Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cajun Chicken Fettucini Alfredo

I can thank Guy Fieri for this one. I was watching him make this other day and I needed to have it. It was easy and delicious and most people have these ingredients in their house. I did make a few changes (only 1 cup of cream and 2 cups of 1% milk) but that's just because I really cannot see myself using 3 whole cups. Here's the link and trust me, this is a good one!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Texas Chicken Quesadillas

I got a quesadilla maker for Christmas from my cousin Christine (yay!) so we used it tonight. It works great except when a certain someone (ahem, Dave) forgets to put the tortilla on TOP of the quesadilla before closing the lid so all it does is burn cheese. For those of us who made our quesadillas the right way, they came out great. Here's a recipe I've been using for years and we love them.

2 TBSP of oil
1-1/2 onions (vidalia is preferred) sliced into rings
1 TBSP honey
2 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 Cup shredded mexican cheese
8 ten inch flour tortillas

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to carmelize. Mix in the honey and stir until it is golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Place the remaining oil in the pan and add the chicken. Cook through over a medium high heat. Stir in the BBQ sauce to evenly coat the chicken.
Place the chicken, onions and cheese onto a tortilla, top with the other tortilla and cook in your quesadilla maker about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've been tagged!

My friend Colleen at Cooking This and That tagged me to tell seven weird or random facts about myself, so here we go!

1. I have very little patience. So little that rolling out dough frustrates me so now my husband is tasked with doing that whenever we have pizza.

2. I have my grandmother's hands. Every time I look at them I see hers and so I know exactly what they will look like when I'm 90.

3. I hate horror movies. I will run out of a room if a scene is scary and make whoever is else watching tell me what is going on.

4. I am one of those people who will play a song over and over again for months and then never listen to it again.

5. I love to sing in the car. I have a pretty good knack for remembering songs from way back when although sometimes I mess up the verses and my husband has a good laugh.

6. I am obsessed with coffee. I will never give it up.

7. My favorite animal is the capybara. I love rodents and this one is just so cute.

So now I need to tag some other people and here we go!

Dori at http://foodiefashionista.blogspot.com/
Amy at http://skinnyfoodbyamy.wordpress.com/
Ashlee at http://ashleescooking.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spinach and Cheese Lasagna

Tonight was a lasagna night. Easy to put together (used the no-cook noodles) and always delicious. I did want to put something in it besides just the sauce and cheese so I defrosted some chopped spinach, threw it into my sauce and voila, dinner is served. I paired it with some garlic bread and a salad.

I don't have exact measurements but here's a pretty close estimate

1 package of no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)
26 oz. pasta sauce (jarred or homemade)
20 oz. part skim ricotta
8 oz. mozzarella
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Mix together the egg and cheeses, reserving about 1 oz. of the mozzarella to top the lasagna with at the end. Spread a think layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking pan. Starting with the noodles, layer the sauce and cheese until everything is done, finishing with a layer of noodles and top with the reserved cheese. Baked at 375 for 50 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicken and Veggie Pockets

Since it was icy and snowy today, we decided to eat dinner at home, rather than go out like we usually do on Fridays. Being that I was home early due to early school dismissals, I had time to actually prepare a dinner. I've really wanted to use the puff pasty I recently bought and today was the perfect day. I've made these pockets before but usually using bread dough. Never again! The puff pastry was much easier to work with and must tastier! I have a lot of filling leftover and this recipe made 6 pockets so I would reduce what I used depending on how many you want to have. At least we have lunch for the 3 of us tomorrow too.

2 sheets puff pastry dough
4 chicken breasts, 3-4 oz. each
4 cups of chicken broth
1 bag of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, thawed
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1 TBSP oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

Boil the chicken in the chicken broth and enough water to cover it for 25-30 minutes or until no longer pink. When cooked, removed the chicken breasts from the water onto a cutting board and shred with two forks. Mix the chicken, veggies and cheeses in a large bowl along with the salt, pepper and oregano.

Roll the pastry dough out to accommodate 6 generous sized slices. Place 2-3 heaping tablespoons onto each piece of dough. Fold over and press closed with a fork. Cut off any extra dough and discard. Place the pockets on a greased cookie sheet. Brush each pocket with the egg to brown the dough. Cook for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. These would make great appetizers as well if you made smaller pockets.

Marbled Chocolate Fudge

I'm not one to bake a ton of cookies every Christmas but I do love fudge and enjoy giving that away. It's less work and tastes just as good. Since today was a snow day, Emma and I whipped up some delicious marbled chocolate fudge. We'll be bringing some to our family Christmas get together and give some away to my co-workers.

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can low fat sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
10 oz. white baking chocolate (I used Ghiradelli), chopped

Melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk in a heavy sauce pan over a low heat. When it is smooth, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and white chocolate.
Line an 8 inch square pan with wax paper and spread the fudge mixture evenly into it. Chill for 2 hours in the refridgerator. Remove from the wax paper and cut into bite-sized chunks. Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Breakfast Burrito

I'm trying to eat better this holiday because I know what all the parties and celebrating entail and I need to try and keep some semblance of health in my life! This morning I really wanted a "bad" breakfast but I reined myself in and made a delicious breakfast wrap with probably 1/2 the calories of my husband's pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich.

1 whole wheat wrap
2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces
1/4 cup eggbeaters
1 slice of Alpine Lace reduced fat American Cheese

Cheese, Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Chicken

December's Cooking Light issue is filled with great ideas. I especially love the Pan-Frying section and have really learned to perfect this technique after reading through it. This stuffed chicken is based loosely on the Proscuitto-Fontina Stuffed Chicken breast they featured. Except I didn't have proscuitto OR fontina so I improvised and came up with this. Spinach, turkey bacon and mozzarella cheese. I didn't do any exact measurements but what I list below is pretty close. It was really good and will definitely continue to make pan-frying a staple in our house.

4 thin chicken breasts (3-4 oz. each)
4 oz. light cream cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat mozzarella
3 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped into smaller pieces
2 egg whites
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1 cup panko
1 tbsp olive oil for frying

Mix together the cheeses, spinach and bacon. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Cut a pocket into the thickest part of the breast and stuff with the spinach mixture. Whisk the mustard into the egg whites. Dip the chicken into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then dredge in the panko. Cook on each side for 8-10 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmas! A little early...

The lights are strung up outside, the tree is decorated and twinkling inside, the stockings are hung on the mantle and the snow-couple are hanging out in the near the bar. Yup, it must be Christmas. This time of year makes me so happy. I'll just share a few photos with

New Jersey "What's Cooking" Get Together

On Saturday, five of us ladies from the What's Cooking board I frequent (and get a lot of my recipes and ideas from) got together for a luncheon at Brooke's house, which she graciously opened up to us. We all made something for the occasion. Colleen made the appetizers, delicious spinach, sausage and cheese mini pizza pockets. I definitely ate more than a couple! I brought the main course,chicken marsala. Lauren made a delicious pasta side, creamy baked orzo. Sarah made zesty broccoli casserole for our veggie side, which is really one of the greatest veggie sides ever. Brooke, our hostess, made hot apple toddies (YUM!) and a pumpkin gingerbread trifle for dessert (MORE YUM). Everything was fabulous and I'm so happy we were all able to get together and chat the afternoon away.

For pictures of everything visit Sarah's post here. She chronicled the day for us. Thanks again ladies for a great day!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

I read through my new Cooking Light really fast this week and the section on healthy pan frying really caught my eye. Tonight I tried their recipe for Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. We loved them! I did make a few minor changes... I had no tortilla chips so I used panko, making them healthier and we didn't make the mayo they included and instead topped them with a little blue cheese and ketchup. Delicious dinner! We ate them with some broiled asparagus and the mashed potato pancakes.

Got more leftover mashed potatoes? How about Mashed Potato Pancakes!

So I still had leftover mashed potatoes and really wanted some potato pancakes. I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com for mashed potato pancakes and voila, a side for tonight! I got to use up my mashed potatoes finally AND made something that may even be better than french fries! Just a note, I used cooking spray with just a little oil and they came out just fine, no need to use as much as the original says.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Penne with Pumpkin and Turkey Sausage

Sounds odd right? Well, it's delicious and very savory. The two flavors compliment each other so well, this may become a staple in our home. I found this recipe on Just2Good and pretty much copied it to a T except I used sweet turkey sausage. I had bought fresh sage earlier in the day and with the 1 cup of pumpkin I had left over was a perfect fit. Thanks Amy for a great dinner!

PS, I prepared the sauce on Sunday for a Tuesday night dinner and it saved me loads of time tonight. I love pre-planning!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Got leftover mashed potatoes? How about Potato Pie!

I've been holding onto this recipe for a long time so I actually can't remember at all where I got it from so if it's yours, let me know and I'll give you the credit. It's a great way to use those leftover mashed potatoes AND make a weeknight dinner ahead.

1 unbaked pie shell (I use Pillsbury)
2 cups 1% milk cottage cheese
2 eggs
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I omitted)
1/2 cup scallions (I omitted)
1/2 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese

Beat the cottage cheese until smooth. Add in the next 6 ingredients and beat in again until smooth. Stir in the scallions. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes.

Walnut Pesto

I bought basil at the store today with the intent on making a pesto however, I forgot the pine nuts. Not to worry! Walnut to the rescue. I found this recipe on Cookinglight.com and voila. Pesto is now in the freezer for future use!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mac and Cheese

It was a comfort food kind of night so I called on my trusty Cooking Light mac and cheese recipe to hit the spot. I did make a few changes to suit the ingredients I had in the house. I do love this one, and so does my husband, we were both very satisfied tonight.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup (3 ounces) shredded guyere
2 ounces Alpine Lace American cheese
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extra-sharp light cheddar cheese
6 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 3 cups uncooked)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1/3 cup panko

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly. Add cheeses; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in macaroni and salt.

Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with a little extra cheddar cheese and the panko. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Crockpot BBQ Meatballs

My mother in law makes a great BBQ meatball appetizer and I wanted to see if I could find a recipe that was similar. This one was really good but I still think hers was better. I paired the meatballs with mac and cheese for dinner tonight as I was really craving comfort food.

2 lbs lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 envelopes onion soup mix
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs

1 cup chopped onion
2 cans tomato paste (12 ounces total)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 oz. can beef broth

Combine meatball ingredients and mix well. Shape into meatballs and brown in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Drain on paper towels. Add all sauce ingredients to Crock Pot and stir well. Add meatballs and cook, covered, on low for 5 to 6 hours (high for 2 to 3).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dinner Tonight: Chicken and Turkey Marsala, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Zesty Broccoli Casserole

Tonight, my brother and sister in-laws came over for football and dinner. I had a lot of food in the house that I wanted to use before it went bad. I also had turkey cutlets and needed to find a use for them. I decided to try them with a marsala sauce and it came out great. I also made chicken cutlets so that everyone could have a choice. I used this recipe from a previous dinner.

Surprisingly, I've never made mashed potatoes. Yes, this is true. The reason is because we usually only eat them at holidays and I don't host a holiday that would call for mashed potatoes. But tonight I made them. I mashed up about 3 lbs of potates with some milk and shredded cheddar cheese. Luckily for me, I didn't over mash or add too much milk so these came out quite good. I served a side of zesty broccoli casserole to round out the meal as well and I think everyone really liked it and were happy and full.

Zesty Broccoli Casserole

Chicken Marsala

My Plate

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

I broke in my new stoneware today with a yummy dip for football day. Go Jets and Giants! My husband, brother and I had a lot of fun eating it. And I love my latest piece of cookware.

1 jar (12 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 package (10 oz) chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
in a bowl, combine the artichokes, spinach, garlic, sour cream and mayo. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fall Exchange Gift

Thank you Joelen! Your gift was awesome!!!! I so appreciate the thoughtfulness and all the wonderful things. This is a great idea and I was so excited to get it. The girls on the WC board are truly the greatest. I am hosting Christmas Eve and everything will come in handy. I've already used the spoon today.

Here's a pic of what was in my package. Love it all!

Homemade Gnocchi and Vodka Sauce

So today was the day for me to put my new potato ricer to use. I've wanted to make homemade gnocchi forever but it was too warm to have the oven on that long in the summer. Today was the perfect day. The weather outside was below freezing and I had a willing assistant, Emma. It was pretty easy. The time it takes to bake the potatoes and then let them cool really is what adds to the prep time. I admit I was nervous that they'd come out mushy but I was so happy when they didn't. The trick is definitely to remove them as soon as they rise to the surface of the water. The vodka sauce is an old tried and true... we love it and it never disappoints. I would definitely make these again and serve them to guests. It was a great experience and really made me happy we got them right. I got the recipe for the gnocchi from Lauren's blog, which happened to be a Cooking Light recipe which made me even happier.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

I was in the mood to bake tonight and to use pumpkin so of course pumpkin cookies came to mind. However, I didn't love the regular chocolate chips I put in the last time I made these so I turned to white chocolate chips. Tons better! Now we have yummy cookies to give to family this weekend, and better yet, eat a few ourselves.

1/2 cup margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips

Cream the margarine and sugar together with a hand mixer until light a fluffy.
Beat in the egg, pumpkin and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix together well. Fold in the chips.
Drop teaspoons of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet (I needed 3) and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 3-1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beer Cheese Bread

Having just finished up the newest Cooking Light issue, I really wanted to try their Beer Cheese Bread recipe. People all over my cooking board have been making it so I figured it was my turn to see what it was all about. The verdict: I liked it. Definitely a different taste but it really was like no bread I'd ever had before. It's tangy but not sour. The cheese gives it a more savory taste, balancing with the tang. I'd definitely make this for a Super Bowl party or some other gathering. The recipe I used can be found here. If you want an easy, tasty bread to make, this is it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stuffed Shells

Suprisingly enough, I have never made stuffed shells before. Dave and I were in the supermarket today and there was a sale on Barilla shells so I picked up a box for dinner tonight. It was a very basic stuffed shells recipe and I didn't even measure anything out but I will do my best to estimate it. These definitely hit the spot.

1 Box Shells, cooked al dente
1/2 large container of part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup parm cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 jar pasta sauce (or less depending on how much sauce you like)
1 TBSP oregano
1 TBSP dried basil

Cook the shells according to the directions on the box. Mix together the 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, parm, and ricotta cheese, spices, spinach and egg until well combined. Cover a 9x13 inch baking dish with some pasta sauce. Stuff each shell with the cheese filling until they are all filled. Top with the desired amount of pasta sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Emma and I made a pizza together this week. It was nothing too exciting but we really had a great time making it together. Emma layered the pepperoni on 1/2 the pie and we left the other side just cheese. It was a lot of fun and made for a very yummy dinner.

Goat Cheese and Chicken Rotini

I saw a recipe on A Year in the Kitchen and since I had goat cheese I needed to use, this made a great weeknight meal. We didn't have sausage so I subbed in some cooked cubed chicken breast. It was really delicious, thanks Ashlee!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I love a fire

If there is any reason I'm happy cold weather is coming, it's because it get to use my fireplace. There is something about it that makes me so happy. The coziness, the warmth, it's just nice.

Sweet Potato Chips

My stepdaughter and I were watching Giada one day and she made sweet potato and beet chips to send in a care package to her niece. Since then, Emma has been asking to make them. I took advantage of the the Linens N Things liquidation sales this weekend and finally purchased a mandolin slicer so there was really no excuse not to make these. We only used sweet potatoes and flavored them with regular sea salt because I didn't feel the need to get that complicated, plus I don't like beets. Emma and I had a great time and now she has a snack to take with her lunch tomorrow.

Egg Salad

Even though egg salad isn't really anything tough to make, I do love it but don't eat it very much. Today I had a craving for it for lunch and the craving won. So simple but so good. Sometimes food really doesn't have to be complicated.

5 eggs
2 TBSP light mayo
1 celery stalk, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Makes 3 servings.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Double Chocolate Bundt Cake

I was in the mood tonight to bake. I don't normally bake so this was definitely out of the ordinary for me. But since my Dad's birthday is tomorrow, then I figured I could bring my creation along. I don't own cake pans, only a bundt pan so I am a little limited but I did find this recipe on Cooking Light's web site and it really sounded so good. I haven't tasted it yet but the batter was delicious and the house smells great so I can't imagine it's bad. The only change I made was that I added in 1/3 of a cup of butterscotch chips along with a 1/3 of the chocolate chips just because I love butterscotch!

October/November Recipe Exchange: Slow Cooker Chili

This installment of the recipe exchange featured Fall Favorites and I was assigned Slow Cooker Chili. My husband and I are a big fan of chili and I love to use my crockpot so this recipe was good for us. I did make a few changes based on what I had on hand and I marked that in red. So without further ado, here it is!

METHOD: Slow Cooker
TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 6 hours
1 pound lean ground beef or 1.25 lbs. of ground turkey
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped, I used red pepper
1 can (15 ounces) fat-free vegetarian chili
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley I omitted as I didn't have any
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon minced chives
In a nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, onion, green pepper, chili, tomato sauce, chili powder, parsley, basil, cumin, garlic, oregano, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese and chives before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Sorry it's been so long! We were away in Seattle for 4 days and we have a very empty fridge but with what we did have, I was able to make a WW-friendly, warm, delicious meal tonight.

1 package of frozen broccoli, defrosted
2 cans of Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup reduced fat mayo (optional)
12 oz. diced chicken breasts, cooked
2 oz. dry stuffing mix
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the soups and mayo in a bowl. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 dish with the broccoli. Layer it with the cooked chicken and then top with the soup mixture. Spread the stuffing mix on top and sprinkle the cheese on that. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Creamy Two Cheese Macaroni

Oh Cooking Light how I love you. When I need some creamy mac and cheese, you come to my rescue. I knew this week would be busy so I needed a make ahead meal. Plus, I've been craving mac and cheese. Served with a side of veggies, it made our Monday night happy and easy. I was able to do the 30 Minute Shred while it baked. How's that for convenient? Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture but this one, courtesy of Cookinglight.com will have to do.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
6 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)
6 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 3 cups uncooked)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup panko
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in the cheddar cheese and processed cheese; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in macaroni and salt.

Spoon the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with the panko. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Favorite, Crockpot Lasagna

After a great visit with my friends this weekend, I was craving some more comfort food but I didn't really want to do much cooking. Crockpot lasagna it is! I've made this before and it's a favorite in our home. Today I had to make my own sauce because I didn't have any jarred sauce, which was fine because who doesn't love homemade sauce. So, here's to a happy Sunday meal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Light Sesame Chicken

Another weight watchers friendly meal. It's definitely not as tasty as the real stuff but there's a reason I need to be on weight watchers and it's not because I was eating light! Anyway, this was a recipe I got a while ago and never made but now that I'm sticking to the plan it fit right in. Thanks Brooke for the recipe! P.S. Yay for my 100th post!!!!

1 bag of brown rice (like Success Brown Rice)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower *omitted, I used cooking spray
4 scallions, thinly sliced *omitted
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced

In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat the pan over medium-high. Add half the chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until golden and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Return all the chicken to skillet; add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat.
As the rice cooks, place the broccoli in a steamer basket over the boiling water and steam the broccoli until desired tenderness. Add the steamed broccoli to the chicken and sauce and mix.
Serve sesame chicken over the rice and enjoy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss

Dinner tonight was quick and easy thanks to Rachael Ray's cookbook. I was able to cook the chicken and chop the onion and garlic on lunch so that it made the nighttime prep almost non-existent. I amended it to fit my Weight Watchers diet and each serving was 9 points. After a hard exercise day, 30 Day Shred and running, I really needed some good food with carbs and protein. I added asparagus for some greens, which really topped it off. And my husband really liked it and that counts for a lot!

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Cooking spray
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into chunk
Lemon pepper seasoning
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 bunch of asparagus, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound whole wheat rotini or fusilli

Heat a deep nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with the lemon pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add a teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, the garlic, and shallots to the skillet. Saute garlic and shallots 3 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in the asparagus and chicken and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Better than apple pie...

Apple crisp! This may be very wrong of me to say this but I think I'm more in love with this than apple pie. All the yummy flavors... apples, cinnamon, sugar, butter (yes, real butter) AND crunch to go with it. Dave and Emma agreed, better than apple pie. I grabbed this off of allrecipes.com and based on comments, increased the baking time and used 1/2 cup of white sugar along with a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. Don't forget to top it with vanilla ice cream!

4 cups sliced apples
ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.

Place apples in prepared dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour water over all. In a bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Blend in flour. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples.

Bake in preheated oven 50 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is golden.

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash made another appearance for dinner tonight and was loved by the whole family. I love the different flavor of paprikash and the fact that it is still very easy. Tonight I didn't have whole wheat wide noodles so I used whole wheat pasta instead. Just so good!

Shrimp Pad Thai

This was for dinner last week, inspired by Cooking Lights quick weeknight dinners email they send to me. I'm never really sure of fish sauce but it came out really good and we were definitely happy with it. And I had enough for leftover for lunch!

8 ounces wide rice stick noodles (Banh Pho)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
1 cup broccoli
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Place noodles in a large bowl. Add hot water to cover; let stand 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine ketchup, sugar, fish sauce, and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm.

Heat 4 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; cook 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly. Add broccoli, green onions, and garlic; cook until broccoli is no longer raw. Add noodles, ketchup mixture, and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until heated. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Buffalo Chicken and Cheese Dip

My friend Robyn made this last weekend for her husband while he watched football and I was super jealous so I made it for us today to eat while we watch the Jets win. I love buffalo anything so this definitely lived up to our expectations.

8 oz. pkg. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
10-15 oz. shredded chicken. I used a store bought rotisserie chicken, removed the skin and shredded the meat. Much easier than cooking breasts and doing it.

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep dish 9-inch pie plate or 1 1/2 qt. deep casserole.
2. WHISK in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese until smooth. Stir in chicken. Top the cream cheese with the mixture and top with a little shredded mozzarella cheese
3. BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

I had really high hopes for these because I adore butternut squash raviolis. I did take a short cut and not make my own dough which I think did them a disservice. The wonton wrappers were easy and fast but they stuck together when I drained them. I should have drizzled some olive oil on the ravioli as soon as I put them in the colander. They were still really good but I was very unhappy with the sticking together problem. I served them with a simple cream sauce and my sister's excellent eggplant parm (maybe the best eggplant parm I ever had). The eggplant came from her garden which I think really made them taste so good.


1 large butternut squash - halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded
2 teaspoons butter
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
50 wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon butter in the hollow of each half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the squash with a sheet of aluminum foil tucking in the edges.

Bake squash in preheated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 45 to 65 minutes.

Scoop the cooked squash into a bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Parmesan cheese until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Fill a deep pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil.

To make the ravioli, place a wonton wrapper on a clean, flat surface. Brush edges with the egg white. Place about 1 tablespoon of the squash mixture in the middle of the wonton. Cover with a second wonton wrapper. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and squash mixture until all have been used.

Drop the ravioli into the boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove, drain, and keep warm until sauce is prepared.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of nutmeg

Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth.