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.