Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet Potato Bread

I found this recipe on All Recipes. It is really good- similar to pumpkin or carrot bread. I replaced half the oil with applesauce. Next time I make it, I want to replace all the oil with applesauce,reduce the sugar, and use some whole wheat flour. We will have to see how that works out! The only picture I have is of half of the mini loaf- oops. I am posting my version below. The original is here.


* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup applesauce
* 2 eggs
* 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/3 cup water
* 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Combine sugar, applesauce, and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts.
2. Pour batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour. You may want to check it earlier.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these to send Josh for Christmas because they are his favorites- mine too :) And I suppose Nick likes them pretty well too. I have made a few adjustments to the original recipe to make them healthier. My version is below. (This recipe makes a lot of cookies- like 5 dozen or so small ones)

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1. Mix together eggs, sugars, butter, applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla until creamy
2. Mix together dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.
3. Stir in chocolate chips
4. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
5. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2 pound 96% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces tomatoes, canned
1 cup celery, diced
2 medium carrot, diced
1 large potato, diced
8 ounces frozen corn kernels
8 ounces frozen okra
16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
12 ounces vegetable juice
chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

In a 5-quart pan, over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion in a small amount of oil until tender. Add the ground beef and cook until brown, stirring to break up meat. Drain if necessary, then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, vegetable juice to the meat. Add enough chicken broth to cover . Add the carrots, potato, and celery to the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add the frozen corn and vegetables and cook for about 10 more minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Shrimp with Basil, Feta and Orzo

This recipe is from Cooking Light- easy to make and delicious! I usually serve with green beans. My changes are in parentheses.

2 servings (serving size: 1 cup orzo and about 5 ounces shrimp)

* 1 regular-size foil oven bag (or just make a foil pouch)
* Cooking spray
* 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
* 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided (I only use 1 tsp)
* 1 cup diced tomato (I use canned diced tomato with basil and oregano)
* 3/4 cup sliced green onions
* 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese (I use fat free feta)
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 450°.

Coat inside of oven bag with cooking spray. Place the bag on a large shallow baking pan.

Cook the pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil and next 7 ingredients (1 teaspoon oil through pepper). Place the orzo mixture in prepared oven bag. Combine shrimp and basil. Arrange shrimp mixture on orzo mixture. Fold edge of bag over to seal. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until the shrimp are done. Cut open bag with a sharp knife, and peel back the foil.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Penne Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Vegetables

This pasta dish is from Cooking Light, but I make a few modifications so my version is below. It is even better the next day because the flavors meld. Yummy


* 1/2 pound hot Italian turkey sausage
* Cooking spray
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 cup mushrooms, quartered
* 1 small red bell pepper,diced
* 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
* 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
* 1 small yellow squash
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup fat-free greek yogurt
* 4 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne (about 1/2 pound)
* salt and pepper


Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell peppers, squash and zucchini; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sausage is done. Stir in tomatoes; cover and cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Add pasta and salt and pepper; stir well. Cook over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

I made this for November Goodie Day. It is one of my favorite desserts and really easy to make. I want to try it with sugar free pudding in the future.

* 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
* 1 (8 ounce) container light cool whip, thawed
* 3 cups milk (I used 2%)
* 1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
* 1 (16 ounce) package prepared dark chocolate frosting


1. In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk.
2. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
3. Spread the frosting over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. (It is much easier to spread if you microwave the frosting for about 30 seconds, then pour it and spread on. You won't need the whole can of frosting). Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Apple and Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is from Baking Bites. It was really easy to make, and Nick liked it a lot. The original recipe is below with my changes/comments in parentheses.

1 tbsp butter
2 large baking apples (I used Fuji)
4 cups cubed white bread (I used Hawaiian Bread)
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
3 tbsp brandy (I used rum b/c we did not have brandy)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins or pecans

Peel and core apples. Chop apples into cubes, but precision is not required and the pieces can be fairly large.
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add apples and butter. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until apples are light golden and just barely tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, brandy, sugars, eggs, vanilla and spices. Pour onto bread cubes along with apples and raisins (or pecans, if using). Stir gently with a spatula to wet mixture and let stand for about 10 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spread evenly.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean (a couple of crumbs are ok).
Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Confetti Shrimp and Grits

I found this recipe on Kath Eats Real Food. It is now one of my favorites! The combination of flavors is great. Here is a link to her original recipe. The recipe with my changes are below.

(Serves 3 + probably some leftover polenta)

* 3/4 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
* Handful of spinach
* 5-6 mini carrots, diced
* 1/2 a cup assorted bell peppers, diced
* 2-3 stalk celery, diced
* 1/4 cup onion, diced
* 1 tsp olive oil
* 1-2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
* Sprinkle Chili powder
* 1 cup quick cooking polenta
* 1 tbsp light butter
* 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
* 2 tsp honey
* 1.75 cups chicken broth, divided
* 1/2 cup almond milk (regular milk would work fine)
* 2 cups water

* Add olive oil to pan (preferably not a non-stick pan) and heat. Place shrimp one by one into pan and don’t touch until brown on one side. Flip and sear until crispy. Remove from pan.
* Add veggies to pan and sautee a few minutes. Stir in Old Bay and chili powder. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth to deglaze plan and steam veggies. Remove veggies from pan when tender.
* Meanwhile, cook polenta as package says (I put 2 cups water, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1.5 cups chicken broth in pot and brought to a boil, then stirred in polenta and stirred constanlty until thickened- approx 7 min)
* When polenta is thick, stir in 1 tbsp butter until melted. Then drizzle on tsp of honey.
* Add veggies to polenta pot and stir together. Pour into bowl and top with shrimp and parmesan.

Salmon, Dill, Tomato Sandwich

12 oz salmon
Whole wheat/whole grain bread (we used whole grain baguette style bread)

Dill Sauce:
1/4 cup fat free greek yogurt
1 Tbsp light mayo
2 Tbsp minced onion
1/4 tsp beau monde seasoning
1/2 tsp dill (dried or fresh)

1. Sprinkle salmon with dill, salt, and pepper.
2. Broil salmon until it flakes easily with a fork.
3. While salmon is cooking, mix together dill sauce. (All measurements are approx. so season to liking).
4. When salmon is done, flake into medium size pieces.
5. Assemble sandwich by putting sauce on both sides of bread, layer tomato slices and salmon. Top with second piece of bread.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

I made the recipe below, but divided it by 3 and cooked in a loaf pan. Nick seemed to like it! Link to Original recipe on Homesick Texan's blog.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake
For the crust:
35 ginger snaps, crushed
1/4 cup of pecans, finely chopped
1 stick of butter (113.4 grams), melted

For the cheesecake:
3 8oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of flour

For the topping:
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2. To make the crust, mix together the crushed ginger snaps, chopped pecans and melted butter.
3. Press the crust into a 9-inch spring-form pan, evenly covering the bottom and going up the sides about 1/4 of an inch.
4. Place in the fridge or in near an open window with a cold breeze.
5. To make the batter, using a mixer or a strong blender, throw in the softened cream cheese and eggs. Mix until smooth and combined.
6. Add the sugar, the maple syrup, the sweet potato, the spices and the flour, and blend until smooth. (Don’t mix it too long or too many cracks will appear on top when it bakes.)
7. Pour into spring-form pan, and bake for 45 minutes. Cheesecake will be done when the sides are set and the center is still a big jiggly. Turn off the oven, and then leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door open for about half an hour.
8. To make the topping while the cheesecake bakes, place 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in a heated dry iron skillet, and toast for about five minutes.
9. Mix the sour cream, vanilla, spices, syrup and sugar together. Add the pecans.
10. Take cheesecake out of the oven, spread on the topping, and let sit for another half hour.
11. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours and then serve.
Notes: A 1-pound sweet potato cooked in the oven at 425 degrees for a little over an hour will yield enough for the recipe. Alternatively, you can use canned sweet potato. The topping and crust are purely optional. If you bake without a crust, baking time will be about 35 minutes.

Lentil, Sausage, & Sweet Potato Soup

I found the original recipe for this soup on Kalyn's Kitchen. It was a good fall soup. The recipe with my modifications are below. All measurements are approximate.

8 oz. lb. raw chicken or turkey sausage links (preferably spicy)
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium sweet potato diced (bite size diced)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil or just cooking spray in heavy soup pot, then saute celery and onions for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, lentils, sage, thyme, and a bit of fresh ground black pepper, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

While soup is simmering, cut sausage lengthwise and then into slices. Cook in a skillet until browned. Remove from skillet onto paper towels to drain.

After 30 minutes, add canned tomatoes, chopped sweet potatoes, and cut sausage pieces and cook at a very low simmer about 30-60 minutes more (until sweet potatoes are tender). Season soup with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Reese's Cookies

I made these cookies for Blake's birthday. They are quite rich, but good! It was also a good use of leftover halloween candy. Also, you can substitute various Reese's candies such as fastbreaks or caramel Reese's cups.

1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. peanut butter chips
3/4 c. chopped Reese's cups
3/4 c. Reese’s Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, Reese's cups, and Reese’s Pieces.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. ***Let cool for 1 or 2 minutes on sheet before removing, or they will fall apart.***
Makes approx 4 dozen

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Joanna's famous granola

This recipe is from Joanna. It is so good that it is addictive! I made it to send to Josh so hopefully he will like it too.

•4 cups old fashioned oats
•1 ½ cup sliced almonds
•½ cup packed light brown sugar
•1 ½ cup dried cranberries
•½ teaspoon salt
•½ teaspoon cinnamon
•¼ cup honey
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350. Mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan,
heat oil and honey. Whisk in vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over oat
mixture. Stir with wooden spoon and finish with hands to spread in
15x10x1 baking pan/cookie sheet. Bake for approx 30 min and stir every 10 minutes.
Transfer pan to rack and cool. Add cranberries. Store in airtight

Mini Meat Loaf Muffins

Definitely not the best picture, but don't let it deceive you! These mini meat loafs are delicious! The recipe is from Cooking Light, and it is one of our favorites. I usually serve with roasted potatoes and green beans for a healthy and comforting meal. And of course you can make a meatloaf cupcake, if that's your thing :)

6 servings (serving size: 2 "muffins")

* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 cup finely chopped onion
* 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 cup ketchup, divided
* 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
* 1 cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
* 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 large eggs
* Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Nutritional Information

276 (28% from fat)
8.6g (sat 3g,mono 4g,poly 0.8g)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rosemary Mustard Grilled Chicken

We made this marinade for chicken for the second time last night. It was really good and not hard to prepare. The chicken is supposed to marinate for at least 6 hours so it is important to make ahead of time. Recipe is from Kalyn's Kitchen.

1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. garlic powder or minced fresh garlic (fresh is best)
2 T crumbled dried rosemary (or use 3 T minced fresh rosemary)
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 T Spike Seasoning (optional, but recommended)
1 tsp. celery seed

This makes enough marinade for 8 chicken breasts &/or thighs.
Mix together all ingredients and marinate chicken for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Sticky Buns

These are what I consider "cheater" cinnamon rolls because it uses frozen white bread dough, thus cutting out a lot of the work. It still takes a while to make them though, just not too much "active" prep time. They were yummy though! The picture of them rising is courtesy of Nick, and the finished product is not so good of a picture because my photographer was unavailable. Recipe from Taste of Home .


* 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
* 2 (1 pound) loaves frozen white bread dough, thawed
* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 cup raisins (optional)- I did not use


1. In a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar and cream. Divide evenly between two greased 9-in. square baking pans. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside.
2. On a floured surface, roll each loaf of bread dough into a 12-in. x 8-in, rectangle; brush with butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Top with raisins if desired. Roll up from a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut each roll into 12 slices; place with cut side down in prepared pans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Remove from the refrigerator; cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
4. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake 8-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Whoopie Pies!

I made whoopie pies for boss's day to celebrate Julie's leadership skillz. Megan said they were her favorite thing I had made so far so I may have to make these again in the future. The only thing i did differently was to make them smaller than the recipe calls for. (I think it made around 20). The recipe is from Epicurious, and the photo is courtesy of Leggo my Meggo Lewis Photography.

For cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

For filling
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
11/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 cups marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make cakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.

Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.

Make filling:
Beat together butter, confectioners sugar, marshmallow, and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Assemble pies:
Spread a rounded tablespoon filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes.

Cooks' notes:
• Cakes can be made 3 days ahead and kept, layered between sheets of wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature.
• Filling can be made 4 hours ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.

Tomato Soup Cupcakes

I made these last month for goodie day at work but am just now getting around to posting them. I liked them a lot, and you would never guess that the secret ingredient is tomato soup. I found the recipe on the Vanilla Garlic blog. The only thing I changed was using cinnamon cream cheese frosting instead of regular cream cheese frosting.

Tomato Soup Cupcakes
Makes about 12 cupcakes

What You'll Need...
1 (10.75) ounce can condensed tomato soup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup of butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 1/2 cups of sifted self-rising flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
crushed walnuts (optional)

What You'll Do...
1) Set the butter and egg out and let them come to room temperature. Set the over to 325 degrees F (165 C).

2) Combine the tomato soup and baking soda in a bowl and let it stand. Use a deep bowl as the mixture will rise.

3) Cream the butter, sugar, and spices in bowl. Add the egg and mix for 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato soup and soda mixture. It will look funky, but don't worry.

4) Mix the flour and baking powder together, and then beat into the mixture until just combined.

5) Pour evenly into cupcake papers. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cupcakes will be soft. Let them cool then cover with icing. Let them sit overnight in the fridge so the flavors can meld, or just take one in each hand and start eating.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

What You'll Need...
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

What You'll Do...
1) Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. Beat them together until well combined.

2) Add the poweder sugar and cinnamon and then the vanilla. Add more powdered sugar if you want for desired thickness. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chicken Sausage Paella

This recipe is from Cooking Light and is one of our favorites. We made it for Big Ron's visit and Mom and Granny's visit.

4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

* 2 3/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
* Cooking spray
* 2 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage (or a similar turkey sausage)
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
* 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
* 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Combine broth and saffron in a small saucepan over low heat; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chorizo to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove chorizo from pan with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Add onion and pepper to pan; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add rice; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine and paprika; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in broth mixture and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in turkey, peas, and parsley; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Nutritional Information

297 (30% from fat)
9.8g (sat 3.3g,mono 4g,poly 1.6g)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chicken, Corn, Okra and Edamame Stew

I found this recipe which was adapted from Everyday Food on Culinary in the Country blog. It was tasty and easy to make to branch out from my two soups that I always make. I did make a couple changes by using cooking spray to eliminate the oil and adding okra. Photography courtesy of NCPilkington.

Cooking spray
1 1/4 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 plum tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
10 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed
10 ounces frozen shelled edamame, thawed
3/4 cup frozen okra, thawed

Heat dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, bell pepper, thyme, salt and pepper - cook until onion begin to brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste - cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken, tomatoes, chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil - reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until chicken is completely cooked, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Pull chicken out from the pot and place on a cutting board. Stir in corn, okra, and edamame - simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken back into the pot and allow to heat through for 1 minute.

Makes about 4 servings.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quick Tomato Vegetable Soup

This is an easy and tasty soup that I adapted from a Giada DeLaurentis recipe. I made it this weekend for Mom and Granny's visit to Wichita :)


* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
* 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
* 1 medium squash, halved and sliced
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce (recommended: Newman’s Own brand)
* 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
* 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/2 cup small pasta such as macaroni
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, zucchini, squash and garlic and saute until softened a little. Add the jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Honey Pecan Chicken aka "faux fried chicken"

Last night we had honey pecan chicken from Cooking Light. We first had this recipe for Valentine's day our junior year at Vandy, but we have had it several times since because we both really like it. I served it with sweet potatoes and broccoli.


1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lb chicken breast tenders
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 cups finely crushed cornflakes (about 4 cups uncrushed cereal)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400°.
Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken; set aside. Combine honey, mustard, paprika, and garlic powder in a small bowl; stir well. Combine cornflakes and pecans in a shallow dish; stir well. Brush both sides of chicken with honey mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture.
Place chicken pieces on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray, and bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is just the Nestle Tollhouse recipe but with 3 types of chocolate chips. They are a delicious "classic" cookie. I had some trouble with them spreading thinly so I chilled the dough on the cookie sheets before baking which helped a little.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz white chocolate chips
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Tomato Basil Frittata

We made this frittata for "breakfast for dinner" night. It was yummy and easy. I served it with fruit and wheat toast (biscuits for Nick :) )

7 egg whites
4 whole eggs
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/3 large onion
hand-full of spinach
1/4 cup goat cheese
italian seasoning (approx 1/2 tsp)
3-4 oz sliced smoked ham
olive oil cooking spray

1. Beat eggs and egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
2. In an iron skillet or other 9-10" skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onions and spinach until soft and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Add tomatoes followed by basil and ham. Saute for an additional minute.
4. Add eggs to pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Sprinkle with italian seasoning.
6. Scatter goat cheese across frittata as it is cooking.
7. When the eggs are almost set, put under the broiler for approximately 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Squash Gratin

We made this Saturday night with squash and tomatoes from Julie's garden. It was delicious! I found the recipe from the blog "Kath Eats."

2 tomatoes
2 squash
2 zucchini
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup shredded 2% cheese ( I used a mixture of parmesan, mozzarella, provolone)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Slice squash and zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Lay on a sheet pan, spray lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil until lightly browned.
2. Slice tomatoes.
3. Saute garlic for a couple of minutes in a pan sprayed with olive oil.
4. Mix 1/2 cup cheese with basil and garlic.
5. Preheat oven to 350.
6. Layer squash and zucchini sprinkling cheese mixture in between each layer in a 8x8 glass baking dish.
7. Place tomatoes in layer on top.
8. Top with mixture of remaining cheese and panko.
9. Bake for 25 min, then broil for 5 min (but watch closely).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Waldorf Chicken Salad Wraps

I found this recipe on the blog "Culinary in the Country" but it is originally from Ellie Krieger. It is a good, healthy version of chicken salad I made a couple small changes in the recipe below. Also, we only had 12 oz of chicken and it turned out fine. It would serve 4 people. We both liked it a lot , and Nick is even willing to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow:) It is good for a quick dinner. The nutrition values are approximate as I made a couple minor changes from the original.

3/4 cups nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Honey Mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced thyme
1 pound cooked, skinless chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup seedless grapes, sliced in 1/2
1/4 cup toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts
1 medium granny smith apple, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 celery stalks, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large leaves Romaine lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
4 whole-wheat wraps, about 8 inches in diameter

In a small bowl, combine the Greek-style yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and thyme until smooth. Fold in chicken, grapes, celery, walnuts and apples. Season with pepper.
Place 1 lettuce leaf on a wrap. Spoon about 3/4 cup of the chicken filling onto wrap and roll wrap around filling.

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving Calories 420
Total Fat 15g Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7g Polyunsaturated Fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 80mg Sodium 470mg
Protein 36g Carbohydrates 35g
Fiber 3.5g

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches

These  peanut butter sandwich cookies are delicious and reminiscent of the  the girl scout cookies, Do-si-dos. The recipe from All Recipes had many good reviews for a good reason! They are full of peanut butter flavor, but not overwhelmingly so. I definitely recommend trying them- they won't disappoint!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches (from
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
PB Filling:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
  3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
  4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butterwith the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the milk. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.