Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Breakfast Oat Cakes

I have been making these for the past few years, but can't find the blog where I got the original recipe from...all I know was it was from some The Scott Family at church and it is amazing =)

Breakfast Oat Cakes
6 oat cakes
Estimated Point Value: 4 pts

1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or whatever you want, raisins, nuts, etc.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and get a small baking sheet greased and ready to go.
  2. Mix together the first 6 ingredients (all the dry except for the chocolate chips) making sure to break up the lumps from the brown sugar.
  3. Add in all the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. (This will not look like your typical batter by any means...it's okay.)
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips (or whatever add-in you choose).
  5. Using a large spoon, mound up the batter and make six "drop biscuits" on your pan.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350.
  7. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey while they are still hot.
These are amazing straight from the oven and pretty good the next day as well (they definitely hold together a little better the next day but the flavor is not quite as amazing). This is definitely not an oatmeal raisin cookie, so don't be expecting that...it's more granola bar-y maybe? I don't know, it's close enough for a cookie for breakfast without actually being a cookie for breakfast that I feel okay about myself after I eat them 0=)

(Not that I feel too bad just eating cookies for breakfast from time to time anyway =P)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Rainy days pretty much ensure that I will crave soup and will give me a thumbs up from Hubby which is much appreciated since he's not quite as big of a soup lover. A discussion with my college BFFs lead to the construction of this recipe...

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

2.5 lbs Russet potatoes, washed and cubed
2 stalks of celery
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 ts Cumin
1 tsp Thyme
4 Tbsp Butter
1 can evaporated milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2 or 3 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (for garnish)
Sour cream (for garnish)
Shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)

  1. In the food processor, mince the celery, onion, and garlic together.
  2. In a soup pot, saute together the celery, onion, and garlic in a little EVOO.
  3. Add in potatoes and spices then cover with water.
  4. Bring pot up to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and evaporated milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Top with crumbled bacon, sour cream, green onion, and/or more cheese =)
Now the rating on this is a bit deceiving. I was a huge fan; however, Hubby was not. I will admit this was about 10xs better the second (third, etc.) day than right after making it even though I was skeptical about that with the cheese and milk situation. I ate about 3 bowls a day until it was gone and will definitely make it again and freeze it for lunches for myself this winter. I would say that the bacon really helps this out a lot...and I would not be sad at all to add more bacon, or even to attempt making the bacon in a skillet and use some of the drippings in the place of the olive oil to give the actual soup a bit of a boost.

As with most things in life, bacon makes it better =)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells must be a thing recently as I've seen recipes on several websites as of late. After The Pioneer Woman posted her take, I had gotten the craving for Italian Night as well. I used bits and pieces from her Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce posting, but made several changes for the ingredients I had laying around and what I thought might be tasty (please note I hate ricotta cheese, it's a texture thing, so I always substitute cottage cheese when recipes call for ricotta...you can definitely change this back to ricotta if it doesn't give you the heebie-jeebies).

Stuffed Shells
Serves 8

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
Italian Seasoning, to taste
1 box of jumbo pasta shells
30-32 oz low fat cottage cheese
8 oz Italian Blend shredded cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a large skillet brown the sausage together with the onion and garlic (breaking up the sausage just like you would ground beef as you go).
  3. Use a food processor to chop up the stewed tomatoes (just a little...somewhere in between the size of crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes).
  4. Add the stewed tomatoes and two cans of tomato sauce to the skillet, and then the sugar, Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Let the sauce come up to a bubble and let it thicken, covered for around 30 minutes.
  6. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and cook the jumbo shells according to the package.
  7. Drain the shells and rinse with cold water so they are easy to handle when the time comes.
  8. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 6 oz of the shredded cheese, parsley, basil, and egg.
  9. Spray a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish with some cooking spray and ladle in a layer of sauce on the bottom.
  10. Stuff your shells with the cheese mixture and place them open-side down on top of the sauce layer. I squeeze in as many of these babies as I possibly can. I never use the entire box of pasta, but since inevitably there are broken pieces and torn shells, it usually works out fine in the end.
  11. Once your casserole dish is lined up with the stuffed shells, ladle on some more sauce to coat (but don't drown the shells...I've made that mistake before in the past) and just save the rest of the sauce so people can put more on their individual servings.
  12. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese (you can totally add more if you like, but one 8 oz package worked out great for me.)
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Another grand success! I think I may have finally found a stuffed shells recipe that will be made again (I've made several over the years, but none good enough to keep around for a second attempt.) The only thing I would suggest is letting the sauce cook and thicken up a bit more as it was pretty runny this first round. I'm pretty stoked to the leftovers for dinner tonight and even more excited that I have found a bread option that both Hubby and I enjoy in the Pillsbury French Loaf. It bakes at the same temperature for the same amount of time so I'm calling this a fated combination.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple Cake

So a few years ago my mother in a moment of her usual awesomeness was cleaning out her pantry and I was sent home with several boxes of Tastefully Simple products (there was a misunderstanding on her end about what the products were and she had a ton of stuff pretty much by acciedent). One of the delicious finds I made in this stash was a boxed mix to make apple cake (think "Just add apples and water!") and it was pretty tasty. It's been a few years since I used up the last of these boxes (yes, there were several) and it's taken until now for me to make the leap into homemade apple cake. After seeing a recipe on Bakerella's website recently, I figured it was time to give it a shot. Most apple cakes have nuts in them (as was the case with this recipe) and both Hubby and myself feel that nuts ruin too many good pasteries and desserts so I made some alterations (plus, can you see me realistically feeding dates to Hubby...yeah, I didn't think so either!) and gave it a whirl...

Apple Cake

3 cups apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup cooking oil (I had to use a combo of veggie and canola oil)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
Dash of nutmeg

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk

  1. Mix together the oil and sugar using a stand mixer or hand mixer until combined
  2. Add in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add in about half the flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg until almost combined then add in the rest of the flour.
  4. Using a spoon add in the apples (the batter will be very thick, but try and get the apples and batter pretty evenly distributed).
  5. Grease a 9 x 9 inch pan and pour the batter into the pan using a spatula to make sure the batter spreads evenly.
  6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. Before serving, heat the topping ingredients together on the stove until bubbly.
  9. Using a skewer (or in my case the handle of my wooden spoon stirring the bubbly sugary goodness from Step 8), poke holes all over the cooled cake.
  10. Pour the topping over the cake and allow it to soak in before spooning out servings (along with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream...oh my!)
This passed the Hubby "You Can Serve This To Other People" Test which my friends, is quite a feat indeed =) I may or may not have also had a slice for breakfast the next day...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love fall. I love soup. I love soup for dinner in the fall (okay, so anytime really, but fall is just a good excuse!) I've been making this soup over the summer (like I said, I'll go for soup anytime!) but figured I would post it now since it's on the menu for dinner tonight in my house! The base recipe I got from a friend who got it from a friend...that's the way the best recipes are derived in my humble opinion (and yes, I said "derived" on a recipe blog...because I'm a nerd.)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 6

1 lb chicken breasts (two or three), cooked and shredded (or 1 de-boned rotisserie chicken)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (about one box)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  1. In the bottom of the soup pot drizzle some EVOO and sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Stir occasionally and the soup will be ready to eat in about 45 minutes although as with any soup, the longer the better! I serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese...yummy yummy!