Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mini Farfalle with Tomatoes and Corn

This was fun, easy, and very tasty! I love the tiny little pastas!

1 box Barilla Piccolini Mini Farfalle

2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with green peppers and garlic

1 can corn (drained)

1 cup Parmesan cheese

4 basil leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Put tomatoes and corn in skillet and heat on medium while pasta cooks according to directions on box. Season tomatoes and corn with salt and pepper. Drain pasta after cooking and add to tomato/corn mixture in skillet. Stir in cheese and basil just before serving. (I also added 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella to it).

You could add cooked chicken very easily, too!
I found the recipe on the back of the box, and modified it for us- so this is our version.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rasberry Lemonade Mosaics....

This is a great dessert that is non fat and is low in calories, super yummy, and looks so pretty!!

Raspberry Lemonade Mosaics
from the Biggest Loser Cookbook

2 cups cold water
1 box (4 packets weighing 1 ounce total) unflavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 tub (.3 ounce) crystal light raspberry lemonade sugar free mix
1 tub (.3 ounce) crystal light lemonade sugar free mix
4 tablespoons fat free whipped topping (optional)
4 raspberries (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cold water with the gelatin. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir, then add the boiling water. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour half of the mixture into each of the 8x8 glass baking dishes. Add the raspberry lemonade mix to one dish. Whisk to dissolve. Add the lemonade mix to the remaining dish. Whisk to dissolve. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool.

Cover both dishes with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 5 hours, or until firm.

Cut each dish of gelatin into 1" cubes. Arrange alternate layers of lemonade and raspberry lemonade cubes in each of 4 martini or white wine glasses. Top each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping and a raspberry, if desired. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerat for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings
per serving: 43 calories, 6 g protein, 0g carbs, 0 fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg fiber, 14 mg sodium

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mint Chocolate Brownies

I got this recipe from a book I borrowed from a friend and made copies of. I believe it is called The Ultimate Brownie Book. I made them for a picnic and also used them to make a fun blog post on my blog for a contest entry. Read my blog post with it here. They are very good!

1 1/4 cup flour- plus additional for pan
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
12 TBSP unsalted butter- plus additional for pan- at room temperature
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1)Position rack in lower 1/3 of oven. Preheat oven to 350 deg. Butter and flour 9X13 pan- set aside.
2) In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and soda until well combined. Set aside.
3) Place butter and both chocolates in top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir consistently until melted. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
4) Beat the sugar into melted chocolate until well mixed- about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, allowing each to be thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. After beating the 4th egg for one minute, add the vanilla and peppermint extracts
5) With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Do not beat. Pour batter into pan, spreading gently to corners.
6) Bake for 30 min. or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool for at least one hour.

Grasshopper Frosting
1/2 cup Marshmallow Fluff or marshmallow creme
6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 TBSP creme de menthe liqueur (I have no idea where to get this, so I just omitted...)
a few drops green food coloring (my addition)
1/2 tsp. mint extract (optional)- I did, since I didn't have the "liqueur"
2 cups confectioners sugar (more if necessary)
1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or mini semisweet choc. chips

1) In a large bowl, cream the Marshmallow Fluff and butter with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and uniform. Beat in creme de menthe, mint extract, if desired and food coloring.
2) Beat in the confectioners sugar in 1/2 cup increments, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next and adding more sugar if necessary to achieve spreadable consistently. Stir in the chocolate chips; spread immediately on cooled brownies still in pan.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Do you ever get those little sets of recipe cards in the mail asking for money and then they will send you more? I have too- of course I keep the cards and do not send money. This recipe is a variation from one of those cards. It is a very simple side dish that goes with many things.

6 medium red potatoes- scrubbed and dried.
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 "cap full" Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning
OR- (the original recipe says 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)- I went
to make this one night but had not rosemary and thought to try the Mrs Dash- we like it better with it!

Preheat oven to 400 deg. Coat a large shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine olive oil, mustard and seasonings in a large bowl and mix well

Cut potatoes into wedges- add to seasoning mixture and toss to coat. Spread wedges in a single layer, 1/4 in. apart, in baking dish. Bake, turning occasionally until evenly browned, tender and crisp- about 30 minutes (or longer depending on desired crispiness)- can be broiled the last few minutes if desired. Very good! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies....

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separte bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture until well blended. Mix in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chicken and Peppered Bacon Sandwich...

This is another recipe from the Pioneer Woman, its easy and yummy. Its not for those who are dieting but I thought of a few tricks for those who want to watch their calories. Here is the recipe.. again click on the Pioneer Woman link to see step by step pics!!

Hamburger buns
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Lemon & pepper seasoning
Peppered bacon
Sliced cheese

Pound chicken breasts to get an even thickness.

Season each side of breast with lemon and pepper seasoning. Set aside.

Cut bacon in half and cook as many pieces as you want until chewy. Remove bacon and set aside. Drain fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in pan.

Return pan to heat. When hot, place chicken breasts in pan. Cook for 4 minutes on one side then flip over. As the other side is cooking, place as many pieces of bacon as you want on each piece. Then put a slice of cheese over the bacon. Cover pan and let cheese melt. By the time the cheese is completely melted the chicken should be fully cooked.

Remove chicken breast and place on hamburger bun.


**the sandwich has a lot of flavor and doesn't need much in the way of condiments.
I put honey mustard on it and Cameron put mayo.

***for a lighter meal, try using a whole grain bun, or no bun at all!! You may also try a light cheese or turkey bacon. Any way it has good flavor!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Peach Cobbler....

The previous recipe of Peach cobbler was my Grandmas recipe. This was the first time I made it and we really liked it. Last night Cameron's sister made us peach cobbler and we even liked this recipe better (plus its easier to make!) So here is another recipe for peach cobbler...enjoy!!

1 large can of peaches drained
1 white cake mix
1 cup of sprite
1 stick of butter

Dump peaches in pan.

pour is sprite.

Sprinkle cake mix on top.

Sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Slice stick of butter and place pieces all over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peach Cobbler....

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 1/2 cups canned peaches
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup milk

Mix in saucepan sugar and cornstarch. Stir in graduallly peaches and juices. Bring to a boil. Boil one minute stirring constantly. Pour into 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Mix together remaining ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives. Stir in milk. Drop by spoonfuls onto hot fruit

Bake 400. 25-30 minutes or until golden brown
Serve with Vanilla ice cream!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Creamy Ranch Chicken.....

I found this recipe on Stephanie's Kitchen
I made this tonight for my sister and my hubby and I. We really liked it, plus it was quick and easy! I served it with corn, garlic bread, and topped it with parmesan cheese!! I stole this pic from Stephanie's blog because it looked much prettier!!

Creamy Ranch Chicken
adapted from Better Homes and Garden's Quick and Easy Recipes
start to finish: 20 minutes
serves about 4

6 slices bacon
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons ranch dry salad dressing mix
1 1/4 cups milk
3 cups dried medium noodles- I used bowties, Stephanie used egg noodles
1 tablespoon finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Start your water for your pasta. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Cut bacon into narrow strips. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels; discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings.
3. In the same skillet, cook chicken in reserved drippings until no longer pink, turning to brown evenly. Sprinkle flour and salad dressing mix over chicken; stir well to coat the chicken. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in bacon.
4. Serve the chicken over the noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thin-And-Crispy BBQ-Chicken Pizza Snack Wedges.....

This is a recipe from the Biggest Loser Cookbook. We really enjoy this. It is supposed to be a snack, but we eat it for a meal. Sometimes we make it with all the low fat ingredients, and sometimes we make it with what we have on hand. Either way, its a nice treat!!

1 whole wheat flour, 96% fat-free tortilla (8" diameter)
2 tablespoons barbeque sauce (7 grams carbs or less per 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup finely shredded Cabot 75% light cheddar cheese
2/3 cup chopped grilled chicken breast
1/4 slivered red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Makes 1 serving
381 calories, 45 g protein, 32 g carbs, 9 g fat

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place the tortilla on a small nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes per side, or until crisp. If air bubbles form, poke them with a fork, then press out the air with a spatula or oven mitt. Remove the sheet from the oven. Top the tortilla evenly in layers with the sauce, cheese, chicken, onion and cilantro. Bake for 2-4 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted. Slice into 8 wedges. Serve immediately.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies....

There are tons of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there. This is by far my favorite. I got this recipe from my sister in law Nicole after my husband told me many times..."I wish you would make chocolate chip cookies like Nicoles". The real trick with these cookies is to take them out of the oven early. I take them out at 9 1/2 minutes, Nicole does about 7 minutes. You want them to be just slightly golden and they will look really doughy in the middle. Just let them settle for awhile after you take them out and they will be perfect!!! Thanks Nicole, these are always a hit!!

1 cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups shortening
4 eggs
3 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
Mix the sugar and brown sugar together. Then add the shortening and mix. Add the eggs and mix. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix. Add the vanilla and chocolate chips and mix. Bake at 350 for 9 1/2 minutes. Until light golden brown. Remove from Oven and let sit on pan for a few minutes. Transfer to baking rack and let sit for about 1/2 hour so they can settle!! Enjoy!
***You can also add 2 cups Oatmeal at the same time as the chocolate chips if you desire!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

I know there is already a cauliflower recipe on here, but here is a little different version.


1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Steam whole head of cauliflower for until it is cooked the way you like to eat it. Drain and place on a pie plate.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, and parmesean cheese; spread the mixture over cauliflower and dot with pats of butter.
Bake at 375 degrees F uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown.

My children ask for seconds on this

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tomato Pesto Pizza...

Prepared Pesto
Mozzarella cheese
Roma tomatoes

Prepare your favorite pizza crust (here is the one I always use.)

Spread prepared pesto on dough. Don't use too much or pizza will have a lot of oil gather on the top.

Sprinkle with salt.

Top with cheese, a layer of roma tomatoes, and some more mozzarella.

Bake according to your crust directions.

**This is another recipe from The Pioneer Woman. I didn't think my hubby would like it because he doesn't usually enjoy pizzas that don't have regular tomato sauce on them. This was a hit and he even requested left overs for his lunch!

Best Banana Bread Ever

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter or margarine
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups white sugar
2 cups mashed overripe bananas
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter or margarine and sugar until smooth. Stir in the bananas, eggs, and walnuts vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and stir just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep in the moisture. Ideally, refrigerate the loaves for 2 hours or more before serving.

Depending on the oven some loaves have been done at 55 minutes.

Excellent banana bread. Let it sit for 2 hours yeah right, I ate it right out of the oven. This was still very good and moist several days later. The crust on the outside is incredible. It was my favorite part.

Sugar Cookies

Throw out all your old recipes for sugar cookies, and replace them with just this one! These are the easiest, yummiest sugar cookies you will eat- much like Cheryl & Co. Cookies, if you know that company- sooo good! I have to give credit to my friend, Tiffany, who has now moved away for this recipe- hope it's not a family secret!!

We decorated these for the 4th of July, of course, but use whatever cutters you have for any occasion! PS- my 5 year old did this batch of decorating!

1 lb. Margarine

2 Cups Sugar

3 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs.

1 tsp. baking soda

6 Cups Sifted Flour ****Make sure you sift first, that way they don't get hard during rolling and re-rolling****

Cream together sugar and margarine. Mix well. Add eggs and vanilla. Add soda to flour and then add 1 cup at a time to the sugar and margarine mixture. Wrap dough in waxed paper (I separate into 2 halves), then refrigerate for at least an hour (I do overnight). Roll out on floured surface, cut into shapes.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes- exactly. Let cool completely on cookie sheet! Transfer when cooled and frost and decorate- you can use homemade cream cheese frosting, but I use Betty Crocker, because I am cheap and it's easier for me!

Enjoy! Seriously, these are the easiest ones to make, and our family and anyone we have made them for just love them. They turn out to be a softer cookie, so sometimes they break when you frost them, but it is worth it!

This makes about 6 dozen or more, depending on the size of your cutter. I have halved this recipe before, and used 2 eggs (everything else divides evenly). Cute and easy- one my kids ask to make over and over!