Mayo
1 (8 oz) tub sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese
  1. In a small bowl, stir ingredients together.
  2. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Yield: 2 cups
I typically make this a day in advance b/c I find it's better since it has time for the seasonings to mix together.

Fruit Tea
1/2 cup instant tea (unsweetened)
3/4 cup white grape juice
1 cup real lemon juice
2 1/4 cup sugar

Pour instant tea and sugar in gallon jug.  Add 2 cups of boiling water, stir until tea and sugar are dissolved.  Add lemon juice and grape juice.  Mix well.  Add water to fill gallon jug.

This tea is delicious!!!  Unfortunatly I can't find unsweetened instant tea here (go figure!) so I made my own with tea bags.  It didn't come out all that spectacular b/c I didn't know the different ratios to use so get the instant if you can!


2 qts Burgandy wine (if you are like me and couldn't figure it out, here's a's 2 (750ml) small bottles)
1 qt OJ
2 lemons juiced
5 limes juiced
1 cup sugar
1 qt club soda
Slices of orange, lemon and lime for garnish

In large container combine all ingredients EXCEPT club soda.  Chill thoroughly.  Add club soda just prior to serving.  Garnish with fruit slices.  ***Makes 1 gallon!!!***

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Apple Dip

It's all about Heath chips these days.  First the brownies and now this dip.  Toffee rocks!  Enjoy this with some apples or any type of fruit.  My mother in law also like to do pretzels or something like that to get the sweet and salty taste.

Apple Dip

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 to 1/2 pkg heath bar bits

In mixer, mix cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla.  Stir in bits and serve!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Taco Soup

Tomorrow I'll be making one of my favorite soups that one of my favorite people introduced me to. She's one of the Soup Exchange Diva's and always has great recipes. Jon loves this soup because it's so hearty....I love it because it's a crocpot recipe. :-) Enjoy!!!

Chicken Taco Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 can chili beans (to cut back on heat, use pinto beans)
1 can black beans
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12 ounce) can or bottle beer (it's for the recipe guys....not to drink!)
2 cans Rotel, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning or use homemade seasoning (recipe at the bottom)
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Place the onion, chili (or pinto) beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and Rotel in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Taco Seasoning

1 TBSP chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Soup's On!

It's pretty chilly here in MA and what's better on a chilly day than a nice bowl of soup! Soup will always have a special place in my heart b/c it'll always remind me of my awesome friends in TX and our soup exchanges.

Since I'm not doing the soup exchange this year I've decided to do my own. :-) I loved having a freezer stocked with soups and I figured this would be perfect when I get snowed in. LOL Today I made a Corn Chowder from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook that my wonderful mother-in-law gave me. (If you haven't read any of Debbie Macomber's book you need to!!!) I think adding a little ham in this soup would be awesome! I'll be saving some Thanksgiving ham and ham bone this year for sure!

August Corn Chowder

2 TBSP butter
1 medium onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried whole thyme or 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
4 medium boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, unpeeled and diced
5 ears corn, kernels scraped off (or 16 oz frozen corn)
2 medium beefsteak tomatoes chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
sour cream and chopped fresh tarragon for garnish
  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add broth and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a simmer.
  2. Add potatoes to simmering broth; cook 20 minutes, until cooked through. Stir in corn kernels and tomatoes; cook 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Your Average Brownie!

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???? It's Monday night football and the small town of Foxboro, MA is getting ready for a BIG game tonight. Tailgating is in the air....I have a pot full of red beans and rice going, made some of Paul Dean's Symphony Brownies, and getting ready to have a little fun!

These brownies are delish and so easy!!! Seriously....get yourself a box, or two, of brownie mix about 3 big bars of Symphony candy and you got a yummy treat! All you do is mix the brownie mix according to the directions, pour 1/2 the mix in a 13x9 pan, place the candy bars side by side on brownie mix then pour the remaining batter over them. Bake as directed and voila!

Paula suggested lining the pan w/ aluminum foil and spray w/ Pam so you can lift the brownies out of the pan so it'll be easier to cut. I forgot and it was just fine. Other comments were to use 2 boxes to make thicker brownies. At first I wished I did but when they came out the oven it turned out to be a good size. I did pour a thin layer on the bottom and next time I'll make sure for that to be thicker b/c when I cut it some of the brownies lost it's bottom layer and it ended up in my mouth! Not too good for the diet!!! :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My CrockPot Red Beans and Rice

I don't do your typical NOLA red beans and rice. I like doing mine in the crockpot since it's so easy to do and comes out great! I love making these when I have company coming into town (inlaws came in last week) or if I have a busy day and need a good hot meal at the end of the day.

1 lb red beans
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp worcheshire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic (I must have garlic in everything!)
chicken broth (pour over beans until beans are nearly covered. Broth is also a staple for me like garlic)

Soak red beans overnight.
This next step I do sometimes but if I'm in a real rush I may skip it. I keep boiling the red beans in fresh water until the water becomes clear when I drain them. It usually takes about two boils. Understand?
I then throw everything in the crockpot and cook all day....stirring occasionally.
About 30 minutes before we eat, I check to see how thick it is. If it's kind of watery, I take some of the red beans and puree it until I get the consistency that I want. This past time I didn't put as much chicken broth as I normally do and it came out perfect. I only filled it up about 3/4 way full.

This isn't really a recipe that I found. I just pieced things together here and there. If you have any questions or suggestions to make it better just let me know!!!!

Oh and this was another fav of Taylor's!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Aunt Harriet's "Cheating" Jambalaya

If you don't know me personally then you don't know I'm a born and raised South Louisiana Cajun girl. :-) I miss my roots and love to cook as if I'm still on the bayou. This recipe came from my "Aunt" Harriet and is delicious!

5 lbs of chopped onions (yes, I said 5 lbs....get your glasses ready b/c you will cry!)
2 cups chopped celery
2 bellpeppers, chopped
1 piece saltmeat (I can never find this so I omit it or add bacon)
1 can rotel
(my mom also adds 1 can stew tomatoes but not called for in recipe)
2 cans tomato sauce
5-6 cups cooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs shrimp or 1 lb sausage or BOTH (I like both! You can also do chicken)

Place onions, celery, bellpepper and saltmeat in a pan along with oil. Cook down until caramelized. This can take 45 minutes or up to 2 hours. It all depends on how high your heat is. Add rotel and tomato sauce. (This is where I add my bacon too.) Cook down more....about 30 minutes. Add shrimp and sausage. Cook down for another 15 minutes. Lastly add cooked rice.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

Here is another recipe from Holly Clegg. I always like new ways to cook chicken since that seems to be all we eat here. Seriously....I'm growing feathers. This recipe was extremely easy and so good for leftovers. For some reason leftover chicken just doesn't sit well with me but this was actually good. Holly Clegg suggests eating the leftovers wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and I can see why! We ate it over brown rice and it was yummy, yummy, yummy.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 (16 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes, with their juice
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes with juice, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. In a 2 quart oblong ovenproof pan, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Pour the black bean sauce over the chicken. Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Calories 187; Fat 2

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chicken Mediterranean Pasta

This recipe makes a ton! It says the serving size is 6 so they must mean 6 Jonathan's!!! Taylor had soccer yesterday so I made it around 3 so it'll be ready when we got back. I think the pasta soaked up all the juices but it was still really good. Anything with capers in it is yummy to me!

Chicken Mediterranean Pasta
Holly Clegg

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 (10 oz) can diced green chilies and tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (3 1/2 oz) bottle capers, drained
1 (2 1/4 oz) can chopped black olives, drained (I omitted these; I love them but Jon doesn't)
1 (16 oz) package linguine pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely minced parsley

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat until transparent, about 4 minutes. Add the basil, thyme, chilies and tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken. Season with the salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the capers and olives. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting any oil and salt. Drain and toss with the Parmesan cheese. Pour the sauce over the pasta, toss, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 BIG servings

Calories 503 Fat 10.4

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mexican Cornbread

This is another crockpot recipe that I found in Fix it and Forget it Lightly. What a wonderful recipe!!!

Mexican Cornbread

1 lb extra lean ground chuck (I used turkey)
16 oz can cream style corn
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
1 cup fat free milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup low sodium taco sauce (try to make sure it's low sodium. mine wasn't and I found it a little salty.)
2 cups shredded fat free cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz can diced green chilies

  1. Brown ground chuck in nonstick skillet.
  2. While meat is browning, combine corn, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, oil, milk, eggs, and taco sauce. Pour half of mixture into slow cooker.
  3. Layer cheese, onion, garlic, green chilies, and ground beef on top of cornmeal mixture. Cover with remaining cornmeal mixture.
  4. Cover. Cook on high 1 hour and on low 4 hours, or only on low 6 hours.
per serving: 360 calories, 10 gram total fat

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stew Meat

This really isn't a recipe but just something that I love, love, love to eat. My brother-in-law introduced this to me years ago and it has been a staple in my house since I've been married. I had it last night so I thought I'd share it. As you can see it's still on my mind.

All I do is cut up an onion and saute it w/ about 2 cloves of garlic. (I'm such a garlic lover! You should have seen me as a kid eating the heads of garlic that my dad used to boil with the crawfish. I would stink after b/c I always ate too much!)

After sauteing the onion and garlic I threw about a pound of stew meat in there and let it cook for about 2 hours. I use chicken broth....yes I said chicken broth b/c that's the one thing I always have on add to the pot every so often to make sure the meat doesn't burn. Plus I scrap the bottom yumminess off the pot to make the gravy.

Put that meat and gravy over some rice and you got yourself a plate full of heaven!!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Beef and Rice Casserole

This recipe (found in Fix it and Forget it Lightly) wasn't anything earth shattering but the main thing is that Tay loved it. I thought it was a good, kid friendly food. As some of you know, Taylor is quite a picky eater so when I find something she really likes I jump all over it. It is a crock pot recipe so it makes a lot. I actually froze quite a bit of it so we will have some on hand when I need a nice fast mean in a hurry.

Beef and Rice Casserole

1/2 lb lean ground beef (I used 1 lb)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, cut finely
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
10 3/4 oz can reduced fat, low sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water
4 cups cooked brown rice
  1. Brown ground beef, onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season with basil and oregano.
  2. Combine soup and water in separate bowl.
  3. Spray slow cooker with nonfat cooking spray
  4. Layer 2 cups of cooked rice on bottom of slow cooker. Add half of ground beef and half of soup mixture.
  5. Repeat layers.
  6. Cover. Cook on low 4 hours.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gotta sweet tooth????

This weekend we had a "start of the football season" BBQ to go to and I made two fabulous desserts....S'Mores cheesecake squares and Paula Deen's "Maggie's Decadent Brownies". I've made the cheesecake squares numerous times before so knew they would be a winner but the brownies were a new find for me. I love, love, love Paula Deen and have seen her make these brownies before. I'm not a huge brownie fan but these just looked really good so decided that I would try these one day. Y'all would be proud of me b/c I really didn't have any of the desserts at all. I did eat about a quarter of a brownie to try it since I've been wanting to bake them and let me tell you.....they are soooooo good. WOW!!! You have got to try these....especially if you are a chocolate lover. They both were a huge hit at the BBQ.

Maggie's Decadent Brownies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

4 oz (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute (Egg Beaters)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (1 lb) box confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 cups mini marshmallows

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 baking pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a 2 quart bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well with a spatula. Add the flour and stir to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
  3. While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, and sugar and stir with a spoon until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows; they will soften but not melt completely. Spread the frosting over the warm brownies. The frosting will set up when the brownies are completely cooled. (I actually put them in the fridge to speed up that process.) When cool, cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and store in the refrigerator in a plastic container with a snap-on lid.

S'Mores Cheesecake Squares

18 Honey Maid Honey grahams, divided
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
6 bars (1.55 oz each) milk chocolate candy bar, coarsely chopped, divided
1 cup mini marshmallows

  1. Crush 14 of the graham crackers, measuring about 2 cups crumbs. Coarsely chop remaining 4 graham crackers; set aside.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press onto bottom of 13x9 inch baking pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until just blended. Stir in 1/2 of the chopped candy. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with remaining candy, marshmallows and chopped crackers.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sloppy Joes and Sweet Potato Chips

My good friend Jennifer shared a delicious WW sloppy joe recipe with me that is sooooo easy and soooo delicious! I was feeling the need to "cheat" and this was a good way to feel like I was cheating without actually doing it. I also made some "Sweet Potato Chips" to go along with it. Jon said it tasted the same as a baked sweet potato and wasn't anything special but it was just something different to try.

Sloppy Joes

2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 medium celery stalks chopped
1 medium bell pepper chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
20 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1/4 ketchup
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
8 medium mixed grain hamburger rolls

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, bell pepper and saute until tender, 3 minutes. Add turkey and saute until browned, breaking meats as it cooks, 5 minutes. Add chili powder, basil, salt, pepper, and cayenne, stir to coat. Add crushed tomatoes, ketchup and mustard. mix well
  3. bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in corn and simmer 2 minutes to heat through. Spoon mixture onto rolls and serve hot.

5 points and YUMMY! Makes 8 servings

Sweet Potato Chips

1 lb sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and very thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, sugar, 1/4 tsp of the salt, and cold water to cover. Soak 30 minutes; drain and blot dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350; spray 2 nonstick baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Place the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake, turning the potatoes over frequently so that they color and crisp evenly, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.

Per serving (1/4 of chips): 118 cal, 0 g fat, 3 g fiber. Points: 2

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meatloaf and Taco Salad

Here are two more WW recipes that we tried this week that were really good. I'm really enjoying trying to lose weight again. It makes me feel so good about myself. So far the scale hasn't done too, too much (thanks to me being female) but I can just feel it. I'm not as bloated as normal and my shorts and shirts are fitting better. It does get frustrating at times b/c of the scale but I have to keep telling myself that I can survive the first two weeks which is always the hardest. One week to go!

Parmesan-Turkey Meatloaf

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 lbs ground skinless turkey
4 slices whole-wheat bread, made into fine crumbs
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tbsps ketchup
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil OR 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350; spray an 8x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Saute the onion until tender, 4-5 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, turkey, bread crumbs, milk, egg white, ketchup, cheese, garlic, basil, thyme, and pepper; blend well. Shape into a loaf and transfer to the pan. Bake until browned and cooked through, 50-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut into 8 slices.

Per serving (1 slice): 181 cal, 9 fat, 1 g fiber Points value: 4

Taco Salad

1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup water
4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 carrot, shredded
4 (6 in) corn tortillas, lightly toasted and cut into 4 triangles each
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

  1. To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl combine the yogurt, cilantro, sour cream, crushed garlic, and salt; let stand 30 minutes.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Saute about 2/3 of the onions and the minced garlic until the onion is translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add the chopped carrot, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add the beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beef is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the lettuce, shredded carrot,, and 1/4th of the cilantro dressing; toss to coat.
  4. To serve, divide the lettuce mixture among 4 plates; top with the meat, then surround with the tortilla triangles. Serve, sprinkled with the cheese and remaining onion and drizzled with the dressing.

Per serving (1 salad): 357 cal, 12 g fat, 9 g fiber Points value: 7

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Southern Oven "Fried" Chicken

This dish was surprisingly very good. The breading is made with cornflakes so I was a little skeptical but it goes to show you that you need to try different things and you'll be surprised with what you get. The whole time I was cooking it Jon kept teasing me saying that he can't believe we were about to eat cereal covered chicken. If you know him then you can just hear the things he was telling me. I was very pleased when he ate 4 pieces! (they were small)

I adjusted the recipe just a little. It calls for "chicken parts" so I used "boneless skinless thighs" and I added more breading mix b/c I didn't feel like what they called for was enough. Of course the nutritional value was a bit different but not by much.

Here's the recipe from the cookbook....

Southern Oven "Fried" Chicken

1/2 cup fat free buttermilk
1/2 cup cornflakes, crushed
3 tbsps all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 lbs chicken parts, skinned
4 tsps canola oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Pour the buttermilk into a large shallow bowl. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the cornflake crumbs, flour, salt, and pepper. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the cornflake mixture, coating completely. Place the chicken on the baking sheet; drizzle with the oil. Bake 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over. Bake until cooked trough, 15-20 minutes longer.

Per serving (about 2 pieces): 229 cal, 10 g fat, 11 g carb, 0 g fiber

Points: 5

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My recipe lovers

I've gotten a lot of people tell me how much they've enjoyed the recipes I've posted and to keep posting them. Well, there is some good news and some bad news for those people. The good news is I will continue posting recipes but the bad news is they will all be healthy, low fat recipes. LOL

I've officially started Weight Watchers again this past week. I gained 5 lbs while my inlaws were here and decided enough is enough. You would think that with all the walking we did in NYC I would have lost but we ate way too much!!!! I need to start losing the remaining baby weight and need to start now. So Jon and I decided that we are starting this together which makes it soooo much easier b/c we have each others support. I'm also going to be starting with a trainer at the gym in a couple of weeks and I'm super excited about that. I met with him yesterday for the first time and he kicked my butt in just 15 minutes. It was hard but I persevered it and am feeling sore but great this morning!

So far I've tried a couple of the WW recipes but it wasn't anything to write about. They were just "ok". Last night we did turkey burgers that were actually pretty good and were very low in points. (if you don't know anything about WW you go on a point system instead of actually counting calories.) So here's the recipe.....

Monterrey Jack Turkey Burgers

3/4 pounds ground skinless turkey breast
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded MJ cheese
4 strips turkey bacon, cooked until crisp
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
1 tomato, cut into 4 slices

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, shallots, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, and pepper. Blend in the cheese, then form into 4 burgers and cook. Serve the burgers in the buns with the bacon and tomato slices.

Per serving: (1 burger) 306 cal, 9 gram fat, 4 gram sat fat, 1 gram trans fat, 77 mg chol, 707 mg sodium, 26 gram carb, 2 gram fiber, 31 gram protein, 130 mg calcium.

6 points (for other WWs)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chicken Lasagna

This lasagna was soooo good and I bet you can guess where I got this recipe. Yep...Mandi. Let me explain on why I have all these recipes if I haven't already. Mandi made a cookbook for everyone in her family and yes, I'm an extended part of that if she likes it or not, so she emailed it to me too. I need more Mandi!!!

Lasagna brings back memories of high school. My group of friends and I used to go to Blair's parent's house and make the best lasagna. (Blair you still have that recipe???) We would invite the group of guys we hung out with and try to win their hearts over. LOL You know they say that food is the key to a man's heart so we just started a little early. What great fond memories!!!

Chicken Lasagna

4 chicken breasts
3 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp Tony's seasoning
1 cube chicken broth or 1 cup
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes (blended in food processor)
2 cans 6 oz tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1 package lasagna noodles
1 (10oz) Monterrey Jack cheese
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese

Boil 2-3 cups water; add chicken and first 4 ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes covered. Shred chicken and add next 6 ingredients to meat and simmer uncovered until thick (45-60 minutes) stirring occasionally. Cook noodles, drain and rinse in cool water. Combine Monterrey Jack cheese with milk and next 4 ingredients. Place 1/2 the noodles in the pan, spread 1/2 cheese mixture, ass 1/2 mozzarella cheese and 1/2 meat mixtures. Repeat layers. Bake 375 for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baking is my happy place

I know I've been writing a lot about recipes and food but I'm really enjoying being a wife to a husband who comes home every night. I love to cook and be the domestic diva that I am. :-) Last night we had a party for all the scouts that were in town for mini-camp. Since the guys always work late we decided to do desserts and cocktails for a little after work winddown.

I love to bake so I was pumped when Jon thought that we'll just do desserts instead of a meal. I inherited the love of baking from my mother-in-law. Besides my grandmother, she's one of the best bakers I've ever known. Her recipes are just amazing! There is a dessert called Strawberry Pretzel Salad that she makes that is my favorite!! I've made it multiple times and has always been delicious.....until yesterday. Monday morning I decided to do all my baking so I didn't have to rush around yesterday with baking. My intentions were good but it didn't happen that way. I started off making the pretzel salad but it turned out all wrong. It's a layer of pretzels as the crust, a cream cheese mixture in the middle, and the top is strawberries and jello. Well, my jello somehow seeped to the bottom. I was ticked! I then decided to go to the store yesterday morning to redo the dessert but it happened again!!! Needless to say I had a lot of pretzel salad and NO ONE ate it!!!! They were too interested in my chocolate trifle and cake balls. :-)

The party was a success and I loved seeing all the guys. I have a feeling this isn't going to be our last get together. We're bringing Southern hospitality up to the North. :-)

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

8 oz cream cheese
bag of pretzels
large container of cool whip
2 (3 oz) boxes of strawberry jello
2 (10 oz) cartons of sliced strawberries
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp regular sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
2 cups pineapple juice

  1. Melt butter in a 9x13 glass dish. Mix 2 cups of crushed pretzels and 1 tbsp spoon of sugar to butter in dish. Smooth out pretzels into layer for the crust. Bake at 350 degrees at 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar then add cool whip. Once pretzels are cooled, spread cream cheese mixture onto crust.
  3. For the top layer, put pineapple juice into medium size sauce pan. Add jello and heat until Jello dissolves. Remove and add strawberries. Pour over cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next recipe was a HUGE hit. It's kind of time consuming but very worth it!

Cake balls

cake mix (any flavor)
frosting (any flavor)
almond bark (chocolate or vanilla)
any topping (coconut, nuts, sprinkles, etc)

Bake cake according to directions. Let cool. (you may want to put it in the fridge to cool off. It's easier to roll up in a ball that way) Once cooled, crumble cake into a bowl and mix in frosting. Use a small ice cream scooper or melon baller and make small balls. Place them on cookie sheet that is covered in wax paper. Melt bark and dip balls into them. Decorate immediately after dipping. I suggest to freeze balls before dipping in bark. It's easier to dip that way!

Another big hit.....

Sweetheart Trifle

1 chocolate cake mix
1 (10 oz) peanut butter chips
4 1/4 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip
4 Nestle Crunch bars, crumbled

Prepare cake mix and bake in 13x9 inch pan according to directions on box.. In heavy saucepan combine chips, 1/4 cup milk and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Combine remaining milk and pudding mixes and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. To assemble, crumble 1/2 of cake into 4 quart trifle bowl. Layer with 1/2 of peanut butter mixture, pudding, Cool Whip and candy bars. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serves 12-15

That's about all the desserts I made. Oh no....I did do fruit with a yummy dip. All the dip is marshmallow creme and cream cheese blended together. YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!!

I did make a yummy wine punch for the wives.

White Sangria Fizz

1 cup fresh OJ
1/2 cup sugar
1 (750 ml) bottle dry white wine
1 1/2 cups sparkling water, chilled
Garnishes: lime, orange and lemon wedges

Stir together OJ and sugar in a large pitcher until sugar dissolves. Stir in wine. Cover and chill 8 hours. Stir sparkling water into wine mixture just before serving. Yield: 7 servings.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Genius...Pure Genius

So I tried another one of Mandi's family's recipes and I can't even express how much I loved this recipe and what wonderful memories it brought to my mind! If you're from the NOLA area you all know about the delicious stuffed artichokes. They are heavenly! Mandi is the one who introduced them to me and I was hooked from the first bite. I remember going to her house in Marrero and Ms. Laurie making them for us. Those were the days! Oh...if you don't know...Mandi was my roommate in college.

Anyway, when I made this Snap Bean Casserole recipe the other day I had no clue what it would taste like. I just read the recipe and it sounded good so I made it. Low and behold it tasted like a stuffed artichoke! it tasted so good and what a wonderful surprise it was for me. So now when I'm craving a little taste from home I have a wonderful recipe to bring me back. :-)

Oh and Mandi....if you have more recipes like this PLEASE send me them!!!!!!

Snap Bean Casserole

2 cans French style green beans
1 cup Italian cheese, grated
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
5 pieces of garlic
1 large can of artichoke hearts

Chop artichoke hearts. Add egg, cheese, oil, garlic, crumbs, and beans. Bake in casserole at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Thats it! SOOOO EASY!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sausage and Tomato Rigatoni

One of my favorite websites to go to for recipes is Kraft Foods. On their website you can sign up to get magazines sent to your house with wonderful recipes in it. Here's one that I cooked the other night and it was really good. It calls for Italian sausage. For people who are like me and don't like sausage and never tried Italian sausage before just try it. It has a sweet flavor to it and is really delicious.

4 cups rigatoni pasta (8oz) uncooked
1 lbs Italian sausage, cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing (I couldn't find this so I used Red Wine Vinaigrette)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package
  2. Meanwhile, brown sausage in large nonstick skillet; drain. Stir in onions and tomato paste; cover. Cook 15 minutes or until onion are tender and sausage is cooked through (170 F), stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing.
  3. Toss sausage mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pork Chop Casserole

My newest recipe I've tried is also from Mandi's list of yummy family recipes. This one is a pork chop casserole. I really enjoyed it because I always do your typical salt & pepper & bake recipe so something new is always inviting to me....

boneless pork chops
cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
red potatoes

Preheat oven to 350. Brown pork chops. Slice red potatoes and line the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Add browned pork chops, top with sliced onions and mushrooms. Mix milk and cream of mushroom soup and pour over pork chops. Bake at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Comfort food week

One of the things I love about moving up here is the fact that I feel like a "semi" normal wife. When Jon travels so much I rarely cook b/c it's just Tay and I. It's such an awful excuse b/c I need to be cooking for the both of us. I blame myself for Tay being such a picky eater. I'm praying to break the pickiness with lots of home cooked meals! Now that Jon is home for dinner every night I've been cooking a lot more. At the beginning of the week, since it was kind of chilly, I cooked a White Chicken Chili from a low-fat cookbook called "Body for God". Good thing I've been trying to cook low fat b/c the meal I made today is nothing but fat....but boy is it delicious!!! (isn't everything fattening delicious!!!) This was a Shrimp Pasta...or "cheesy noodles" as Meredith calls them....that came from Mandi's family of WONDERFUL cooks. You can put shrimp, crawfish or chicken in it so I put chicken.'s good!!!!

So here are my two new recipes of the week....

White Bean Chili

1 lb dried large white beans soaked overnight in water, drained
6 cups chicken broth (you'll need more to add while beans are cooking)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cans (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3 cups low fat cheese (cheddar or Monterrey jack)

Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and 1/2 the onion in a large soup pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 3 hours or more. Add more chicken broth if necessary. In a skillet, saute remaining onion in oil until tender/ Add chilies, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture. Add chicken and continue simmering 1 hour. Serve topped with grated cheese.

For buffet, serve with these condiments: chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped scallions, fat free sour cream, salsa.

Serves 8-10

Shrimp Pasta

3 lbs shrimp (peeled)
1 lb tri-color spiral noodles (cooked)
16 oz Velveeta
1 cup Margarine (yes, I said 1 cup!)
1 TBSP Worcestershire
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp BBQ sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 TBSP salt & pepper

Melt margarine and mix in all herbs, Worcestershire, lemon juice & BBQ sauce. Pour over the shrimp in casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Melt the cheese with a little milk. Mix melted cheese, cooked pasta with the shrimp and bake an additional 10 minutes.