Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frittata or Crustless Quiche? EIther Way, Yum!

As the title says, I'm not really sure what this is. A crustless quiche, because I cooked it in the oven and not stove top? Or a frittata, just because there is no crust? I'm not really sure of the definitely and yes, I could google it but I just don't feel like it. In any case, we really enjoyed this vegetarian meal for dinner tonight. We needed it after the typical holiday gorging and I feel much healthier and better after eating this.

2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
6-7 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 bag baby spinach
1 large shallot, chopped
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 cup 1% milk
Salt & pepper
Olive oil (I used a spray mister)

Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the potatoes and place them on a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray with the olive oil or cooking spray and salt. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the shallot in olive oil or cooking spray until softened. Add in the mushrooms and cook with the onion about 5 minutes. Then add in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the milk, eggs and egg whites.

Once the potatoes are done, layer them on the bottom of a pie pan. Top with the spinach mixture, then the grated cheese, and finally pour the egg over the top. Lower the oven temp to 350 and cook 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

I got an ice cream maker courtesy of my sister in law and her fiance for Christmas and all I can say is where have you been all my life? It was honestly the best ice cream I have ever had. Maybe because it was all natural ingredients, no weird stuff you can get with the stuff in the store. Whatever it is, it was delicious and I am so happy to have one. Not to mention, easy to use! This recipe is one that came with the instructions for the ice cream maker and I am very happy with it. I probably should have let the ice cream set a little better before sampling it but too bad, it was so good I couldn't wait!

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl combine the sliced strawberries, lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Stir it together and let it sit for 2 hours and allow the strawberries to macerate (my new favorite word) in the juices for 2 hours.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk and remaining sugar. Blend with a hand mixer or whisk until the sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and the juices from the macerated strawberries. Turn the machine on and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl through the spout and let it mix for 25-30 minutes or to desired consistency. Add in the strawberries during the last 5 minutes of mixing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Banana Almond Waffles

I've really had a thing for waffles this pregnancy so this morning I broke out the waffle maker once again for some banana almond waffles. I used a recipe from Green Lite Bites as a basis for my waffle mixture. I will say that it definitely was "diet" tasting. Not as light and fluffy as we usually like but they were still pretty good. I also doubled it because I wanted some leftovers to freeze for later, as I really hate store bought waffles. They are just so fake tasting! I do think next time I make home made waffles I'm going back to using a less dietary recipe because sometimes, it's just not worth it.

2 bananas, thinly sliced
2 TBSP chopped almonds
2 eggs
1 cup milk (1%)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat flour (or use all purpose flour)

Whisk the milk and eggs together. Add in the almonds and banana. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, powder and cinnamon and whisk together. Add in the wet ingredients and mix together with a spatula until well-incorporate. Ladle into a waffle maker and let it do it's magic!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Momma wants some oatmeal raisin cookies and a big glass of milk so out to the store went my dear husband for raisins and I whipped up a batch of this delicious cookies to satisfy my craving. Thanks honey, you won't regret the trip!!

  • 1/2 butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, with a mixer set on low speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until blended. Add egg whites, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  3. With spatula, stir in flour, oats, raisins, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, on cookie sheet. Flatten dough into 3-inch circles. Bake cookies 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. With a pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks to cool for 15 minutes. Makes about 32-35 small cookies.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Turkey Sausage, Broccoli and Cheese Pasta Bake

This is my own little creation I put together for tonight. I love one-pot meals and casseroles so this is right up my alley. It's like a souped up macaroni & cheese. Dave and I both really liked it and we have plenty of leftovers.

10 oz. macaroni or other small pasta
3 links of turkey sausage, cut into small pieces and cooked
1 package frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
1 can cheddar cheese soup
6-8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 TBSP I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1/3 cup panko

Cook the pasta. Place the drained pasta back into the same pot and mix in the cheddar cheese soup, milk and 4-6 oz. of the shredded cheddar. Pour into a large 11 x 7 baking pan. Add in the cooked turkey sausage and broccoli and combine well. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. In a small skillet, melt the butter. Mix in the panko until evenly coated. Spread it on top of the macaroni mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the top is browned.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Broccoli and Mushroom Quiche

Dave was out the other night so I decided to make myself a lovely vegetarian quiche. It was easy but yummy and full of flavor and veggies.

1 pie crust (like Pillsbury)
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced and chopped
6 eggs
1/3 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the pie crust in a pie dish. Place the broccoli and mushrooms into the crust.

Whisk the eggs and milk in a medium sized bowl. Pour over the veggies. Top with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Homemade Meatball Subs

Yesterday I made a batch of my homemade sauce and turkey meatballs specifically to make these delicious sandwiches for Dave and I tonight. After simmering the meatballs in the sauce for a couple hours yesterday and then letting them sit there overnight before reheating today really gave everything that robust flavor. Dave was happy so that makes me happy. Another successful meal!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rolls

I got the idea for these when I recently read the Daily Deliciousness blog. I've never made an alfredo sauce so I was originally going to skip this but then I decided, what the heck, I'll go for it. I'll probably never make it non-pregnant because it's really not good for you (sorry Robyn, I hope you don't die when you read this!). Honestly, I think I made magic in the kitchen when I made it. It was so simple but SO good. I guess cheese, butter and cream are a pretty damn good combo. Anyway, these are heavy and hearty. We loved them for our Sunday night dinner. Here's how my lovely rolls came together. OH and by the way, 1 roll is plenty for one person if you have a salad with it.


12 oz. chicken breast, poached and shredded
12 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
5 oz. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package


1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP dried oregano

Grease a 13x9 pan with cooking spray. In a medium sized bowl, combine the chicken, spinach, ricotta and parm cheese. Spread the mixture down the center of each noodle, leaving about an inch and a half at each end. Roll the each noodle and place it in the pan.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the parm cheese, garlic and oregano.

Pour the sauce over each noodle. Top with the 4 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes.

Exercise as soon as you can after eating these. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I made this today for my good friend Sarah who recently had a little baby girl Katie. I picked it from her blog because she liked it so much. I hope her and her family enjoy it while they continue to navigate the world of new-parenthood. Of course I had to taste it and it was DELICIOUS! I did make a few very minor changes to the cooking method but I don't think it affected it at all.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Courtesy of The Joy of Cooking

2 cups (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter, divided plus extra for greasing pan
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups 1% milk
1 shallot, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko

Bring 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to rolling boil in a large pot. Add macaroni and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and put in large bowl.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir in onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer gently, stirring often, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf. Stir in 2 cups of cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni.

Pour the mixture into greased, 1 1/2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with all of remaining cheese.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over top of macaroni.

Bake at 350 degrees until bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

OK, the kitchen isn't that busy lately

Being 25 weeks pregnant is starting to take it's toll on me. My little guys loves to keep me up at night with his kicks and punches so I've been sort of a mess lately. I will try and get back in this weekend though. Thanks for sticking by me!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Turkey Chili in the crockpot

Emma and I went to see the new movie A Christmas Carol on Monday and let me just say it was awesome. The 3-D effects were amazing. I truly felt like it was snowing on me. I do need to recommend it to everyone, young and old, although not the really young. Some parts were perhaps a little scary and creepy. Anyway, when we got back I had to get dinner together because I was heading out for my H1N1 flu shot and wasn't sure when I'd be back. In comes turkey chili in the crock pot. To be very honest I didn't measure anything but it was delicious and as usual, easy. Here are my estimates for what I threw in there but I really think chili is practically foolproof. Some meat, beans and tomatoes and spices and you're good to go

1.25 lb. ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
8 oz. low sodium chicken broth
2 beef flavored bouillon cubes
1 shallot, diced
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBSP paprika

2 TBSP corn starch
1/4 cup cold water

Combine turkey, tomatoes, beans, onion, garlic and spices into the crock pot and stir together. Cook on medium high for 4-5 hours. Right before serving, dissolve the corn starch in the water and stir into the chili to thicken it. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Panko Crusted Fish Sticks

This is my second time making these courtesy of my friend Colleen at Cooking This and That. Emma loves them so I thought I'd surprise her this Sunday night after she was so good on our Turkey Trot walk this afternoon we did to help raise money for a local soup kitchen.

Once again, they were a huge success. They are easy, fast, crunchy and healthy. Instead of using tilapia as Colleen does, we use Alaskan Cod. It's a personal preference as I just like this fish better. And we don't bother with the sauce, we just use good old bottled cocktail sauce.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

I have been searching for the last few days for a good broccoli cheese soup but none had all the elements I wanted. Some called for heavy cream or half and half and I just want to use milk. Some wanted me to use Velveeta. Sorry but no dice. So finally I came up with my own. I guess sometimes I'm afraid especially when it comes to exact measurements but I think I did really well with this one. It was a good blend of broccoli and cheese without all the fat of heavy cream.

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
salt & pepper
1 large head of broccoli, about 4 cups chopped
6 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a medium sized pot, combine the chicken broth, water, milk, and flour (salt & pepper to your taste) and bring to a boil, stirring often with a whisk so the flour doesn't sink to the bottom and burn. Make sure there are no lumps too!

Once the liquid has boiled, add in the broccoli and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and lower the temperature and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

With an immersion blender, blend the soup until there are no large pieces of broccoli left. Mix in the cheddar and remaining parmesan cheese. Again, add salt and pepper if needed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles

In honor of Halloween, I made these delicious waffles for breakfast this morning. I found the recipe on Pennies on a Platter and then adopted to fit my pregnant needs (hehehe). The pumpkin and spices mixed so well with the chocolate. And they were light and fluffy, not hard and dense like premade waffles. Certainly a treat. This makes a lot of batter so it's great for a crowd or leftover snacks. Two were plenty for me for breakfast, and considering the amount of butter in them, that made me happy. :)

1 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
2 cups 1% milk
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray for coating the waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. Whisk egg in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.

Spray the cooking spray on the waffle iron and spoon batter (about 1 cups for each waffle) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cavatelli with Veggies and Ricotta Sauce

This I made based on some suggestions from fellow bloggers as to what kind of sauce to pair with the cavatelli and veggies. I decided the ricotta sauce would be best and it was certainly good. It was just enough cheese and sauce but not too much that it was overwhelming. It allowed all the other flavors to come through which I really liked

1 package frozen cavatelli, cooked to instructions
2 TBSP olive oil
3 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 head of broccoli, chopped
5-6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 TBSP part skim ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 ladles starchy pasta water
Salt & pepper to taste.

Boil the water for the cavatelli and cook according to package instructions.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the bacon to it. Cook the bacon thoroughly. Drain and set aside.

To the same skillet, add the garlic, onion, broccoli and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Add the bacon bacon into the veggie mixture. Ladle in two servings of the starchy pasta water. Add in the ricotta and parmesan cheese and stir well until everything is combined. Drain the cavatelli and add that to the skillet. Mix it all together and serve, topping with extra parmesan, salt & pepper if desired.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie for a weeknight

Okay for those who like things only from scratch, please stop reading here because I used (gasp) Bisquick Heart Smart in this one. We love it though anyway. Yes, I've made a chicken pot pie completely from scratch and if you do believe me, click here. But for a weeknight meal, it's just not possible. And this hits the spot for us. So if you aren't anti-some help, click here and try it out. I think you'll really like it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Healthy Chicken Marsala

Chicken marsala is usually made with lots of butter and cream. So it's delicious but not something I'm willing to splurge on when I'm making it at home. So I found this great recipe at Cooking Light that delivered both on taste and ease tonight. But since I didn't have any peas, I left that step out, as well as the half and half. The family still enjoyed it and we felt good about eating it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Bolognese Sauce

I got the inspiration for this meal from Proceed With Caution but I put my own spin on it. I prepared the dough a bit differently from her way because I didn't have quite long enough to bake the potatoes and I made my own version of a bolognese sauce with what I had in the house. I think they came out pretty good and I even froze the leftover gnocchi to use another time.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

1 large sweet potato
2 large russet potatoes
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Scrub the potatoes thoroughly and submerge in a pot of boiling water for 30 minutes. Remove from the pot and cool. Removed the skins and shred each potato using a potato ricer into a large bowl.

Add in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, kneading the potatoes and the dough. At the end, knead in the parm cheese. The consistency should be sticky, not dry. Divide the dough into workable amounts (about 5-7 small balls) and roll them out between your hands and a cutting board into long, thin strands. Cut the gnocchi into bite-sized pieces and mark indentations in them with a fork. Place them on a floured cookie sheet to dry, approximately 30-45 minutes.

Boil a pot of water and place 1/2 the gnocchi in it and let them rise, about 3 minutes. Once they have risen immediately remove them with a slotted spoon and drain.


2 large cans (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes with basil
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic diced
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, chopped
Olive oil, 1 TBSP
2 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP dried basil
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Add in the onions, garlic and mushrooms and saute for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and the spices and mix well. Bring to a low simmer and cook 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cream Cheese Brownies

I was bored Monday night and needed something to do. So I pulled out my Best of Cooking Light cookbook and made these fabulous cream cheese brownies. Unfortunately my oven is a little hotter than what the temp says because the cream cheese topping got a little browner than I would have liked. They still tasted wonderful though!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Barbecue Meat Loaf

Another great Cooking Light recipe. Perfect for a Sunday dinner with family. I served it with Scalloped Potatoes and some broccoli and cheese. I am not posting a picture because the one I took was frankly gross looking. Meat loaf just doesn't photograph well for me so you'll have to use your imagination. But anyway, what a great way to end a beautiful fall weekend!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes - Sunday Dinner

These are courtesy of my friend over at A Taste of Home Cooking. I love scalloped potatoes and have made these before. Now that the weather is cooling down, I was ready to heat my kitchen up again with them. They are simple and delicious. The oven does most of the work. I do recommend having a mandolin slicer because without it, you will be doing a lot more work. With it, it's a dream!

2 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup light cream
1-3/4 cups 1% milk
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove of minced garlic
Shredded cheddar cheese, 2-3 oz.

Combine all the ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart dish with cooking spray. Add the potato and milk mixture to the dish, spreading out the potato slices. Shred the cheese on top and cover with tin foil and bake 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Foil Packet Potatoes

I'm always a little leary of potatoes. I think it's because it scares me how long it takes them to cook. But I saw this recipe at Adventures in Home Cooking and it inspired me to try it on a weeknight. Well, we loved them. So thanks for helping me to conquer my fear!!

I did make a few changes and they are here below but really I bet they'd be good with anything!

1 potato per person
Sheets of tin foil
2 T. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter per person
1 or 2 T. milk
Salt and pepper (lots)
Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 F.

Dice the potatoes.

Grab your tin foil and roll up the sides a bit to create a boat. Add the potatoes to the packet and top with pats of butter. Season generously with salt and pepper, and splash in milk.

Roll up sides of the packets and seal the edges tightly. Bake in oven for 60 minutes and top with the cheese and serve.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had some pumpkin leftover from my last batch of muffins that I needed to use and I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins in my google reader at My Baking Heart and knew I'd love it. I did make a couple small changes to make these a little healthier and they came out delicious. My brother actually ate 3 at once. I know there is a shortage of pumpkin out there but if you have some and need to use a cup, this is a great way to go.

Pumpkin-Chocolate-Chip Muffins

1-1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a larger bowl whisk the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, milk, yogurt and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients until moistened. Then add in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins and cool an additional 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nothing in the House Baked Ziti

I didn't even have mozzarella cheese! But have no fear, this baked ziti came out cheesy and delicious anyway. I even got a "you have to make this again!" Alright, you don't have to ask me twice and maybe next time I'll have mozzarella cheese.

1/2 box farfalle, prepared as directed
1 container part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
1 jar pasta sauce (or 16 oz. homemade)
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained

Cook the ground beef and add the sauce to it to warm. Add the cooked pasta into the beef and sauce, then transfer to a 9x12 baking pan. Mix in the ricotta cheese and half the parmesan cheese until well-combined. Top with the remaining parm cheese and cook on 350 for 25 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Voila!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple Crisp, Still Better Than Apple Pie

And easier too! It's fall and time to bring the apple crisp back. The family loves it, guests love it, I love it... Need I say more? This is easy to make and can be doubled/tripled or whatever if you wanted to make this and take it to a party. I will be doing that for sure this holiday season. But if you find you need to make this sooner and try it out, you really should.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Divan

I've made this before but this last time I put a little twist on it... adding in artichokes. It was a great idea! It added some tang to balance out the cheese and creaminess. My husband and his friend ate it right up. Barely left enough for me for lunch today but there was and I enjoyed it again.

Cooking spray
2-3 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
9-12 oz. chicken breasts, cut into chunks and cooked.
2 cans cream of chicken soup (low fat)
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
3/4 cup light mayo
3/4 cup Panko (or bread crumbs)
2 tsp I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (or any other light butter)

Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces and layer the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish with it. Top it with the artichokes and cooked chicken. Combine the soups and mayo in a bowl and spread it on top of the chicken and veggies. Pour the soup mixture onto the chicken and broccoli. Melt the butter on the stove. When melted add the panko and saute one minute. Spoon on top of the casserole. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes or until the panko is nicely browned.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baked Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

Mac & cheese while watching my favorite team the New York Giants play just makes me happy. So last Sunday I made this to go with my BBQ crockpot meatballs for the perfect game day dinner.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
7 oz. shredded sharp cheddar, divided
5 oz. shredded Jarlsberg light cheese
13 oz of rotini
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 5 oz of the cheddar cheese and all of the jarlsberg light cheese; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in macaroni and salt and pepper liberally.

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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

My friend at Cooking This and That made this cake for few of us at a get together about a month ago and I loved it so I knew I'd be making it. Perfect opportunity came when my sister-in-law hosted a meet and greet with our family and her boyfriend's family. The cake came out great and was a bit hit with everyone. Thanks Colleen!

Pumpkin Raisin Oat Muffins

I'm baaaaccckkk!! The weather has cooled off. I'm out of my first trimester so I'm feeling good. All I want to do is cook and bake so that's what I did this weekend. After a search on for muffins I found a recipe I liked but I really wanted raisin ones so I made some small changes. These include whole wheat flour for a little added health benefit. Add to that the oats and pumpkin, I think we have something good here. And if you want to eliminate the butter, sub in some yogurt. I think they'd still come out most and delicious.

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, egg, and butter. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, just until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in the raisins. Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling to the top.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Penne with Pesto and Sausage

Here's a quick dinner I threw together with some pesto I had frozen a couple of weeks ago made from my very tall and growing way too fast for me to keep up basil plants. I added in 3 links of turkey sausage crumbled and whole wheat pasta to round out our meal. Another quick and well-rounded dinner for us on a weeknight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Banana Bread - Low Fat

I had two very large ripe bananas so instead of throwing them out I made banana bread. It's finally cool enough that I can turn my oven back on and banana bread is really so easy to throw together. I like this recipe because there is no oil or butter or eggs. The only really bad thing is the cup of sugar but I can accept that and you can even sub in Splenda to make it even less calorie-laden. The bread came out moist and delicious. It's a winner in our house.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas mashed
1 cup sugar (or splenda)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup light sour cream or low fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium size bowl and mix together. In a separate medium sized bowl, mash the bananas and then add the remaining ingredients. Whisk them together until well-combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (I do it in thirds) and combine with a wooden spoon until the ingredients have been incorporated but don't mix too much or it will become gluey. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out dry. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack before removing the bread from the pan.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This blog has become the "I'm pregnant and hungry so feed me something good and quick" blog. Which is fine because maybe it'll bring some fast and easy recipes to others like me. Tallarene is something I had growing up and I love it. My Mom has since stopped making it but silly her doesn't know what she is missing. So thanks for passing it on Mom, you should really start making it again!

8 oz. whole wheat noodles
1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef
1 shallot, diced
1 can corn
1 can of string beans
1 can tomato soup
1 cup of water
Salt to taste

Brown the meat and onion together in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Drain. Add in the remaining ingredients and cook over a low heat, covered, for 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Yes, that's it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas

These are very simple to make but the flavors go so good together. Plus it's a quick weeknight meal and easy for just a couple.

2 chicken breasts, about 3-4 oz. each, chopped small
1 avocado, sliced thinly
4-5 oz. shredded mexican cheese
4 tortillas

Cook the chicken on the stove top. I used a garlic tex/mex spice mix to flavor it. Top a tortilla with 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 the avocado and half the cheese. Place the other tortilla on top and cook either on your stovetop until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese has melted or if you have a Quesadilla maker, it will do it for you. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spicy Vodka Shrimp

I thought of making this for dinner tonight while lying in bed this morning. It sounded so good and I knew I had everything I needed and it would be easy. It was. We had my brother over for dinner and this served us three with leftovers. Definitely one to try.

I do have to add that using uncooked, unpeeled shrimp is much better in my opinion than the precooked ones. They come out way less tough and chewy.

18 frozen, unpeeled, uncooked shrimp
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp butter
3 cups of vodka sauce
2-3 TBSP red pepper flakes
8-10 oz whole wheat spaghetti

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Place the frozen shrimp in a bowl of very cold water with some salt for about 30 minutes or until they have defrosted. Remove and peel the shrimp. I also cut the tails off to make them easier to eat. Pour about 1 TBSP of olive oil into a pan and cook the shrimp until pink, 2-3 minutes on each side. Add in the butter and garlic into the pan and saute about 1 minute. Stir in the vodka sauce and red pepper flakes and heat through. Serve over the pasta.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chicken Parmesan Burgers


It's my turn with these. They've been floating around the What's Cooking board and blogs I visit so I figured it was time to try them. They were great. The recipe I got was from Elly Says Opa but I did change it a bit to suit what I had in the house. Today was about 95 degrees so I grilled them on my indoor George Foreman grill and it was a success. Definitely an easy grilling dinner.


1 lb. ground chicken breast
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp chopped garlic

2 TBSP pasta sauce per burger
Shredded mozzarella or sliced mozz or provolone (4 slices)

Mix together the burger ingredients. From into 4 patties and set aside to let the flavors meld. I let mine sit in the fridge for about 5 hours.

Grill on each side about 7 minutes. Top with the cheese and melt. Top with the sauce and enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes

This morning my stepdaughter Emma and I made some homemade blueberry pancakes. I am normally a pancake-from-a-box person but I wanted to make the effort to be more natural and have some fun with Emma so I found this recipe on the Cooking Light web site and it was perfect. It made 6 large pancakes for us. They were juicy and filling and we paired it with some scrambled eggs just to balance out breakfast a little. I did make one change, using fat free organic blueberry yogurt instead of plain and that just made it even sweeter. I also mixed the blueberries right in, instead of topping the pancakes with them on the griddle.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup vanilla fat-free blueberry yogurt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries

Combine the dry ingredients (first 7) in a large bowl and stir well with a whisk. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries, and mix well together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and combine with a spatula until there is no loose flour. Add in the blueberries and mix well.

Heat a griddle and cook until the pancakes are dry on the inside. There's nothing worse than a raw pancake! Sorry for the picture, I forgot to take one until right before we were going to eat!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zucchini Pancakes

I've made these before and for dinner a few nights ago I had the urge to have them again. This time I added a little more flour and they turned out perfectly. Not soggy at all!

1 zucchini, grated
3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated, making sure there is no loose flour in the bottom. Form into patties and cook in a pan on each side, about 7 minutes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Turkey Spinach Meatballs

I wanted meatballs but I also knew I needed veggies in my dinner. Enter the most wonderful creation--frozen chopped spinach. For $1 this is a true bargain. Not only in quantity but time-saving. Imagine chopping all that spinach... no thanks!

1- 10 oz. package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of all it's excess water
1 package (1.25 lbs) of ground turkey
1 egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Fresh basil (as much as you desire, I used a little less than 1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 325. Combine all the ingredients well in a large ball. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Grab about 2 TBSP full and roll the mixture in your hands to form a ball and place on the cookie sheet. You should get about 18-20 meatballs out of this. Cook for 25 minutes in the oven. Remove and serve with your favorite sauce... in this case, vodka sauce! And of course serve with whole wheat pasta.

Spinach Meatballs and Vodka Sauce

The neverending pasta parade. Maybe I should rename my blog. But whatever, I don't care, it's all delicious! I was in the mood for spaghetti and meatballs today but because I can't just throw a jar of sauce on frozen meatballs and pasta, I had to make my own. And it was worth it.

Vodka Sauce

1/4 cup butter
2 shallots, diced
1 cup vodka
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 pint of light cream

Melt the butter and saute the shallots until soft. Add in the vodka and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add in both cans of crushed tomatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes. Finally, stir in the cream and simmer for 30 minutes. You can add in garlic, crushed red pepper... whatever your heart desires, to give this sauce an extra kick but it's perfectly good on it's own.

See the previous post for the turkey and spinach meatballs that went with this.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simply delicious. I never liked the store bought cookies. Way too hard and fake tasting. And today I had the motivation to make them. And they are... simply delicious.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

Evenly position 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. on convection setting if you have it. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If you only have 1 baking sheet, let it cool completely between batches.

Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on medium power until melted. Cool slightly. Whisk the sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon; take care not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared pans. Wet hands slightly and roll the dough into balls. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart on the pans. Bake, until golden, but still soft in the center, 12 to 16 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you like your cookies. Transfer hot cookies with a spatula to a rack to cool. Serve.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Help Brooke, Joe and their Triplets!

Brooke is a friend I met through a cooking board online. She is a wonderful woman and recently had 3 beautiful little babies premature. We're helping to raise money for the family to support the babies both in the hospital and when they get out. If you can spare a few extra dollars, it would be a wonderful way to help this loving family.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

I saw a recipe for eggplant parm the other day and I immediately knew I had to make it. Problem is I didn't have eggplant. So I went with the next best thing: chicken parmesan. It was awesome. Double dipping the egg and bread crumbs really gives it a good coating. And cooking it in so little olive oil makes you feel less guilty too!

3 TBSP olive oil
2 eggs and 2 egg whites, whisked
4 chicken breasts, 3-4 oz. each
1 cup of italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup of 2% mozzarella cheese
Tomato sauce, whatever kind that floats your boat

Heat the oil in a large pan. Dip each chicken breast in the egg mixture letting the excess drip off. Then press into the bread crumbs. Repeat this process once and place in the hot pan. Cook the chicken on each side for 7 minutes. Top with the cheese at the end. Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cheesy Mac with Vegetables

Okay, I think I need to stop posting pasta recipes for a while. It's getting a little out of control. Anyway, this one deserves a post because it is good and easy for a weeknight meal. I took Emma to the pool after we got home from work/camp today and still sat down to dinner before 6:30. Not too shabby. The recipe serves 5-6 generous portions and it is filling and yummy.

10 oz. whole wheat macaroni
1 bag of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, defrosted and drained
1 can 98% fat free broccoli cheese soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese
1 cup of milk
2 tsp. mustard

Cook the macaroni according to directions. In the last minute, add the vegetables to the water, then drain it all together. In the same pot, add in the soups, milk, mustard and cheese and stir well. Heat under a low flame until the cheese melts. Mix in a large bowl or in the same pot the pasta and veggies back into the cheese mixture.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BLT Pasta Salad

I saw this recipe for a BLT Pasta Salad on Elizabeth's edibles and I had to try it. What a great idea! It made a very large batch so tons of leftovers and it definitely satisfies the pasta craving and is ideal for the summer 'cause it serves cold.

12 ounces corkscrew-shaped whole wheat pasta
12 ounces lean bacon
3 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons chopped scallions
2 cups of lettuce, chopped

Cook the pasta according to directions. At the same time cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to drain and cool. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan and saute for a minute. Crumble the bacon and toss in a large bowl with the pasta and tomato mixture. Blend together the mayo and sour cream and add to the bowl along with the scallions. Mix with the pasta until well combined and serve chilled.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fancy Beefaroni

Have I ever said I love pasta? Or can you just tell? Well I do. So again the other night, pasta was on the menu. I jazzed it up this time with some of my defrosted vodka sauce. I cooked up some ground beef (about 8 oz.) and combined it with some whole wheat elbows and the vodka sauce and voila. Delicious! I can't say enough about making a big batch of homemade sauce and freezing it. You'll thank yourself.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

BBQ Indonesian Chicken

I saw the marinade recipe at the blog Dinners for a Year and Beyond and since I knew we'd be BBQing chicken tonight I thought it would be perfect for us tonight. I used 5 drumstick and 4 chicken thighs skin on, bone in and we loved it. I left the chicken in the marinade for 6.5 hours and it seemed to be a good amount of time. I did make a few small changes to the original marinade to give it a more BBQ sauce flavor so here are my edits.


Combine the following ingredients in a bowls and whisk them together. Pour over the chicken into a large resealable plastic bag and marinate for 6 hours to overnight.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp powdered ginger
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoons cumin
2 TSBP lime juice

Grill the legs for 20-30 minutes and the thighs for 45 minutes turning occasionally until the juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink. At the end brush on a small amount of BBQ sauce onto both sides of the chicken.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm at it again... pesto

I love pesto. Have I said this already? I also have basil plants that are growing fast with all this rain so today I made 2 batches of sundried tomato pesto. One for dinner this week and one for the freezer. Make this, you won't be sorry.

Cold Spinach and Artichoke dip

My sister moved into her new house this weekend so my husband and I made the (long) drive up to visit her and I brought some yummy cold spinach and artichoke dip. It was perfect for hanging out on the deck of her new home.

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 package of frozen spinach, thawed (10 oz)
1 packet of Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 container of light sour cream

I know it's easy but sometimes we forget that delicious doesn't always have to be hard!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pepperoni and Cheese Calzones

I am now into making my own whole wheat pizza dough so I used some that I had thawed for our calzones tonight. I split a ball into thirds and stuffed them with a blend of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I layered pepperoni in them and baked them at 400 for 15 minutes. Perfect!