Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cashew Apple Salad

Aren't we always looking for new salad recipes?
I love a good salad with lots of stuff in it and homemade dressing to top it off.
Trainer Momma is always a good resource for healthy recipes and that's where I got this salad recipe.
I will definitely be making this again.  It was a great combo of fruity/nutty/cheesy/sweet and salty.
Bag of spinach
Romaine lettuce, cut up (I added that)
Swiss cheese, diced (I shredded it)
2 large apples, diced (she used 4)
Cashews, lightly salted
(I also added some Craisins)

Dressing:
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds
1 tsp. dry mustard

*Blend the dressing in a blender for a few minutes until well combined.  Toss with salad.
I barely used maybe 1/4 of the dressing.  It's super thick and goes a long way once you start tossing it around in the salad.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Apple Crisp

My husband and I love warm, apple desserts with ice cream.  Our favorite is the Cinnamon Oblivion from Outback.  To die for.  Seriously.  A few weeks ago, I was needing some apple goodness in my life and found this recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I think I ate this every night for a week.  Yum with a capital Y!!


Apple Crisp

 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and slice thin
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Topping:

2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, nutmeg, and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples.
3.Combine the oats, 2 cups flour, brown sugar, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
4.Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.
5. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

*The topping was good but I would halve it next time.  It was a bit too thick for my liking. And I would bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Smoothies

I have wanted to get into smoothies for a long time.
They look so good and sound so healthy.  I just wasn't sure where to start.
What fruit do I use?  Do I use yogurt?  What liquid?  How much?  Do I need ice?  Do I need to sweeten it?
So many questions that I put off figuring it out for months.
I finally started experimenting to see what kind of smoothie was going to suit my fancy.  It took some trial and error, but I have found my smoothie groove.

Frozen fruit (peaches, pineapple, berries, mango, bananas)
Fresh fruit (whatever is in the fridge)
Greek Yogurt (I like FAGE Total 0%)
Spinach
Almond milk

*I take some frozen fruit (and a little fresh fruit, too, if I want), about 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, a handful of spinach, and enough almond milk to cover it all up.  Then I blend it until it's nice and smooth.  No need to use ice if you're using frozen fruit and no need to add any sweetener if you don't mind a little tartness to your smoothie.  You can't even taste the spinach, so why not?  I know that people also use fruit juice, water, or regular milk for the liquid.  I like the creaminess of almond milk and it's a lot less calories than juice or regular milk.

*What are your smoothie secrets???

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grilled Chicken Mac'n'Cheese

I got this recipe from my monthly Rachael Ray Everyday Food magazine.  I look forward to getting this magazine every month so I can read all the recipes start to finish.  Oddly enough I never try any of them.  So, I decided to go out on a limb and make this mac'n'cheese recipe.  I'll admit, it was a bit time consuming to make, but the finished product was delicious.  I loved the creamy cheese sauce (which I'm usually not a fan of) and the bacon gave it so much flavor!  It was even better the next day with some sauteed spinach.   




Grilled Chicken Mac'n'Cheese

  • 6 slices good-quality bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat short-cut pasta ( I used Penne)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider or chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk (I used skim.  It's all I had).
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped (didn't have this)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Gruy√®re cheese, shredded
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a rack placed over a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Chop and reserve. Switch on the broiler and position the rack in the center of the oven.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the instructions indicate, or until just shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta is working, heat a grill pan or cast iron griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle the chicken with EVOO to coat lightly, then season evenly with the paprika, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a cutting board and halve the pieces lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

While the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until light golden, 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the cider (or stock), then the milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme and season with salt, pepper. Stir in the cheeses until melted.

Add the chicken, bacon and sauce to the pasta and transfer to a casserole. Broil until bubbling and browned, about 5 minutes.



















Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Potato Vegetable Chowder

I had some red potatoes left over from another meal and needed to use them, so I looked at a few chowder recipes and used what I had in my fridge to make this soup.
I love creamy soup, especially when it has potatoes in it.
If you live somewhere where it's not 80 degrees today (Holly) then you might want some nice hot soup tonight.
6-8 red potatoes, cubed
baby carrots, sliced
celery, sliced
frozen white corn
2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
milk
salt and pepper

*Melt butter in a pot over medium heat and add flour to make a smooth paste.  Add chicken broth and half and half.  Mix well and then add as much milk as you think you need (a few cups).  Add the potatoes and veggies (as many of each as you like) and stir together.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for a good 30 minutes on low.  Taste it to see how much salt and pepper you need or want to add.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rocky Road Bars

 These bars are one of the best desserts I have ever had!  Seriously.  They are everything I dream about.  Chocolate, cream cheese, marshmallows and frosting.  We were first introduced to these dreamy bars at Nat's wedding reception in Utah.  Dave's aunt made them.  I won't mention how many I ate that night or how I thought about them for weeks after that.  All I knew was that I needed the recipe ASAP.  These would be perfect for Valentine's.  Or any occasion.  Or no occasion.  Just make them.  Pretty sure you will dream about them too!


Rocky Road Bars

1st Layer:
1 stick butter
1 oz dark choc.
Melt these 2 together, then add:
1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
¾ cup chopped nuts- optional

Layer 2:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ Cup butter, softened
½ Cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
2 Tb flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Spread first layer in greased 9x13 pan.  Mix second layer ingredients together, except chocolate cips.  Spread 2nd layer over base and sprinkle 1 cup choc chips on top. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

When done sprinkle with 2 cups mini marshmallows, put back in hot oven for 2 min or until puffy.

Frosting:
1 cup marg
1 oz dark choc
Melt these 2 together in saucepan then add:
2 oz softened cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup milk

Pour over warm marshmallows.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ranch Pork Chops

I got this tasty idea from my Grandma Tucker while my grandparents and aunt were visiting a couple of weeks ago.
My dad asked her if she had seen our recipe blog and she said, "When you're my age you don't use recipes.  You just pull out a pan and cook something."  Love it.
She told me that she made these pork chops for my grandpa and he loved them.  
I had to try it, and she wasn't kidding, they were good.
Pork chops
Ranch dressing seasoning mix

*Dump out seasoning onto a plate.  Dip pork chops in seasoning so both sides are coated.  Cook over medium heat on stove, in a little olive oil, until done.

*We ate them with these potatoes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Healthy Cookies

 Healthy cookies - is there such a thing?  That's debatable.  But with that said, these are pretty healthy.  It's not exactly love at first bite, but they grow on you.  I really liked them and didn't feel so blah after eating 3 at a time.  They are a fun, healthy snack and would be great for after school.  I got the recipe from Trainer Momma.


Healthy Cookies

1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1/2 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together.  Spoon onto cookie sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Other mix-in options:  raisins, craisins, flax seed, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, walnuts, anything really.

This batch made 53 cookies.  That makes it 88 calories each.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Butter Dips


Anything with butter in its name has to be good right? This is a quick bread recipe that is full of flavor. You can whip these little delights up in under 20 min (including baking time) and they will add so much to a meal.

Butter dips

¼ cup butter

2 cup flour

2 t sugar

2 t baking powder

1 t salt

2/3 cup milk

garlic salt

parmesan cheese

Turn oven on 450 9x9 pan. Put butter in pan and melt. Combine dry ingredients, add milk stir until forms. Roll dough into 9x9 square and cut into bread stick shape. Dip them into the melted butter (make sure and get both sides. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 min.

I made them to go with this soup.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 cups cubed potatoes

1 chopped onion

3 cups chicken broth

Cook until potatoes are almost done.

3-5 cups fresh or frozen chopped broccoli (steam just a little bit till tender)

1 cup butter

1 cup flour

4 cups cream, or half and half or milk (you may need more).

2 cups graded cheese

In big pan melt 1 cup butter and 1 cup flour, mix with wire whip until bubbly. Add 4 cups cream, or half and half or milk. Cook until desired consistency. Then add 2 cups graded cheese. When melted add veggie mixture and serve.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pasta Spinach Salad

A couple of weeks ago, our nephew got baptized and Brett's mom brought this salad to the luncheon afterwards.
It was love at first sight and then love again at first bite.
It's one of the best pasta/spinach/chicken salads that I've ever had.
I got the recipe and made it for the Super Bowl gathering at Ryan and Jen's house.
4-5 chicken breasts, grilled and cubed
16 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 can black olives (I left those out)
1/2 cup Craisins
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 package baby spinach

*Toss together and add this dressing:

1 cup oil
1 1/2 Tbs. red onion
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1 Tbs. poppy seeds

*Blend in blender for 2 minutes.

*Refrigerate salad and dressing separately until ready to serve.  Add dressing right before serving.  After adding dressing (you might not need all of it) sprinkle sugared pecans or walnuts on the top.  You can make them yourself or just buy some honey-roasted pecans or walnuts in the baking aisle.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

SLOW COOKER STICKY WINGS


I got this recipe from my daughter-in-law, Becky. Just in time for the Super Bowl. My little 2 year old granddaughter, Sadie can eat more of these than her 3 brothers put together. You can adjust the "heat" with the addition or subtraction of the cayenne pepper.

Slow-Cooker Sticky Wings

Serves 12 as an appetizer
In step 3, the oven rack should be 10 to 12 inches from the broiler element. Don’t wander off while the wings are in the oven.
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 pounds chicken wings, halved at joint and wingtips removed (or just buy the already-cut pack in the freezer section)
¼ cup water
¼ cup tomato paste

MAKE RUB Pulse ginger, garlic, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper in food processor until finely ground. Add mixture to slow cooker insert. Add chicken and toss until combined.
COOK AND COOL Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Using slotted spoon, remove wings from slow cooker and transfer to clean large bowl (discard liquid in slow cooker). Let wings cool 20 minutes (or cool briefly and refrigerate up to 24 hours).
SAUCE AND BROIL Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. The oven rack should be 10 to 12 inches from the broiler element. Don’t wander off while the wings are in the oven. Set wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray rack with baking spray. Whisk water, tomato paste, remaining sugar, remaining soy sauce, and remaining cayenne in bowl. Add half of sauce to bowl with cooled wings and toss gently to coat. Arrange wings, skin side up, on prepared baking rack. Broil until wings are lightly charred and crisp around edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip wings, brush with remaining sauce, and continue to broil until well caramelized, about 3 minutes. Serve with ranch!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole

I am definitely not the president of the sweet potato fan club, but when Brett's mom made this for Christmas dinner, I had to give it a try.  I was surprised at how much I liked it and decided that sweet potatoes weren't so bad after all.  Better late than never.
The crust on top was my favorite part, but really, the whole dish was delicious.
4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar (no wonder I liked it)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

*Mix together sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk, salt, butter and vanilla.  Pour into a 9X13 pan and set aside.

Topping:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans

*In a separate bowl, mix all four ingredients and crumble over sweet potato mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

*My mother-in-law said that she would probably use half the sugar next time (in the sweet potato mixture) and it would still taste really good.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

White Chicken Chili

I got this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  She has fabulous recipes with practical ingredients.  Anyways, if you haven't heard, it's been snowing like crazy in our neck of the woods.  We haven't left the house for a few days.  We are itchin' to get out!  In the meantime, I made some soup to warm our buns and take the edge off.  Melanie calls it, "The Best White Chicken Chili."  I totally agree.

White Chicken Chili

*Serves 6
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies (if you like less kick, add just one can)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream


Put all ingredients into crockpot except sour cream and whipping cream.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  30 minutes before serving, add sour cream and whipping cream to soup.  Mix well.  Serve with cheese and tortilla chips.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Easy Rice

Image courtesy of thatsfit.com

This isn't really a recipe, more of an idea.  The box of chicken broth that I buy recommends using broth to make rice instead of water.  I've always wanted to try it and I finally did.  I love it!  Just make rice according to directions and replace water with chicken broth.  So easy.  I added a little butter too.  I don't think I'll ever go back to plain water!
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