Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cabbage Chicken Salad (aka Chinese Chicken Salad)

I used to love this kind of salad.  It was always present at all the missionary farewells we would go to.  That was pretty much the only time I ate it.  I've tried different recipes in the past, and it always seemed like one of those dishes that were better when someone else made it.  Then my friend gave me this recipe and I love it!  And it's pretty simple. 

Cabbage Chicken Salad
Half a head of cabbage chopped (red or green or a combination)
1/2 C. Green onions
Small bag slivered almonds
1 T. Sesame seeds
1 bag Ramen Noodles (just the noodles- not cooked- broken up, I only use like 1/2 - 2/3 of the package)
2 Chicken Breasts cooked and chopped
Teriaki marinade (I use Maui Mountain Teriyaki Marinade, but you could also use KC Masterpeice honey teriyaki)

1/2 C. oil (I just olive oil, and a little less than 1/2 C)
3 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T. Sugar
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Chop up the cabbage and put in a large bowl. Add the Green onions, almonds, and sesame seeds. (I like to toast the almonds and sesame seeds- it actually adds alot of flavor- I just toss them around in the saute pan on the oven before I cook the chicken). Cut up the chicken and cook. Then saute in the marinade. Add to the cabbage. Then pour on your dressing. Lastly add the broken up Ramen noodles!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Banana Sour Cream Bread

If you are like me, you have your favorite recipe for the basic foods and you rarely go searching for anything different because why change something that's just fine, right?  We had a neighbor bring us some banana bread when I had my last baby and she mentioned that the recipe called for sour cream.  The bread was so moist and delicious I thought maybe I should try and find a recipe like that.  Well, I found one and I love it!

I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and I cut the sugar to 1 cup because it was really sweet.  Also, you could easily replace the sour cream with nonfat plain yogurt.  But here's the original recipe.  The recipe was for four loaves so I cut it in half.  This recipe makes two loaves.

Banana Sour Cream Bread
6 T butter, soft
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 small eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
*2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I don't like nuts in bread)
*cinnamon-sugar mixture (2 T white sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two 7x3 inch loaf pans.  Then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture around bottom and sides of pan.  This is optional, but makes it delicious!

Sift together in small bowl flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt.  In larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Then add eggs, bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mix to banana mix and stir until just combined.  Fold in nuts if using them.

Divide into the prepared pans and back for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

--------This recipe came from Allrecipes.com, and the picture was from Google Images.-------

Quinoa Fried Rice

This is a super easy recipe and for some reason my kids LOVE quinoa and they eat this up without even picking around the vegetables.  All three of them.  I love it too and it's super easy (except that you have to chop a bunch of veggies, I guess).

I got this picture on Google Images because I've given up on trying to be a food photographer :)  This is basically what mine looks like, though.

Quinoa Fried Rice

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 tsp soy sauce
any veggies you want, I use:
red pepper
onion (white or green)
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Rinse quinoa, then add water and quinoa to a medium pot.  Bring to boil and cook on medium for 15 minutes or until liquid is gone (like rice).

Meanwhile, chop veggies small and saute with olive oil in a wok or large skillet.  Start with carrots first since they take a little longer, then add everything else.  Season with garlic salt and pepper (or however you like to season your veggies).  When veggies are cooked and quinoa is done, add quinoa to veggie skillet.  Then add soy sauce (you don't need a lot, but you can add more if you want) and stir.

Quinoa is a complete protein so this is a good vegetarian dish, but it would also be good with some grilled teriyaki chicken or something.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cookies- The More Natural Way!

In my attempt to eat more whole foods and less processed foods, I put together this recipe. I can't avoid sweets altogether. But there are sweeteners that are in their pure form, unlike high-fructose corn syrup and white, refined sugar. These aren't necessarily low calorie (about 98 calories per cookie, if you make 24 with this batch), but they use natural foods that are easier on your body. And I'm sure they have some fiber from the wheat flour and oats, and some antioxidants from the dark chocolate :) They really are yummy. But then again, I am used to whole wheat so if you aren't, they might seem a little off. I look at it as something healthy, then I'm pleasantly surprised that they are sweet and chewy. If you look at it as a normal cookie, you might be a little disappointed.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - Healthy!
Cream together:
½ C unsalted butter, at room temp
½ C peanut butter (organic, smooth)
1/3 C organic sucanat
¼ C honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together:
1 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Then add to cream mixture.

Stir in:
½ C oats (I used quick oats)
½ C dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I made smaller cookies, 12 to a cookie sheet, and baked them for about 9 minutes a piece. I like that this recipe makes only two sheets of cookies, because then you don't have them taunting you for days.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Healthy Homemade Muffins

I adapted this healthy muffin recipe from the original "Mormon Muffins" recipe I got many years ago from a friend. These muffins are served at the Greenery Restaurant in Ogden at the mouth of Ogden canyon.  They are so delicious but I decided to adapt the recipe to be a little healthier since I never use shortening in anything I cook.  Shortening can only melt at a temperature that is higher than what our bodies ever reach and therefore is not able to be assimilated by our bodies so it's not a smart choice in any of your cooking.

I didn't remember to get my camera out until I was on day 2 of these muffins (since you have to let the batter sit overnight) so here is what you do on day 2 (but see the preparation instructions below):  The batter has absorbed all the liquid at this point and is ready to be baked!
  I use a small ice cream scoop and 2 muffin pans.  I do all mini muffins because they are easier for my kids to eat.  Spray your pans generously with non-stick spray and then put one scoop in each one.
Bake for 13 min and then let cool for just a few minutes.

Transfer them over to the counter to cool completely.
The perfect size for popping in your mouth!

This recipe makes 15 dozen mini muffins so I separate them into freezer bags and pull them out one at a time as we eat them. This way they are always fresh!  These muffins don't crumble easily, so they make the perfect snack for on the go. I take them on all our big family outings because they are a guilt free snack for my kids and they love them!
Healthy Homemade Muffins:

2 cups boiling water
1Tbl. + 2 tsp. Soda
4 cups bran buds or Grape nuts cereal

Boil water then add soda. Stir. Add 4 cups bran buds and set aside to cool.

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar (I seem to add less and less each time as I wean my family off of these being so sweet)
4 eggs
1quart buttermilk
5 cups flour (1-2 whole wheat, and I use whole wheat pastry flour bought at the health food store, or freshly ground if you have a wheat grinder)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups bran flakes (I use the raisin bran in my cupboard)
(I also sprinkle in some ground flaxseed for added health benefits, 1 cup or so)

In separate bowl (preferably with a lid) add sugar to softened butter. Blend well.  Add eggs, Buttermilk and blend again.  Add dry ingredients along with water/cereal mixture from above, and stir well. Cover.  Let sit overnight in refrigerator. Then go to step 2 above.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lasagna Soup

I always forget to take a picture until after we eat.  Thank you google images once again.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound hamburger (you can use sausage as well in place of the hamburger)
1 small onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 T. dried basil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick sauce-pot or Dutch oven. Add the hamburger, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the hamburger is  browned, 8 – 10 minutes. 

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and the Parmesan.  (whole-wheat lasagna noodles take a little longer to cook.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Italian Salad

This is my first time posting a recipe on this blog... although I've had access for a long time now and have enjoyed everyone else's recipes... I finally decided that I might give this a try! My camera is just a point and shoot so my pictures won't be that good, but oh well. This is a salad that my family just loves! It goes great as a side with so many dishes. We ate it last night with pizza. And the best part is, you don't have to measure the ingredients, you can just add as much as you like of each one. I wish I had taken a picture before I dumped everything on the salad so you could see them separate but oh well.
 First I started with some romaine lettuce and then added to that chopped olives, tomatoes, bacon, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Then I pour over the top Bernstein's "Restaurant Recipe Italian" dressing and toss it up.

This is what it looked like all tossed.  Yumm!

Italian salad:
Romaine lettuce (or any kind you like)
Chopped Olives
Diced tomatoes
4-6 slices of bacon (chopped)
Freshly grated parmesan chz.
Tossed with your favorite Italian dressing! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken Broccoli Supreme

I found this recipe off Pinterest, and another friend's blog.  It was delicious!  The picture is courtesy of google images because I forgot to take a picture:)  Enjoy!

1-lb fresh or frozen broccoli.  Break in pieces and steam for 2 minutes
3 cups cooked chicken – Break up into small pieces
1 tube Ritz crackers
½ cube melted butter
2 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
1/3 C. Butter melted
¼ C. Cornstarch, dissolved in ½ C. COLD water
1/3 C. Chicken Broth
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
2 Cups Milk
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese

Directions:  In greased 9x13 pan, layer the broccoli and chicken, then set aside. In saucepan over medium heat, combine the melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.  Pour sauce over the chicken and broccoli and top with the remaining 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.

Crush the Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag.  Don’t crush too small.  Add the crumbs to the melted butter.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I found this recipe at Our Best Bites. I changed it just barely by using a real onion (I use white onino and leave out the green onion from the original recipe) and real garlic instead of the powder. Also, I forgot to use the lime juice the first time and the second time I didn't have any, but it was still great. LOVE these and so does my family. I don't really like them with flour tortillas, but Kylee doesn't like corn so I do a couple flour ones just for her and Dylan.

1/2 onion, chopped small
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 C shredded cooked chicken (I like to put chicken tenders in the crockpot for a few hours so they are all ready when I start to make dinner and they are tender and yummy)
1 C grated pepperjack cheese

small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil in a small pot. Add cream cheese and green salsa and stir so cheese can melt. Add seasonings, lime juice, cilantro, chicken and pepperjack and mix together. Warm tortillas in microwave using a wet paper towel. You have to warm them or they will not roll well and they won't stay rolled. Scoop some of the chicken mixture (about 3 T or as much as you like) onto the bottom third of the tortilla and roll up tight. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Make sure they are not touching each other. Spray taquitos with Pam and sprinkle with salt (gives it the deep fried taste). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are crisp and edges are starting to brown. Serve with salsa and guacamole. Or just mash up an avocado and mix it with some sour cream. Yum!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zucchini Carrot Muffins

I know you probably aren't drooling over these just by hearing the name. But think of zucchini bread or carrot cake. I make these often because my whole family loves them! And it's fun to be able to use vegetables from my garden and applesauce that I made from apples I picked :)

The original recipe I used for this has WAY too much sugar in it. This one is my healthier version. I cut the sugar in half and replaced half the oil with applesauce. The only reason I didn't use all applesauce is that we can't eat all 12 muffins in one day and I get nervous using applesauce when they are going to be sitting out. I learned from experience that applesauce doesn't last very long in baked goods.

Zucchini Carrot Muffins
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup applesauce
• 2 large eggs
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 1/2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
• 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine oil, applesauce, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. In a large bowl combine flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients stirring just until combined (do not overmix!) I use a regular cheese grater for the zucchini and a smaller zester-type grater for the carrots so they are really small. Fold in zucchini and carrots.

Fill 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com (here) It's supposed to be a copy-cat of Cinnabon. I don't know how close it is because I haven't had many Cinnabon rolls in my life, but they were maybe the best things that have ever come out of my oven. The recipe calls for a bread machine, but I didn't use one. These are my instructions.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour (I used 2 C whole wheat flour and the rest bread flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (or just one packet regular, one Tbls)

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened so it's spreadable

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix yeast with warm milk and let stand 10 minutes. Add eggs, margarine (I used butter, but apparently it has different qualities than margarine so it changes things? Whatever, they were still amazing so butter is what I'll use), sugar, and salt to Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Add milk and yeast and stir. Then start adding flour and kneading. I used some whole wheat because I love whole wheat. What I read is that bread flour absorbs the liquids more than regular flour, which would explain why my dough was still way too sticky after adding the flour. I ended up adding maybe 1/2 C or more bread flour to make it the right consistency. You just have to be able to handle it without it just making a huge mess on your hands. Next time I might use more whole wheat because there's enough sugar that it would still be delicious.

Once your dough is right, spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place dough inside and cover with damp towel. Allow the dough to rise an hour in a warm place (I turn my oven on to 150 degrees or so, then turn it OFF.

Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and let the butter sit out so it's soft.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll it out on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the butter and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top. Then roll up long ways. Use dental floss (or jewelry string like I did) to cut into 12 rolls. Place in greased 9x13 glass pan. Cover with damp towel again and allow to rise in warm place again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls for 15 minutes, or until starting to brown. Mix icing ingredients together. When you pull the rolls out of the oven, cover with a lid or some sort and TURN OVER the pan so all the drippings go back into the rolls! Leave it like that for a minute. Then ice them while they are warm.

Mmmm. My mouth is watering for these right now! So good!

Monday, September 26, 2011


This is in no way my recipe. I took it from Favorite Family Recipes and I followed it exactly. It is delicious! Of course, you have to make sure you have a nice ripe avocado to make it really yummy. Otherwise it's just kind of blah. I usually half this recipe and use two smaller avocados, or one and a half big ones.

3 avocados
Red onion, chopped (about 1/4 c.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (or to taste)
1 large ripe garden tomato (or 2 smaller tomatoes), diced
juice of 1 lime
4-5 shakes green Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Mix everything in a bowl and enjoy! If you don't like raw onions, chop them very small but don't leave them out or it won't taste like real guacamole. Also, be generous with the Tobasco sauce. It's not that spicy, but it adds a lot of flavor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

I love warm breakfasts, as if you couldn't tell from all my breakfast recipes. But I don't always have time in the morning so I have found a few things I can make the night before. This one worked perfectly.

The problem is that, although my whole family loves oatmeal, I don't. I don't like it at all. I like the idea of it. I think it smells really good most of the time. And I've tried it a dozen times over the years thinking 'maybe I'll like it now.' But it's the texture. It's slimy. And mushy. I even tried Amy's baked oatmeal recipe, which my kids love, but it's still too soft for me. I like oats in general. I love granola and granola bars. I love oats in cookies, and even pancakes. But the texture of oatmeal was always too much for me.

Then I heard about overnight oatmeal, and as I started researching recipes I kept seeing Steel-Cut Oats. And I thought, 'hmmm. Maybe they have a better texture." Sure enough, they are delicious! Still a little slimy, but at least there's some substance to them so I can chew them. If you've never seen them, here's what they look like:

They are very different than rolled oats. And I don't know if I would do them without the crockpot because they take a long time to cook. I got the recipe from 52 Kitchen Adventures

Slow Cooker Oatmeal
•1 C steel-cut oatmeal
•4 C water
•1/2 t kosher salt
•1 t ground cinnamon

You might want to spray the crockpot with cooking spray to help a little. If you would like to add dried fruit, like craisins, apricots, or blueberries, add them to the crockpot when you put everything in. If you want to add fresh fruit, like peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc. add them just before serving. I added a little brown sugar to mine with some peaches and it was delicious!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes -Gluten and sugar free

-1 cup water
-1 cup choice of milk (I used unsweetened coconut or unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
-1 Banana
-1 cup whole oats
-1 Tbls ground flax seed (I used the sprouted flax seed)
-1/2 tsp pure vanilla
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/2 Tbls agave nectar (or 100% pure maple syrup)
-1/2 Tbls coconut oil

After blending let it set for a few minutes to thicken, while griddle is heating up. Then these pancakes take a while to cook before you flip them, maybe 4 minutes first side and 2 the second (? not sure -the good news is, they are hard to burn. I have my griddle almost all the way to 400 and I don't ever burn mine).
Serve with 100% maple syrup or unsweetened applesauce with fruit, like chopped peaches, strawberries and/or bananas! Yum!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I found this recipe on Gina's Skinny Recipes. She used Better'n Peanut Butter instead of real peanut butter. I've never heard of it. But I just used Jif, the real stuff. We like peanut butter at our house. A lot. These were a big hit. They are very fluffy and creamy. Just make sure you have plenty of milk when you are eating them because you'll need it!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
· 3 ripe medium bananas
· 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
· 3/4 tsp baking soda
· 1/4 tsp salt
· 2 tbsp butter, softened
· 1/3 cup light brown sugar
· 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
· 1 large egg (her recipe called for 2 egg whites instead)
· 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
· 1/2 cup peanut butter (plus 2 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 325.

Mash bananas and set aside. Combine flour, soda and salt in small bowl. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with hand mixer. Add applesauce, egg, vanilla, bananas and peanut butter. Once combined, add flour mixture.

Grease muffin tin. Pour batter into muffin tin until halfway full. Then scoop 1/2 tsp peanut butter in each muffin and then add remaining batter until full. Bake for 25 minutes.

The peanut butter in the middle was kind of fun, but quite rich. Next time I might just skip that step altogether.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quinoa with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Pecans

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) was introduced to me by my mother-in-law. It was one of those foods that I was interested in, but it was too unknown for me to try. Like a lot of the stuff Amy eats :) Wish I could visit Amy and have her make some kale or amaranth for me (really am going to try that sometime soon). Quinoa has a sort of nutty flavor and is really yummy. This little seed packs a mighty punch. It's high in all sorts of vitamins and minerals including, but not limited to: manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, fiber, folate, etc. But the best part is that it's a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. I'm pretty sure you could live off nothing but this and be perfectly healthy. Unfortunately, it's not cheap like rice. If you ever see this on a really good sale, let me know! I'd love to stock up with some for food storage. This is a Williams-Sonoma recipe (some of their recipes can be complicated and seem like more work than their worth, but I sure do love them. This one is not very complicated.)

Quinoa with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Pecans

1/4 C coarsely chopped pecans (I didn't use them)
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 C quinoa, rinsed well in a sieve and drained well
1 garlic clove (or 2), minced
2 C water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 T dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spread pecans in a small baking pan, place in the oven and toast until they are fragrant and have taken on color, about 15 minutes. Pour onto a plate and let cool. (I left the pecans out because I'm lazy and I don't love nuts in my food because they hurt my teeth. It was still delicious).

Meanwhile, in a large, deep fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until a quinoa seed dropped into it sizzles upon contact. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring until the seeds are seperate and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15-18 minuts. Uncover and continue to cook until any excess moisture is cooked off, about 1 minute.

Spoon the quinoa into a warmed serving dish (unless you're a normal person... (insert eye-roll)). Top with toasted pecans and cranberries, and serve. Serves 4. The first picture is from Willimas Sonoma, the second one is mine. No, I'm not a food photographer.

A variation of this is to replace the pecans with pine nuts and the cranberries with broccoli. Yum! If only I could eat broccoli (without having a major reaction to it) I would definitely try it. Someday hopefully.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Bars

I think this is Jaclyn's recipe. I have two recipes that are very similar and I know I got one from Jaclyln, but I don't know which and I have no clue where the other one came from. This little dessert is one of our favorites. My husband was deprived of peanut butter all growing up because his brother is allergic to peanuts. Now he can't get enough. I made these last week for a neighborhood BBQ and I am not allowing myself to make them again anytime soon because I don't have enough self-control. Wish I had taken a picture but I was running a bit late. I promise they were pretty :)

Peanut Butter Bars

1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 C peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 C quick oats

semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 C powdered sugar
½ C peanut butter
¼ C milk

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda and salt. Add flour mix and oats to peanut butter mix. Press in bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow them to melt and then spread them. Let cool completely (or place in fridge or freezer to help cool). Once chocolate is cooled and hard, frost with frosting mix.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Avocado Salad

The first time I had this type of salad was at Sunny's house a few years ago. I got the recipe from her, went home and made it, and it wasn't nearly as good. You know how everything tastes better when someone else makes it? Well, a couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law brought this to a family dinner. It was so good! Again I got the recipe, and I decided to change things to my taste a little, and I nailed it! Here's my version. I don't measure anything, just add as much or as little as you like. I love avocados and peppers so I go a little heavy on those and less on the corn and tomatoes (though once my garden tomatoes are on, I will be going very heavy on those!) The original recipe is for a larger group so I have cut it down. This recipe will feed 2-4 depending on the portion (or it will feed just me if I eat it as my lunch :))

Avocado Salad

1 large ripe avocado (or 2 small ones), chopped
1 medium size tomato, chopped and salted
1/4 of a red pepper, chopped
1/4 of a yellow pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 of a jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/2 can of black beans (more or less), rinsed and drained
1/3 cup corn (I use the canned corn, but frozen mexican style corn is good too)
juice of 1 full lime
1/4-1/3 package of dry Italian salad dressing mix, to taste

Mix all the veggies together in a medium size bowl. Stir in lime juice. Sprinkle the dry dressing over the top to your taste. Stir well. Serve with "scoops" tortilla chips so you can get tons of yummy dip in every bite. Tostitos now has multi-grain scoops and I would highly recommend them.

Other recipes have you put the oil and vinegar in that the salad dressing mix calls for, but I don't like the oily taste. And I prefer the lime juice to the vinegar. Also, any kind of bean will work, I just prefer black beans. And if you have cilantro, it would be really yummy in it as well. The salad will last a couple days in the fridge.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Granola Bars

These are really good! They basically taste like treats, but with so much good stuff in them you don't feel too guilty. We eat these for breakfast with fruit and milk. Or for snacks.

Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ - 1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well, using clean hands is easiest. Pat the mixture out into the foil lined pan. Bake for about 20-25, or until edges start to brown. Let cool, use pizza roller to slice into bars. Finish cooling before removing or they will break apart. For longer storage you can store in the freezer or refridgerator. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cashew Chicken

I got this recipe from favfamilyrecipes.com, but it didn't have any veggies in it, just garlic and green onions. It was good, but I thought it would be much better with some healthy veggies added. I was right. Here's my version. The amounts of veggies are just an estimate. You can put as much or as little as you like. I didn't add mushrooms this time, but our favorite Chinese restaurant puts them in their cashew chicken and it is good.

Cashew Chicken
1 - 1 1/2 lbs chicken, cubed
1 T cornstarch
salt and pepper
olive oil for sauteing
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped
2 T rice vinegar
3 T hoisin sauce
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup cashews
Rice, for serving

Toss chicken with cornstarch and salt and pepper. Add oil to large skillet on medium-high heat and begin browning chicken. After a minute, add carrots. Cook until chicken is done or nearly done. Add peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and whites of onions and cook until veggies are tender. Add peas and water chestnuts and cook enough to warm through. Add vinegar and cook until it evaporates. Add hoisin sauce and water and cook until warmed. Remove from heat and stir in green parts of onions and cashews. Serve over rice.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chicken Azteca

I found this recipe on favfamilyrecipes.com, which is a great recipe site if you haven't come across it yet. But I think she must've deleted it because I can't find it there now. Which is crazy because this recipe is crazy good! It was a hit with the whole family. (This was her picture, I didn't top mine with tomatoes and avocados, though I'm sure it would be yummy.) I halved this recipe and used 9 or 10 chicken tenderloins instead.

Chicken Azteca
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups frozen corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder (I used 1/2 cup chopped onion instead)
2 cups Pace salsa, divided
Tabasco sauce, to taste (**optional)
10 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed (I used 1/3 less fat)
cooked rice (She said she made a Spanish rice of sorts by adding a little tomato sauce, cumin, onion, and garlic powder to the rice while cooking. She didn't spice it up a lot... didn't want it to overpower the flavor of the chicken)
shredded cheddar cheese

Combine beans, corn, garlic, onion, cumin and 1/2 of the salsa in slow cooker. Arrange chicken breasts over top. Pour remaining salsa (and optional hot sauce) over top of chicken. Cover. Cook on high 2-3 hours or on low 4-6 hours. Remove chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Return to crockpot. Stir in cream cheese. Cook on high until it melts. Spoon chicken and sauce over cooked rice. Top with cheese.

We served it over brown rice, but it would probably be really good wrapped up in a tortilla or even just scooped up with tortilla chips. Seriously, so good!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maple Almond Granola

I love granola. When I came across this recipe I was excited because it's got to be much healthier to make it at home. No preservatives and you can control how much fat and sugar goes into it. This is from my William Sonoma cookbook as well.

Maple-Almond Granola

1/4 cup canola oil (I cut back on how much I use, and also have tried olive oil and it is still just as good)
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup (I don't know what the grades mean, but I used grade A pure maple syrup)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds (Raw, I chopped each in 1/2 or 1/3)

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly oil a 12-by-15-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, syrup, honey and salt. Stir in the oats and almonds, mixing to coat them completely.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the granola cool completely.

Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. I like it with fresh fruit and yogurt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whole Wheat Crepes with Strawberry Sauce

Another breakfast recipe. With ricotta cheese. I just can't get enough of them. I adapted this one from a Tyler Florence recipe, but changed it to make it healthier and a little easier. But the original recipe is really yummy too. I borrowed this picture from a website I found off of google image search, as you can see.

Whole Wheat Crepes
1 C milk
1/4 C cold water
2 eggs
1 C whole wheat flour
2 T sugar
Pinch of salt
3 T butter, melted

Combine milk, water, eggs, flour, sugar and salt in blender. Blend on medium speed for 15 seconds, until batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides and pour in melted butter. Blend again for a few seconds to mix butter in. You can refridgerate for an hour, but I use it right away.

Heat a large skillet to medium heat and spray with Pam. Using 1/4 C, pour a scoop onto skillet and swirl around until bottom is covered in a thin layer. Cook until crepe sets and bottom is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to loosen the crepe and flip it. Cook on the other side for about 1 minute. Slide it onto a plate and continue using the rest of the batter. Should make about 8-10.

Crepe Filling
1 C ricotta cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened (can use light, or less cream cheese and more ricotta)
3 T powdered sugar

Spread large spoonful on one end of crepe and roll up, folding in sides. Return rolled up crepes to pan to warm through. If desired, melt butter in pan first for a greasy but yummy blintze.

Strawberry Sauce
1 quart frozen strawberries, thawed or partially thawed
1/4 C sugar (or less)
1/4 C water
1 tsp cornstarch

Using a food processor, blend strawberries to get a chunky mixture (or smooth if you desire). Add to sauce pot with sugar, water, and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer and stir often, maybe 5-10 minutes. It will thicken as it cools down. Serve on top of crepes along with powdered sugar for dusting or whipped topping.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sour Cream and Onion Burgers

It's almost grilling season here so it's got me thinking of my favorite summer dishes. These burgers are my husband's favorite. My kids love them too. I always half this recipe for my little family of four (well, four and a half ;).

Sour Cream and Onion Burgers
2 lbs lean ground beef (I use 93% lean)
2 envelopes (1 oz each) onion soup mix
1 C sour cream (I use Light)
½ C dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp pepper
8 hamburger buns
lettuce, if desired

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.

In large bowl, mix all ingredients except buns and lettuce. Shape mixture into 8 patties, about ½ inch thick.

Cover and grill patties over medium heat 11-13 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in the center (meat thermometer should read 160). Serve with buns and lettuce and ketchup and mustard if desired. Goes great with steak fries, or sweet potato fries.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

I've been on a baked-pasta kick lately. This one is one of our favorites. Just make sure to half the recipe unless you are feeding eight people (or you want to eat the leftovers for three days).

Chicken Tetrazzini
12 oz spaghetti broken in pieces (I use whole grain)
5 TB butter or margarine
6 TB flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream or canned milk (or regular milk works)
1 tsp salt, pepper to taste
1 cup fresh or canned mushrooms
5 TB minced green peppers
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until just tender. Do not over cook. Melt butter, blend in flour. Stir broth into flour mixture. Add cream (milk). Cook until mixture thickens and bubbles. Add salt and pepper. Drain spaghetti, mushrooms, green peppers, and cooked chicken. Turn into 9x13 flat casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheddar and then parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and the chesses are lightly browned.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken and Mango Salad with Chutney Vinaigrette

Another recipe from William Sonoma Eat Well. I know this sounds weird but it was so, so good. The vinaigrette was delicious! I might even try it with grapes instead of mangos next time. I cut this recipe in half for my husband and me.

Chicken and Mango Salad with Chutney Vinaigrette

1/2 red onion
2 ripe mangoes
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used small chunks)
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 cups sliced romaine lettuce
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tsp. Asian chili oil *(optional, I didn't use it but I added a little chili powder)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (I just put it in the food processor whole)
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 cup cashews, toasted (I just used regular Planters cashews and didn't cook them or anything)

Thinly slice the onion lengthwise, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the mangoes, then cut the flesh away from the seed and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks. In a large bowl, combine the onion, mangoes, chicken, celery and lettuce.

In a food processor, combine the peanut oil, vinegar, mustard and chili oil and process until blended. Add the garlic and chutney and process until pureed.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours and toss well before serving. Garnish the salad with the cashews just before serving. Serves 4.

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

Another ricotta breakfast recipe. This is also a William Sonoma recipe and it is delicious! I will sometimes add blueberries to these for my family, but I love them just how they are.

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

1 C ricotta cheese
1 C milk
3 eggs, seperated
1/4 C sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 1/2 C cake flour (I use whole-wheat)
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder and 1/8 tsp. of the salt over the ricotta mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

In another large bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and continue beating until soft peaks form. This makes the pancakes really fluffy and yummy. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites.

Preheat a griddle over medium heat. Spray the griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top and the pancakes are golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a warmed plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Makes 12 to 14 pancakes.

Multigrain Ricotta Waffles

I really like using ricotta cheese in my breakfast foods because it makes them creamy and fluffy, adds some healthy protein and it fills you up for longer. This is a recipe out of my new William Sonoma cookbook. I changed it just a little to make it healthier.

Multigrain Ricotta Waffles

1 C all-purpose flour (I used wheat here)
1/2 C whole-wheat flour (I used white here)
1/2 C stone-ground cornmeal (I just used regular cornmeal)
1 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C milk (I used buttermilk)
1/2 C part-skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
3 T canola oil (I used applesauce)

In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta, eggs and oil. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture just until smooth.

Coat a waffle maker lightly with oil, wiping off any excess with a paper towel. Preheat to medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Spoon about 1/2 cup batter onto the hot waffle maker, spreading it out to the edges. Close the lid and cook until the waffle is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with fresh strawberries and plain yogurt for a healthy option. I made a strawberry sauce and used whipped cream for a less-healthy-but-super-yummy option. Or, you know, just syrup or whatever.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Candy Caramel Corn

We got this popcorn as a Christmas gift from our neighbors. It was huge, and we already had a ton of treats for the holidays. I was complaining about my neighbors trying to make me fat. Then I tasted it... Ryan and I decided to have a movie night after we put the kids in bed and we devoured this stuff. We ate until we were sick. And then ate a little more. It's that good. I had to ask for the recipe. Four months later and yes, it's still THAT good.

Popcorn (movie theater is best)
Almonds, whole (plain, not with a lot of flavorings)
1 C butter
1 1/3 C white sugar
½ C corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in sauce pot. Add sugar and syrup and stir until boiling. Boil for 90 seconds, stirring constantly. With 10 seconds left, add vanilla. Pour over popcorn in a big bowl and stir until every kernel is coated. Add more popcorn if there is still extra caramel at bottom of bowl. Add almonds (as many as you prefer) and stir some more. Pour into serving container and cool. Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

You might think chicken sausage doesn't sound very good, but it really is! I've made up my own pasta recipe with it in the past, but this one was really yummy. This came from melskitchencafe.com, which is also where I got the picture. The only thing I didn't like about this recipe is that it has you put the spinach in the boiling pasta water, but when you drain off the water you lose a lot of nutrients. Next time I will probably try cooking it in the sauce instead. This makes a heaping 9x13 pan full. It would be good to split between two 8x8 pans and freeze one, or share with a neighbor who just had a baby or something.

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream (you could leave this out and it would still be good, but I liked it creamy)
1 pound rigatoni (I used whold grain penne, which was great!)
9 ounces fresh spinach (can use frozen spinach, thawed and drained well, but I can't stand frozen spinach)
12 ounces precooked smoked chicken (or turkey) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (I got mine at Albertsons. I've seen them at a lot of grocery stores. They are by the hotdogs.)
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, 4 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 4 ounces shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for another minute.
2. Stir in tomatoes, oregano and basil; simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. (If using fresh spinach, add it to the pot of boiling pasta right at the end and cook until wilted.) Drain, and return contents to pot.
3. Add tomato sauce, sausage, spinach and cubed mozzarella to the pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop pasta into lightly greased 9X13-inch pan (or divide evenly between two 8X8-inch pans). Top with grated mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Apple Yogurt Pancakes

These were awesome! It's hard to say which were better between these and the pumpkin pancakes. I got the original recipe from allrecipes.com, but I changed it quite a bit to make it healthier and more filling. The syrup, on the other hand, is not healthy. And it is so good I could drink it. But it's sweet enough that you only need a little and the pancakes are so moist that you don't need extra butter (unlike the picture, which I borrowed from google search again).

Apple Yogurt Pancakes
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups milk (I used buttermilk)
1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt (Mountain High brand)
1/4 cup applesauce
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (next time I'm going to do 2 cups flour and 1/2 cups oats)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 apple - peeled, cored and diced (I grated mine, and next time I probably won't bother peeling it)

1. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, yogurt and applesauce until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and wheat germ and stir into the milk mixture until smooth. Fold in chopped apple.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each cake. (Use spoon to flatten out batter) Cook until bubbles form in the cakes and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Serve warm with fruit and jam, maple syrup, or homemade yogurt syrup (recipe follows).

Homemade Yogurt Syrup
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Mountain High brand)
1/2 cup butter
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla. Remove from stove and serve over pancakes, waffles or french toast. (The syrup will be thin-- this is normal. After it cools off a bit it thickens up. Store any extra syrup in the fridge for later use. It gets very thick once refridgerated.)
**The baking soda will make it boil high so make sure you use a large pot.***

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Low Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins

When I think bran muffins, I usually picture chewing on cardboard. It reminds me of my early years doing clinicals in Nursing homes. BUT these are SO not like that. They are delicious and around 100 calories a piece. My whole family loved them and I'll definitely be doing them anytime I have fresh blueberries. (Picture borrowed from Google Search.)

Low-Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup nonfat milk (I used buttermilk, just because that's what I had)
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

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. Yields 12 muffins.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread

This was my first time making bread by hand (or mixer, I should say) and it turned out so delicious! I like to keep the link to my recipes so that I can go back and look at the comments. People are always saying how they changed things a little and it's very interesting. Here is the link to this bread:

Next time I plan on using all whole wheat instead of half and half. The things I did differently are in blue.
Simple Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used 4 C total)
1/4 cup gluten flour aka: dough enhancer
*2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly. (I assume this is just to help the yeast grow and activate??)

2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey (this is the second time you add honey, I almost missed it because I thought I had already done it, which I had, but you do it again), and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour and gluten flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. (I used my Kitchenaid for the kneading, and it took me 2 extra cups of flour, 4 C whole grain flour total.) Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard (I didn't do this and the crust was just fine). Cool completely.

White Bean Chile

This recipe is easy, fast and delicious.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. chicken (about 3 chicken breasts or I used canned chicken)
1 small white onion
1 tsp. garlic powder

2 chicken bullion cubes
2 cups water
2 cans chopped green chiles
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt (don't add if you use canned chicken)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup sour cream (I use low fat or fat free)
1/2 cup whipping cream (I use light cream or milk)

green onions
monterey jack grated cheese
tortilla chips

-Boil chicken. Dice into 1/2 inch cubes. While boiling, chop onion.
- In a large pot, heat oil, cooked chicken, onion, and garlic powder for 5 minutes.
- Add water, chicken bullion, green chiles, cayenne, salt, cumin, oregano. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. While simmering, drain and rinse beans.
- Add beans. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Turn heat down to low (as low as it will go). Stir in whipping cream and sour cream. Keep uncovered on low for 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls. Top with chopped green onion and monterey jack cheese.
*this recipe serves 4.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creamy Italian Sausage Chili

I was craving Corn Bread and Chili and I found a few different chili recipes. This one was wonderful! It's from favfamilyrecipes.com. Sure, it's not the healthiest dish in the book, but totally worth it. I guess some might consider it spicy. I didn't. But you can tone down the spices a little if you have sensitive taste buds. This chili tastes even better the second day.

Creamy Italian Sausage Chili
1 lb italian sausage
2 Tbsp. olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 can chicken broth
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans diced tomatoes, lightly blended (I didn't blend them)
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 can of each: black beans, pinto beans (I used kidney beans instead of pinto because I like them so much better), chili beans (I drained the black and kidney beans just a little)
1/2 pkg. of cream cheese

Start frying the sausage in a large pot. Add the garlic with some olive oil and brown. Once sausage is browned add the broth, spices, tomatoes, vinegar, and ketchup. Stir well and bring to a boil. Add the beans (do not drain) to the pot. Let the chili simmer for about half an hour. Lastly add the cream cheese and stir in until completely dissolved. It's especially good served with crackers or cornbread.

Here is the recipe for corn bread that I used from cupcakediariesblog.blogspot.com:

Corn Bread
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. yellow corn meal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

1. Combine flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil and butter in a small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture and stir just until blended.
3. Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with butter and honey for that extra bit of yumminess!

Pumpkin Pancakes

I have been trying to find some different kinds of things to eat for breakfast and I came across these at allrecipes.com. They were a big hit with my whole family. (Picture borrowed from google search. I'm not very good at making food look as good as it tastes).

Pumpkin Pancakes
1 1/2 cups milk (I used buttermilk)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. (For smoother consistency, blend pumpkin in a food processor or blender with some milk first). Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. Batter will be thick.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Use a spoon to spread the batter flat on the griddle. Brown on both sides and serve hot with Cool Whip or syrup. We used just a little bit of Cool Whip Lite.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ranch Crusted Chicken

This is a good alternative to my other Ranch Chicken meal. I don't measure anything out when I make this, but here is the original recipe I found online somewhere.

8 chicken Breasts
3/4 C. Crushed Corn Flakes
3/4 C. Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C. melted butter
1 Packet Ranch Dressing Mix

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together corn flakes, cheese and ranch mix in a medium size bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl melt butter.
Dip chicken breasts in melted butter then into dry mixture.
Place in greased baking dish and cook, uncovered for 45 minutes

I use chicken tenders instead because they thaw faster, cook faster, and are more tender. Then I just crush up half a bowl of corn flakes and add half a packet of ranch mix and about the same amount of parmesan. With tenders you only have to cook them for 25 minutes or so. My kids love this!

Creamy Green Chili Enchiladas

I came up with this recipe by combining two others that I tried, and adding a little extra. No, it's not healthy. But it is really good and sometimes you just need some comfort food.

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 C sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
shredded chicken (maybe 1.5-2 lbs? or however much you like. We like a lot.)
1 small package shredded colby jack cheese (or mexican cheese blend), divided
1 can diced green chilis, drained
corn tortillas
2 can green chili enchilada sauce
French's French Fried Onions

(I always half this recipe and use an 8x8 dish)

Soften cream cheese and mix with sour cream and soup. Spread in bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Combine shredded chicken with a handful of cheese (I know, I'm very specific in my measurements, right?) and the diced green chilis. Tortillas will crack apart if they are not warmed in a frying pan with cooking spray, but if I don't have time I just let them fall apart and we eat it like a casserole. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture and line in pan. Pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle generously with the remaining cheese. Top with french fried onions. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until warmed through. (When I half the recipe I only do 20-25 minutes).

You could use flour tortillas as well. I don't usually like corn tortillas at all, but I like the flavor in this because it is rich and creamy and the corn helps balance it out. And you could change any of the amounts of the ingredients to your liking. Less cream cheese to make it healthier. More chicken to make it heartier. Etc. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ginger Peach Smoothie

I got the idea from my 'Oxygen' magazine

Ginger Peach Smoothie

Almond milk, vanilla unsweetened (*any milk is fine)
1 fresh peach
1/2 cup frozen peaches (if all you have is frozen, that works. Canned peaches (w/no sugar) okay too)
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 Tbls agave nectar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
6 ice cubes
(*Vanilla protein powder is optional, 1 scoop)

-This serves 1-2 people, or 1 adult and 2 little people around here ;)

Don't forget to remove the peach pit, toss in blender. You can grate the ginger first if you don't think your blender will blend it smooth enough.