Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vanilla Eggnog Bundt Cake

My hubby LOVES egg nog. I find it pretty repulsive, but since I'm a nice wife, I grabbed a carton at the grocery store this weekend. Being in a hurry and not the egg nog expert he is, I didn't realize I'd grabbed a carton with a "use by date" that was far too soon and out of character for "usual" egg nog. My bad. Oh well, it gave me a chance to try out a recipe that called for egg nog that I've had saved for a year or so.

Vanilla Eggnog Bundt Cake
Adapted from Smells Like Home

15 oz (3 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 sticks butter, unsalted and softened
14 oz (2 cups) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup eggnog 
1 Tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices; set aside.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out 1 cup of egg nog and add in 1 Tbsp of vanilla; set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  5. Add in eggs one at a time until combined.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and with mixer running, pour in 1/2 of the liquid.
  7. Scrap down the sides, and repeat.
  8. Scrape down the sides once more and add the remaining 1/3 of the batter and stir until just combined.
  9. Pour/spread into a well greased bundt pan (seriously, grease well, mine did not come out so pretty during this first attempt, delicious, but not pretty!)
  10. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until done.
  11. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before turning out on a cooling rack to finish cooling off the cake.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff

Slow Cooker meals are always a tough sell around my house, but I've been trying to find a good knock-off stroganoff recipe for YEARS. My hubby is obsessed with the Mushroom Stroganoff at Noodles and Company, but that's anything but figure-friendly. I saw this on Pinterest (like I do) and decided to give it a shot, incidentally enough the same day another friend was testing out the same recipe, ha!

The results were pretty tasty. The original recipe called for Cream of Mushroom soup, but I had Cream of Chicken on-hand and while I'm sure Cream of Mushroom would have given this a solid mushroom boost, I was pretty pleased with the flavor. I also used fettuccine instead of egg noodles since that's what I had on-hand, but I'm sure either would be super yummy =)

Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff
Adapted from Shrinking Jeans
Serves 6
Estimated Point Value: 8 pts

1.5 lbs chicken breast (4 frozen chicken breasts worked for me)
16 oz nonfat plain yogurt
1 can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
10 oz Mushrooms, quartered
12 oz Fettuccine (or Egg Noodles, whatever you have/prefer)
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray and put chicken breasts on the bottom (I put mine in frozen; me = lazy one who never remembers to defrost).
  2. Combine yogurt, condensed soup, and soup mix in a small bowl and pour over chicken.
  3. Layer quartered mushrooms on top.
  4. Cook for 7 hours on low.
  5. Remove chicken, shred, and return to the sauce.
  6. Prepare noodles according to the package instructions.
  7. Serve noodles topped with stroganoff sauce.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Forget regular Snickerdoodles, I'm sticking with Snickerdoodle Blondies and these new gems and calling it a win!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Makes 3 1/2 dozen

3 3/4 c (1 lb 2 3/4 oz) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c (7 oz) sugar
1/2 c (3 1/2) light brown sugar, packed
3/4 c (180 grams) pumpkin puree 
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla

For rolling:
3 1/2 oz sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cloves
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg then set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter, pumpkin, and sugars in a stand mixture with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients until combined.
  5. Cover and chill for at least an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Mix the rolling sugar and spices in a shallow dish.
  8. Roll dough into balls (a generous tablespoon of dough) and roll in the sugar.
  9. Bake for 13-14 minutes (the cookies are more cake-y than crumbly, so keep that in mind when judging their done-ness.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chicken Salad

So, I have only discovered enjoying chicken salad in the last few months...it's been so hot around here I decided I needed to attempt to make a batch for myself. My recipe contains no nuts or celery like your standard chicken salad, but I find it delicious (and neither of those things would be consumed by Hubby since he's allergic to celery, yes I said celery, and he hates when nuts are mixed into "otherwise perfectly good food"...so there you have it...and don't ever try to give him a brownie with nuts mixed in unless you want to see a combo sad/angry face.)

It may continue to evolve a bit, but I'm pretty stoked with what I've come up with so far!  

Chicken Salad
Serves 4
Estimated Point Value: 4 pts

14 oz deboned rotisserie chicken meat (white meat only)
4 Tbsp Light Miracle Whip*
3 Tbsp dried cranberries
3 Tbsp frozen peas
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
Garlic salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until combined. Serve over lettuce, in a hollowed out tomato, a red bell pepper halve, or in a croissant (none of those serving options are included in the estimated point value given above.)

*Whatever, I use Miracle Whip because it's delicious, you can use mayo if you want, but I'm gonna think you're sorta gross...well, not really...it'll be delicious, just less...zing! We can still be friends. Promise.

Rice Krispie Treats

Today I discovered that one regular box of Rice Krispie's is actually "meant" for 2 full batches of Treats...obviously this was the intended purpose so I decided to make one batch of regular Treats and one peanut butter.

Brilliance people, sheer brilliance.

Rice Krispie Treats
Adapted from Rice Krispies
Makes one 13x9 inch pan

3 Tbsp margerine or salted butter
10 oz marshmallows (any size)
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 cups* Rice Krispies

  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan or pot on low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir frequently until melted.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in cereal.
  5. Pour into a greased 13x9 inch pan and press into place.**
  6. Cool on the counter before cutting.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Makes one 13x9 inch pan

3 Tbsp margerine or salted butter
10 oz marshmallows (any size)
1/2 vanilla
2/3 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies*
1 cup Reese's Pieces

  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan or pot on low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir frequently until melted.
  3. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in cereal and Reese's Pieces.
  5. Pour into a greased 13x9 inch pan and press into place.**  
  6. Cool on the counter before cutting.
*This was 160 grams of dry cereal, I found (as I usually do) weighing was the easier way to go here.

**I use a plastic sandwich bag over my hand sprayed with cooking spray to avoid a complete sticky disaster. Call me crazy, but it works!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buffalo Pulled Chicken

A while back I found a pin for this type of thing on Pinterest. The recipe took me back to a blog I'd never been to before called My Kitchen Apron and I decided to give it a shot although I made several changes after reading reviews and such. It was pretty tasty, but definitely hit my preferred tolerance-level as far as the heat was concerned (Bing would probably not consume this as he and I share drastically different "pepper palates" as it were. It made for a tasty open-faced sandwich with some ranch dressing drizzled over the top though and it shall be a tasty treat to keep in the freezer when I want a warm treat!

Buffalo Pulled Chicken
Serves 5 (generously)
Estimated Point Value: 4.5 pts

1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix
2 Tbsp butter, salted
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  1. In a crock pot, layer the chicken breasts after spraying the pot with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle the packet of dressing mix over the top of the chicken.
  3. Pour the hot sauce and chicken stock over the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  5. After 4 hours remove the chicken from the crock pot and "pull" (using two forks or the handy stand-mixer-with-paddle-attachment trick, whichever you prefer) then return to the crock pot.
  6. Add the butter and yogurt and stir well.
  7. Cook for 1-2 hours on low until it reaches your desired consistency.

    I went about 30 minutes with the lid on, then 30 with the lid off, 30-on, 30-off. The result was a bit sloppy for picking up a sandwich to eat, but I ate mine open-faced and it was amazing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ham and Mushroom Quiche

What to do with leftover Easter ham? The possibilities are all delicious, but this year I attempted my first quiche. From what I gathered doing some research on the interwebz, there were about a bazillion ways to make quiche. I stumbled along and came up with something I found pretty tasty (and it even qualified as "dinner" for Hubby which is quite a feat since he would probably say there is only one person's serving of actual ham in the quiche ;-) )

Ham and Mushroom Quiche
Serves 6

8 oz diced cooked ham
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 small red onion
4 eggs
1 cup milk
6 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury is my brand of choice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a pie pan for baking with the refrigerated pie crust.
  2. In a skillet with some olive oil, saute the mushrooms and onion together until soft.
  3. Layer the ham on the bottom of the pie shell, then the onion/mushrooms, and finally the cheese.
  4. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and milk and pour over the top of the quiche filling.
  5. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes until the egg is set and a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool a bit before serving.
Super easy and super delicious. I didn't use any seasoning since the various components were pretty flavorful on their own. I have a feeling you could adjust the filling for whatever veggies you had on-hand and it would be just as delicious!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mini Iced Sugar Cookies

Happy Easter!!

I've had "Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!" in my head for the past 24 hours...not in a bad way, but I never could quite since those alleluias sung in tune...at all. Still it's one of my favorite hymns of all time and you really only hear it at Easter in most churches (unless you get a special request day...oh man...those were the best...Dad always requests #600 Wonder Words of Life...one hymn I can still play on the piano without much trouble at all...then again...I was always better at hymns than your standard-issue classical tunes...it was the chords...I have super long fingers...this makes hymns a bit easier...but I digress.)

I saw these cookies a week or so ago and knew I wanted to make them for the post-church lunch we're hosting for our family and friends today for a couple of reasons.

#1 - Sugar cookies are The Hubby's favorite and I have yet to perfect these bad boys. (I believe I have done so with this recipe).

#2 - How cute are the Cadbury Mini-Eggs?! I had never eaten one until baking these cookies and oh my goodness, I'm HOOKED! The colors are great and springy and fun.

We don't do Easter Bunny shenanigans around here, but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy a good theme-cookie =)

Mini Iced Sugar Cookies
Makes 5 dozen mini-cookies

22 1/4 oz flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
10 1/2 oz sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla

1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1/3 cup unsalted better, meled
1 Tbsp vanilla
Green food coloring

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a stand-mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium/high until fluffy.
  3. With the mixer still going, add in the eggs and vanilla (each egg one at a time).
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture (I kept the machine going and just kept adding in spoonfuls of the flour so the mixer wouldn't get too overwhelmed).
  5. Cover the dough and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets.
  7. Roll the dough into balls using about a tablespoon of dough (or if you're a nut like me, 3/4 oz of dough per ball...love my kitchen scale!) and place on the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake the first set of sheets for 10-11 minutes, rotating once halfway through. (Bake the remaining sheets 9-10 minutes.)
  9. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to allow them to completely cool before icing.
  1. Beat together all the icing ingredients (add more sugar to thicken, more milk to thin) - I used 8 drops of food coloring for this amount of icing.
  2. Make sure the icing is thick enough that it will harden and keep the candy eggs in place.
  3. Using a star-tip, ice the cookies and place three eggs on top.
  4. Allow the icing to set completely before storing.
I ran out of eggs because I'm a moron and so I used some jellybeans. Which this isn't as cute, it's certainly tasty and good for any non-chocolate lovers in your house (I have no idea what those people are personally, but I hear they exist...people that don't like chocolate...)

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav'ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Foll'wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasing life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stuffed Red Peppers

So, my mother is going to pass out when she sees this one!

I hate stuffed peppers.

So, why are they making an appearance on my blog? Why, they are one of Megan's favorite foods, so naturally I need to learn how to make it so that when she doesn't have the time in her schedule for a road-trip to her mom's kitchen, she can just place her request for some peppers and consider it done (complete with her own set to take home in an aluminum baking dish that she can pop in the oven and then throw away after consuming the contents, brilliant!)

The results were pretty tasty, I'll consider the major improvement the red bell pepper vs. green bell pepper I grew up eating (stuffed with meatloaf, which you know is also one of my least favorite foods, but one I have two good recipes for since not only does Hubby love meatloaf, it's one of Megan and Tessa's favorites too...so...what's a girl to do ;-) ) Next time I may play with the spices a bit more...remove the cumin and dump up the Italian Seasoning or keep the cumin and add some corn and/or black beans for a more Tex-Mex twist (as you know I love!)

Stuffed Red Peppers
Stuffs 4-5 small/medium-sized red bell peppers
Estimated Point Value: 2.5 per half-pepper

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 onion, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c tomato sauce
14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, drained
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
RF Cheddar Cheese, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and prepare a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook rice according to the package instructions and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Brown beef with onion in a large skillet.
  4. Season beef and pour in tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock, breaking up tomatoes into smaller chunks.
  5. Allow beef mixture liquid to reduce until basically gone.
  6. Combine beef mixture and rice mixture in a large bowl.
  7. In the large casserole dish lay out the pepper halves (cut in halve, remove stems, ribs, and seeds).
  8. Fill each pepper with as much of the beef and rice mixture as possible (I got just under a 1/4 cup in mine I believe).
  9. Pour in the remaining chicken stock around the peppers (not too deep, barely covering the bottom of the pan.
  10. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil and top with shredded cheese and allow to melt, or put back in the oven for a minute or two to speed up the melting process.

I served one pepper (two halves) with sides for dinner last night - broccoli roasts nicely in the 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes...spray with olive oil spray and season with garlic salt and pepper...that's basically all you need unless your dining companion is like my man requires a potato =P) I'm guessing you could freeze individual pepper halves that have been stuffed before the baking and have an easy to pull-out dinner in the freezer waiting for you, not a bad idea if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baked French Toast

Wow, it's been over a month since I've updated the blog with a new recipe!?! Okay, that's pathetic...I've tried a few new things and have been working on perfecting my Oatmeal cookies (almost there!) so I've been in the kitchen, just not blogging about it...although I have been blogging from time-to-time over at Hooked to Books (a YA book review site one of my college BFFs started and now she's got a few other folks doing reviews too).

This recipe was one that I've been dying to try and decided it would be perfect to take to my weekly Bible study Wednesday morning at church. It was my turn to provide some of the coffee table snacks and I mean really, it seemed perfect...and less dangerous than making it at home for myself where I would undoubtedly eat it all in one sitting.

Baked French Toast with Berries
Makes one 13 x 9 inch casserole pan
Adapted from Annie's Eats

8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 small French baguettes, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
Powdered sugar (garnish)
Berries (garnish)
Maple Syrup (on the side)
  1. Beat the eggs and then mix in milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices.
  2. Pour over cubed bread in a large bowl and coat all the pieces well.
  3. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish and cover.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours (or overnight).
  5. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until the bread reaches your preferred done-ness (some like more squishy bread that others...that freaks me out so I baked mine on the longer end of that range..next time may back it off just a bit).
  6. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving with some sprinkled powdered sugar and berries on top for garnish and some maple syrup on the side.
Considering this was completely gone when I went to retrieve my dish, I'd say it was a success ;-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

My kiddo turned two this weekend and if there's one thing we know she likes, it's Mickey Mouse. We decided (okay, I decided as The Husband didn't really care one way or another) to have a Mickey Mouse themed party for the birthday girl. We had a lot of Sickness in the house this week so things were a bit more "semi-homemade" than I had originally intended, but still things turned out pretty delicious with my Baked Ziti as the main dish (one with Hot and one Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage instead of ground beef...which may be my new favorite way to prepare this stand-by!). We had lots of Mickey Mouse treats though such as:

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
(just add 1 cup of crushed Oreos to a white cake batter and otherwise prepare as instructed) with Oreo halves for "ears".

Mickey Oreo Pops

Sure my two-year-old didn't give two-hoots about these treats...

But her Mama felt pretty darn good about them...also about the Mickey Mouse Veggie Tray ;-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 by 30 Update

Well seeing as my 29th birthday has just happened, the clock is ticking on this 30 by 30 list I figured it was time for an update on my list:
  1. Bake a cheesecake in my spring-form pan, not from a box mix.
  2. Create a Beef Stew recipe that Hubby will eat.
  3. Scour the Internet for a Chicken with Black Bean Sauce recipe reminiscent of the dish at PF Changs. (Hubby's request)
  4. DONE! Perfect Snickerdoodles (since they have eluded me thus far!) - Abandoned for delicious Snickerdoodle Blondies,
  5. Bake bread made with yeast.
  6. Attempt one Julia Child recipe.
  7. Bake a Martha Stewart cupcake successfully.
  8. In Process! Reorganize/redesign pantry storage situation (okay, so this will mostly be Hubby, but I can help!) - working with what I have, but moving things around seems to be helping...we'll see if we go for a more long-term solution or not...right now life is good in the pantry.
  9. DONE! Discover a delicious beef brisket recipe...smoker or no smoker I need to figure out how to get some tasty brisket into my belly! - This was delicious and most definitely something that has happened more than once!
  10. DONE! Get a decent understanding of the book of Revelation. - Last spring I participated in a Beth Moore study on Revelation through our women's ministry at church and it was amazing!
  11. In Process! Scripture Memory - complete at least one year of the Living Proof Ministries (Beth Moore's) Scripture Memory Challenge. - I did really well at the beginning of the last year, so this goal may have to be modified to a specific number of verses rather than a full year of completing the challenge and it only runs every so often and not every year...I'll keep working on the goal, not sure of the number just yet!
  12. See Beth Moore live, or attend another women's conference.
  13. In Process! Reacquaint ourselves with a young couples' ministry. - We gave the new group at church a shot, but it didn't work out for us...still trying to see how things can be a thing in our early parenting years since most of the small groups in our neighborhood are not kid-friendly.
  14. In Process! Read through the Bible chronologically.
  15. Watch the Godfather Movies.
  16. In Process! Do one of the Oscar days at the movie theater where you watch all the best picture nominations in one day/weekend. - I have a buddy lined up and we're doing this next year...totally happening, even if it has to be my birthday present and just squeak in before the deadline ;-)
  17. DONE! Read more...a lot more. Granted this isn't measurable, so let's say (realistically) 15 books. I got a Nook last year for my birthday and read 27 books! Not only that, but now I get to guest blog over at Hooked to Books whenever I feel like it =P
  18. DONE! Get a library card to assist in accomplishing #17.
  19. DONE! Be better about having Date Nights and actually taking advantage of babysitting offers. - We're definitely less shy than we used to be about asking for help which is a win =)
  20. Become a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, just like Hubby.
  21. Complete wedding scrapbook.
  22. Dine at one of the Top Chef contestants' restaurants...or more ;-)
  23. Attempt a Top Chef contestant recipe.
  24. In Process! Attain a reasonable/healthy weight and maintain so I can go through my closet and actually get rid of some clothes that are never going to happen again. - I'm almost halfway there with the hopes of achieving the goal weight in April 2012...just a few months away and totally do-able!
  25. Figure out a plan for the master bath (our master suite is structurally confusing and slowly we're working on it.)
  26. In Process! Take a vacation... preferably one that does not require me to cook or clean house although a rental situation requiring such things would be an acceptable second vacation ;-) - We've got a small trip in the works for just the Hubby and I and a few other trips in the works for this summer including DISNEYWORLD!
  27. In Process! WVU Girls Weekend =) Maybe two of them ;-) Or three 0=) - We're working on this one legit...like dates are being discussed and something WILL happen this year.
  28. Swimming lessons, namely for LJ, but it couldn't hurt me either to become more comfortable in the water.
  29. Go to the eye doctor, probably should happen since it's been since my 2002 Lasik surgery.
  30. Figure out what I want to be when I'm not a stay-at-home-mom anymore =P
Well this isn't awesome, but it's not too terrible...almost half of the things in my list have at least been touched on in the last 8 months since I came up with the actual list. I can do this, it'll be a good time and I know when a couple more of these will be taking place so that's a start!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bacon Hearts

Happy Valentines' Day!

For our Valentines' Day dinner date night at home we had one of my husband's favorites, BBQ Chicken (completely drawing a blank as to whether or not I've posted this before...it's super easy and delicious) with some roasted broccoli and cauliflower and Old Bay roasted potatoes. To make it a little more special I decided to try out a pin I'd fallen in love with from The Paper Mama.


The hearts were better raw (better looking, I do not eat raw bacon, I'm not a weirdo) than cooked, but it's the thought that counts, right? Just 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven and they are ready to go.

Strange looking yet delicious!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I love me some down-home casserole action. I had never had tuna noodle casserole until I was in high school (early in their marriage my mother apparently made a disastrous tuna noodle casserole for my father and he asked her to never make it again...she didn't...ever) and had it over at my boyfriend's house for dinner and it was amazing. I have that recipe, but decided to try out this lighter version for dinner. It was definitely a keeper and felt indulgent without being terrible for the waist-line. Not sad about leftovers to be had later in the week, nope, not sad about that at all!

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Serves 6
Estimated Point Value: 6pts

6 oz egg noodles (well, no yolk, or whole grain ones)
1 Tbsp margarine
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 cup skim milk
1 oz Marsala
10 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
2 (5 oz) cans tuna in water, drained
Garlic salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste
4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and prepare a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare noodles according to the package instructions, drain, and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, saute onion in butter.
  4. Sprinkle in flour and allow to cook out a bit, then whisk in chicken stoke and milk until smooth.
  5. Once boiling add in Marsala, peas, and mushrooms and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add in drained tune, garlic salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (if you like a little heat) to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese.
  8. Combine noodles with the sauce mixture and pour into casserole dish.
  9. Top the casserole with the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

So I have made another attempt at Broccoli Cheese soup from my first. This was supposed to be a "skinny" version and while the flavor was pretty good I just couldn't get behind the consistency. I got an immersion blender as a birthday gift from my Hubby and wanted to try it out...I may have over blended the soup? Perhaps if I hadn't blended it quite so much it would have stayed more liquid-y and less "mashed potato" consistency? For the points it's definitely worth a second look in the future sometime!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Serves 6
Estimated Point Value: 3.5pts

1 onion, diced
1 handful of baby carrots, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp margarine
2 Tbsp flour
3 1/2 cups chicken stock*
1 cup skim milk
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups (~10 oz) broccoli florets
6 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 slices 2% pepperjack cheese
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
  1. In a large soup pot melt butter and saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until translucent.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth then whisk in the chicken stock and milk.
  3. Bring to a boil and add potatoes then cook, covered, for about 15 minutes (or until potatoes are tender).
  4. Add in the broccoli and Parmesan cheese and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  5. Add the remaining cheeses and stir until melted.
  6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency.
  7. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and then serve!
*I had to add an extra cup of chicken stock from the original recipe to get a more smooth consistency. I did this during the blending step, but I think it would be more useful earlier on and would help you decide what thickness you want to blend the soup when it comes time for that...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mac & Cheese Soup

This soup* was sort of amazing...and I can't wait to make it again. I made it for lunch with my gals and we had some cheese bread from Whole Foods that was sort of amazing along side. Granted, me and my gals rarely make poor food decisions ;-)

Mac & Cheese Soup
Serves 5
Estimated Point Value: 6 pts.

4 oz Barilla Plus elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
Small handful of baby carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup skim milk
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp dry mustard
salt and fresh pepper to taste
10 oz broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
6 oz 2% shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  1. Cook macaroni to al dente using the package instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, melt butter and saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until softened.
  3. Whisk in flour, dry mustard, salt and pepper and allow to cook out for a few minutes before pouring in milk and stock while constantly stirring/whisking.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add in the broccoli and allow to cook for about 5 minutes (or more if you want softer broccoli).
  6. Add in both types of cheese, stirring til smooth, and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the macaroni right before serving (so they don't get too mushy).

*Yes, I realize I'm posting a lot of soup recipes...I love soup and I sort of missed out on National Soup Month and have been making it up to myself lately. I also realize that I've been neglecting to take photos of my recipes which was a goal for the year....sometimes a girl just wants to eat all the things...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Soup

BFF-M loves stuffed peppers. I have not been able to perfect them (probably due to my inability to trust ground beef baking and meat thermometer, or my irrational fears of food borne illnesses instilled in me by my middle school Home Economics teacher (not Mrs. Morral, the other one which I cannot remember her name...the one that made her own clothes...) you know, or the fact that meatloaf sort of grosses me out)...BUT I came across a recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup and knew we had to try it...my love for soup combined with her love for stuffed peppers, this bad boy had WIN written all over it. I forgot to ask for her "rating" (since Hubby isn't a huge soup person so I generally don't let him vote on soups) so I'm guessing here...but I think it was most definitely a keeper, I mean, she did take home leftovers ;-)

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Serves 6
Estimated Point Value: 5pts.

1lb lean ground beef
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups cooked brown rice
  1. In a large soup pot, brown onion, garlic, and ground beef together.
  2. Add in peppers and allow to soften for a few minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (other than the rice) and simmer together for at least a half hour.
  4. To serve, place 1/2 cup of the rice in the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup of soup.
Super easy and super tasty!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicken Stuffed with Broccoli and Cheese

Let's be honest, I'm terrible at rolling up things inside of chicken. That being said, this was totally worth it and delicious. I did the stuffing before dinner and just popped this in the fridge until I got the call that Hubby was on the way home and they turned out great. I'm sort of in love with browsing Gina's Skinny Recipes and highly recommend it for inspiration for anyone trying to watch their waistline!

Chicken Stuffed with Broccoli and Cheese
Serves 4 (one large and one small chicken cutlet per serving)
Estimated Point Value: 8 pts.

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp EVOO
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-box chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
3 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese
8 chicken cutlets (~24 oz total)
1/2 cup Italian seasoned wheat breadcrumbs
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450 and prepare casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, saute garlic in 1 tsp of EVOO until golden then add broccoli and cook through for a minute or two.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
  4. Once cooled enough to handle, mix in mozzarella cheese.
  5. In two rimmed shallow bowls prepare the breading ingredients: one bowl with the breadcrumbs and 2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese mixed and one bowl with the lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of EVOO, salt and pepper.
  6. Lay the chicken out on a cutting board (you can pound thin if you like, but it's not necessary) and put a layer of 3 Tbsp of the broccoli mixture onto the chicken.
  7. Roll each chicken cutlet up, dip in the lemon/EVOO and then in the breadcrumbs. Lay in the casserole dish seam down (no need to use toothpicks).
  8. Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
I served ours with some two-point potatoes and some zero-point veggies. Delicious!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

Boy the name of this recipe is long, I shall call it Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas from now on. After getting up the motivation to kick start the new year with some weight-loss goals Hubby and I decided we needed some new recipes to get excited about. I have been wanting to try making a green/white sauce for a while and was excited to see this recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes pop up on my GoogleReader. These earned good reviews from Hubby and his only real suggestion for next time would be to add some sort of cold chunky salsa when serving, which I must say, isn't the worst idea in the world!

And yes, I forgot to take a picture...

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas
Makes 8 Enchiladas
Estimated point value: 4 pts per enchilada

1 tsp EVOO
1 softball-sized white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3 - 4.5 oz cans diced green chiles
15.5 oz can Cannellini beans
8oz (one large) chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 -1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 cup lite sour cream
3 oz shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend
8 low carb tortillas (medium/soft taco)
Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 375.
Enchilada Filling
  • In a large skillet, saute 1/4 cup of the minced onion and garlic in olive oil until tender.
  • Add one can of the green chiles, beans (undrained), 1/2 cup chicken stock, and cumin. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add chicken and cook until mixture thickens and the vast majority of the liquid is gone.
  • Set aside to cool.
Green Enchilada Sauce
  • In a large pan, saute the rest of the onion in butter until tender.
  • Add in flour and cook out a bit before whisking in the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock.
  • Whisk sauce until smooth and up to a boil.
  • Once the sauce has thickened up a bit add the other cans of chiles, jalapenos, salt and pepper.
  • Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.
Enchilada Assembly
  • In a greased casserole dish, spread a small amount of enchilada sauce on the bottom (1/4 cup or so).
  • Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture, roll up, and place in the casserole dish seam-side down (I'm a weirdo and I weigh everything to make sure the filling is evenly distributed...no one likes to have that one tiny enchilada that inevitably happens if you eye-ball it and have a poor eye-balling skills...like me.)
  • Spread the rest of the enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese.
  • Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.