Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cinnamon Yogurt Muffins with an Almond Streusel Topping

Cinnamon Yogurt Muffins with an Almond Streusel Topping

Prepare the streusel topping first by combining 2/3 finely chopped almonds with 1/3 c packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp melted butter.  Mix well and place in freezer while preparing the muffin batter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 12 muffin tin pan.  In a large bowl whisk 4 tbsp butter that has been melted and cooled, 2/3 c sugar, 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla and 1 c plain yogurt.

Stir in 2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Fill each muffin tin with batter and sprinkle the chilled streusel on top, lightly pressing the crumbs in so they adhere to the batter.  Bake for 18 minutes and let cool.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

White and Milk Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

White and Milk Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Preheat your oven to 350* and prepare a bundt pan for baking.

In a mixer, cream 1 1/2 c sugar with 12 tbsp butter until it is fluffy.  Add 3 eggs, 1 egg at a time.  When mixed, add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 1/4 c yogurt.  

In a separate bowl sift together 2 1/2 c flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and a pinch of salt.  

While having the mixer on a low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until combined.  

 Evenly spoon half the batter into the bundt pan.  Top with half your streusal mixture which is a combination of 1/3 c packed brown sugar, 2/3 c flour, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 4 tbsp cold butter cut into pieces crumbled together.

Once half the batter has been topped with half the streusal as well, sprinkle milk and white chocolate chips on top- enough to your liking.

Repeat with remaining batter, streusal and chips.

Bake for 60 minutes and let cool to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Eggnog and Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Eggnog and Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies

Stir together 1 c sugar, 1 c softened butter, 1/2 c milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp eggnog extract.

Stir in 3 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder and pinch of salt.  Mix in until dough is formed.  

Divide the dough in half and add red food coloring to one portion of the dough.  Cover both portions and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until firm.

Heat your oven 375* and place 5 candy canes in a ziploc bag to crush while the dough sits out for a few moments.

Roll both portions of dough into about 4 inch ropes on a floured surface.  One all the dough has been prepared into their ropes, lightly twist one of each and curve the tops onto a cookie sheet to create the shape of a candy cane.  Repeat until all the dough has been formed.

Bake 10 minutes and immediately after removing from the oven top with crushed candy cane- as the cookies cool, the candy will harden and adhere to the candy cane cookies.

Cool compeletely and enjoy!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blueberry Yogurt Crumb Cake

Blueberry Yogurt Crumb Cake

Preheat oven to 350* and prepare a 9 x13 pan.

In a small bowl make your topping- mix together 1 c sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 c flour and a pinch of salt.

In another bowl whisk 2 c flour and 1 tsp baking soda- set aside.

In a large bowl- or if you have a stand mixer, cream together 1/2 c butter, 1 c brown sugar and 1/2 sugar on high for a few minutes.  

Whisk together 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 c plain non-fat yogurt in a small bowl.  Add this to the butter mixture in two parts to be sure each part is incorporated before adding the next.  

Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix for about another minute.

In the pan, pour half the batter - top with 1/2 c blueberries and half the topping mixture.  Repeat with batter,  another 1/2 c blueberries and the remaining topping.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes- until the center of the cake is set.

Cool and enjoy!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Honey Glazed Ham with Swiss and Gruyere Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Honey Glazed Ham with Swiss and Gruyere Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Most years my Dad is given a ham at work and my parents share it with myself and my siblings.  Our portion arrived yesterday and what goes better with ham than scalloped potatoes?

I tried a new recipe that was super tasty so here it goes ... be prepared for a long baking time, but it is worth it!!

Preheat the oven to 350*.  Prepare a 9 x13 pan so the potatoes don't stick.  After slicing 2 lbs of russet potatoes into 1/8" slices, lay 1/3 of the potatoes in the pan.  Season the potatoes with pepper and layer 1/2 c diced onions and 1/2 c of swiss/gruyere cheese.  Add a few slices of chopped, cooked turkey bacon with 1 tbsp fresh parsley and 1 tbsp fresh chives.  

Repeat this process again beginning with the potato slices and follow the stated order above.  Finish with the remaining potato slices.  Pour 2 1/2 c fat free half and half over the potatoes and cover with foil to bake for about an hour.

After the hour of baking, remove the foil and bake another 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the moisture is absorbed.

With about 15 baking time remaining for the potatoes, place the ham in a pan with a bit of honey to carmelize and cook through.  

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spider Cider

Spider Cider

This is just a cute name for an orange juice based hot cider.  

In a saucepan heat 3 c orange juice, 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cloves, 1/2 c brown sugar and 1/4 c honey.  Stir well and keep or serve.  

To make the cups a bit more festive this Halloween evening, I drew some spiderwebs on the mason jars and a few colored paper straws for fun!

We are planning on a hot cup when we get home from our Fall Festival tonight!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall S'more Owls

Fall S'more Owls

My boys like dressing up for the fun of Halloween, but my hubby and I aren't big on the spooky aspect that comes with Halloween so we have fun with other decorative and baking options - this is one of them!

Super easy ...

Break graham crackers in half so the two rectangular parts are still stuck together.  Slice a large marshmallow in half and place the sticky sides up, side by side.  

I then placed yellow Wilton candy melts with the dollop side down on top of the marshmallow's sticky side up.  By placing these sides together it will help the other pieces melt and stick best.

Place in the microwave for about 5 seconds - just enough for the marshmallow to puff up a bit.  Gently press the yellow candy into the marshmallow.  Immediately place a chocolate chip on top of each candy melt and a candy corn in the center.

Such a quick and yummy treat for the Fall season

Friday, October 26, 2012

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

In a small saucepan cook 4 tbsp flour with 1 c milk, stirring constantly until the texture becomes thick like a paste.  Let it cool to room temperature.

With an electric mixer, beat 1 c softened butter with 1 c sugar until creamy.

Beat both mixtures together on high speed until smooth and then add 1 tsp vanilla- give it another minute to mix.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then use on your baked goods!

Braydon and I used it to top our pumpkin ginger cupcakes this morning instead of using our cream cheese frosting recipe!

Turkey Lasagna Improv

Turkey Lasagna Improv

Last night I had prepped and started dinner with Lasagna as the plan ... until I realized I was a few lasagna noodles short to finish the dinner- SO, I continued as planned but instead of using the lasagna noodles in layering dish, I used Radiatori noodles since that is what I had on hand.  Granted, the noodles didn't hold the shape of a classic lasagna, but the taste was just as good!

To get started, begin boiling noodles in a pot and at the same time place oil in a deep pan with about 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic and 3/4 c diced onions.  Let cook until it begins to brown and add 1 pound ground turkey.  I seasoned my turkey with basil, red pepper and a few other italian seasonings- feel free to season to your liking.  Once the turkey has cooked completely, add about 1/2 c diced tomatoes, 1/2 c milk and a can of tomato sauce.  Continue to cook on a low/medium simmer to incorporate your flavors, but not so much to where the turkey will begin to dry out.  

At this point, add 15 ounces of fresh ricotta cheese, 1/2 c of monterey jack cheese and 1/4 c of parmesan cheese.  Stir well to mix in with the turkey.  

The noodles should now be boiled and drained.  

Prepare a 9 x13 pan and coat the bottom with 2 c of the turkey/sauce.  Then cover with noodles.  I added a complete layer of provolone cheese to the top of the noodles and then repeated the process again with more turkey/sauce, noodles and provolone cheese- I topped with a bit of parsley at the end for extra garnish. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*

As always, using ground turkey instead of ground beef and non-fat/low-fat options of cheeses and milks will lower your fat and calorie intakes.

This was a big hit and made enough for leftovers for tonight!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kid Approved Mac and Cheese

Kid Approved Mac and Cheese

My boys love the Kraft Mac and Cheese, but I don't like that is a processed food, SO I tried a few recipes, altered measurements and I think I have figured out a homemade rendition!

Boil noodles and drain them- add 5-6 tbsp butter to the noodles with a can of chedder cheese soup.  Mix together until it has melted.  Then add 3/4 of a can of evaporated milk and 2 c of shredded cheddar cheese.  Add or take away more or less cheese upon your preference.  Continue to stir on low heat until everything is creamy and cheesy.  

To try to cut down on the fat intake since there is a lot of potential here, use Smart Balance instead of your butter, the Campbell's Healthy Request version of the Cheddar Cheese Soup and Fat Free evaporated milk.  The taste truly is just as good and you can feel good about giving your kids a better option to boxed mac and cheese!!  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Italian Panko Breaded Chicken with Melted Provolone Cheese

Italian Panko Breaded Chicken with Melted Provolone Cheese

This meal is really easy and super tasty!  Defrost as many chicken breasts as your family will eat, I took out 3.  

In a ziploc bag pour in about 2 1/2 c panko bread crumbs, 1/4 c onion, a dash of red pepper, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp rosemary.  Be sure to mix all the seasonings together.  

In a separate bowl pour in enough italian dressing to completely coat the chicken.  If you have time in advance, marinating the chicken as long as possible will increase the flavors!  In the event that you are preparing all at once, simply dip each piece of chicken in the dressing and then in the panko bread crumbs and place in a prepared baking pan.  

Preheat your oven to 350.  Once all the chicken has been dipped in the dressing and the bread crumbs, top with provolone cheese and bake, covered for 40 minutes.  Remove the lid or foil and continue to bake until the cheese has become golden brown.  

Serve with your favorite side or vegetable and enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

I have begun doing preschool curriculum at home with Braydon.  Some days we do an activity, one day we might take a fun trip and other days we might have a cooking day based off of the letter we are learning.  Since we have begun with A, we learned about apples and apple trees so we thought it would be fun to make our own applesauce.

To begin- peel, core and slice about 8 apples and place them in a large pot along with a few strips of orange or lemon peel, 3-4 tbsp lemon juice, some cinnamon sticks, 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c white sugar, a dash of nutmeg and 1 c water.

Mix together, cover your pot and bring to a boil.  Once bubbling, lower to a simmer and allow to cook for about 25 minutes until the apples have softened and form an applesauce texture. 

Be sure to remove the peels and cinnamon sticks before serving.

 Let cool and enjoy!  We had a warm bowl with our lunch to finish our day of A!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bacon Cream Cheese Wrapped Chicken Breast over Buttermilk Alfredo Linguine

Bacon Cream Cheese Wrapped Chicken Breast over Buttermilk Alfredo Linguine

Today was a low key afternoon and I was so grateful for it.  Our little family has had quite a few changes in schedules and activities in the last month so it was nice to have our whole family home early in the afternoon after school.  While my hubby played some games and read books with our boys I had the opportunity to prepare a dinner that I might not have, if it weren't for a little alone time in the kitchen.

One thing lead to the next as I rummaged through my pantry and fridge for ingredients I needed to use up and this is what I came up with!  It was a huge hit and it has made the list of Can you please make again soon?  As a Mom, I consider that a success.

Bacon Cream Cheese Wrapped Chicken Breast: 
So, to get started-defrost 3 chicken breasts and place in a prepared baking pan.  In a bowl combine 8 ounces of fat free or low-fat cream cheese, 1 cup of finely chopped onion, a few dashes of cayenne pepper, a heaping tsp of minced garlic and a dash of pepper.  Stir together until combined, but not too much to cause the cream cheese to soften and lose solidity. 

At this time preheat your oven to 400*.  Take a chicken breast- spoon and smooth the cream cheese mixture over the chicken breast.  Place enough on to evenly distribute the mixture amongst the chicken you have prepared.  Once the cream cheese mixture has been placed on the chicken, wrap 4-5 slices of turkey bacon around the chicken breast with the seam underneath to secure the bacon's placement and set in the pan.  Continue this process with each piece of chicken.

I had a few tbsp of cream cheese mixture remaining that I placed around the wrapped chicken before baking and I let it cook for 45 minutes at 400*.  In the last few moments you can also set the oven to broil and crisp the bacon if that is your preference.

Buttermilk Alfredo Linguine:
While the chicken baked, I boiled a package of linguine noodles.  

While the noodles were cooking, I prepared my sauce.   Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan and stir in 2 tsp of flour.  Once incorporated, whisk in 1/2 c of milk with 1 c of buttermilk.  Continue to stir in 1 dash of nutmeg, 1 tsp of minced garlic and 1 tsp of pepper.  Then add 1 c of parmesan cheese, continue to stir until the sauce begins to thicken.  Add the cooked noodles to the sauce.

Serve the buttermilk alfredo linguine with the bacon cream cheese chicken on top- finish with a pinch of parsley and enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Homemade Toaster Pastries

Homemade Toaster Pastries

I made sugar cookies with the boys this morning and before I got started I doubled my ingredients to make these pastries after- the recipe below is a single batch.

In a bowl add 3 1/2 c flour, 2 tbsp baking powder, 2 eggs, 1 c butter, 1 tbsp vanilla and one can of 14 oz sweetened condensed milk.  Beat until the dough forms and chill in between baking batches.

I used a mold, but if you don't have one, cut out rectangle shapes in your dough after it has been rolled out.  On one rectangle place a tbsp of jelly and then top with another dough rectangle.  Press the edges closed to seal.  Repeat until all your dough is used and bake for 18 min at 350 degrees.  I topped with sanding sugars before baking as well.  

Other fillings that would be great are peanut butter, nutella or lemon curd!

Let cool and enjoy as a breakfast on the go, a yummy snack or dessert.

The Tried and True Sugar Cookie Recipe

The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe!

The boys asked if we could make super hero cookies, so we used our impressions in our cookie dough and they were thrilled!!

I have used quite a few recipes for homemade sugar cookies, and this is my favorite.

In a bowl add 3 1/2 c flour, 2 tbsp baking powder, 2 eggs, 1 c butter, 1 tbsp vanilla and one can of 14 oz sweetened condensed milk.  Beat until the dough forms and chill between batches to keep firm.

We rolled our dough out, designed each cookie to look different with captions and characters and baked for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Braydon always loves to watch the goodies bake!

Let cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pizza Ebelskivers

Pizza Ebelskivers

I begin by making a traditional pancake batter.  In a bowl mix together 1 c of flour, 1 c of milk, 1 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of oil, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1 egg.  Take your ebelskiver pan and coat it well with oil.  If you are in search of a great pan, I have a nonstick ebelskiver pan and turning tools from Williams-Sonoma and I love them.  I highly recommend the turning tools, but toothpicks can also be used.

Once the pan has warmed up, fill each bowl with 1/2 tbsp of batter.

I made the ebelskiver batter from our breakfast recipe and added some Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute to give it a more seasoned flavor, as opposed to a sweet one.  I followed the same routine for breakfast ebelskivers, but instead I prepared a tomato base sauce and sliced string cheese for my fillings.

In my ebelskiver pan I placed the batter and then a dollop of the sauce ...

then I placed a piece of the cheese on top of the sauce ...

and topped it all with another layer of the batter.  I completed this process until all my ingredients were used.  We used a marinara sauce for dipping as well.  If you missed the thorough steps to making ebelskivers, check out the ebelskiver blog ... if you are up to date with it all, enjoy this new take on the ebelskiver as an appetizer or light dinner- which was a perfect finger food, especially for our boys!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lemon, Sesame and Ginger Chicken with Edamame and Asian Noodles

Lemon, Sesame and Ginger Chicken with Edamame and Asian Noodles

I love cooking with my wok- the high heat and quick cooking is great for nights when I don't want to leave my oven on for an hour.  I have made this meal a few times now and it has become a favorite amongst the boys.  Any time we can all sit around the table and enjoy the same meal, it is a success!

To get started, slice 2 chicken breasts into small cubes.  While doing so, place about 1/4 c of oil in your wok with 1 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic.  Keep in mind that the high heat and the oil will burn you if you aren't careful- just as a precaution I cover my wok with a splatter shield to minimize the popping oil.  Carefully added the cubed chicken to the wok with 2 tsp of ginger.  Once the chicken begins to cook through, start boiling water on your stove to cook your noodles.  I prefer Udon noodles as they are very similar to linguine noodles- but Japanese ...  I didn't have them on hand, so I boiled fusilli noodles and it worked just the same.

At this point the chicken shouldn't be raw anymore.  I poured a lemon, ginger and sesame marinade over the top of the chicken and allowed it to caramelize and glaze over.  Creating this marinade is fine as well- combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, ginger, lemon juice and sesame seeds.  The sauce will bubble and boil- stir occasionally to season all sides of the chicken well.  

When the noodles are done boiling, remove them to drain and add about 8 ounces of cooked edamame to the chicken in the wok.  Continue to stir to incorporate all the flavors to the edamame as well as the chicken.  Let cook for 5 more minutes in the wok and remove all the chicken and edamame and set aside.

This is when I make my noodles, it takes only a few moments.  Re-season the wok with another heaping tbsp of minced garlic, 1/2 c diced onions, 1/4 c rice vinegar, 1/4 c soy sauce and a few dashes of Togarashi seasoning.  This seasoning is found in most Japanese markets and makes these dishes taste so authentic- it consists of sesame, ginger, orange peel, red pepper and chili pepper.  
Once the wok has been seasoned with these contents, add the noodles to the wok and mix well to ensure all the noodles are evenly coated with your sauce.  If you are looking to make edamame by itself in the wok- this same marinade used to season the wok is great for that as well.

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Leek Chicken Stock with Noodles and Bagel Garlic Bread

Leek Chicken Stock with Noodles
Bagel Garlic Bread

For the past 8 months our family has done everything on a very strategic budget- pretty simple: if you don't have the cash to buy the item, don't buy it!  That being said, I shop once a month- yes only once, and when the groceries are up, they are up!  I obviously don't have my family go hungry, but creativity and planning is huge.  I make a little extra for the hubby's lunch the next day and the final week of the month, I often feel like I am on those cooking shows that have the mystery baskets that you have to create meals from- I honestly love the challenge and my hubby and kids typically enjoy those meals the best!

Well, today I woke with a sore throat and thought to make chicken soup, regardless of the fact that it is July in Southern California- comfort food is still comfort food when you don't feel well!  This week is our families final week of groceries before going shopping again and I didn't have a lot of the ingredients I would use to typically make my chicken noodle soup, so instead I made this version tonight, adapting to what I did have-

Boil a pot of water for your noodles, in another pot heat 64 ounces of chicken stock (enough so that this meal turns into the hubby's lunch for tomorrow as well), and in a fry pan heat the pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil.  I had 2 cups of chopped leak that I browned in my fry pan, I then added 3 tbsp minced garlic, sprinkled in 2 tbsp parsley and 1/2 tbsp thyme.  I added a bit of red pepper as well as black pepper to season.  Once all these flavors were incorporated I chopped a chicken breast into bite size cubes and added it to the fry pan as well.  Once all cooked I added this to my boiling chicken stock.  At this time my noodles were finishing as well- drain and also add to the stock.  I finished the soup with 1/3 c of lemon juice and mixed all together.  I lowered my heat to get started on my other part of the meal.

It is always nice to have a side of bread with soup- but as stated, my options were limited as we were closing in our month's groceries.  I had 2 plain bagels left so I slice them in half and each in half again.  I placed them on a cookie sheet and drizzled olive oil over the tops and added garlic powder, parmesan and parsley.  I baked these for 5 minutes at 350 degrees and then turned my oven to broil for 3 minutes to make the tops crispy. 

Serve your soup and bread and enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rocky Road Fudge Brownies

Rocky Road Fudge Brownies

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 8x8 square pan.  Heat 1/4 c of butter and about 6 ounces of chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted.  Once melted, remove the saucepan from the stove.  Continue to add the following to the saucepan- 3/4 c of sugar, 2/3 c flour, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 2 eggs.  Stir all these ingredients into the melted chocolate and butter with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Once your batter is smooth, stir in another 1/2 c of chocolate chips and walnuts if desired.  Spread the batter into your pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Place marshmallows on top of the semi baked brownies and bake for an additional 10minutes.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fat Free Pear Granola Muffins

Fat Free Pear Granola Muffins

These are great because they are fat free- perfect for breakfasts on the go or a quick snack!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place your paper liners in 30 muffin tins.  To get started, wash and peel 4-5 pears depending on their size and then chop into 1/4 inch pieces.

In a large bowl combine 2 c flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt with 2 tbsp cinnamon.  Once mixed together, set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1 1/2 c brown sugar, 1 c nonfat milk, and 4 tbsp oil.

Add the egg mixture into the center of the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Gently fold in with a spatula 1 1/2 c oats and the diced pears.

Once fully combined, fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.

To make the granola topping mix 1 c oats, 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c brown sugar and a pinch of salt.  This will leave the muffins fat free.  If you want, feel free to cut in 6 tbsp butter to the crisp topping.

Top each muffin cup with just enough granola to cover the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, let cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Apple Sauce, Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Apple Sauce, Peanut Butter Banana Bread = A.MAZING

Warm your oven at 350 degrees and prepare your loaf pans for baking.  In a mixer add 4 bananas, 1 1/2 c cinnamon apple sauce, 4 eggs and 1 1/2 c sugar.  Once mixed together add 1 c peanut butter, 4 c flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 4 tsp vanilla, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp baking powder.  When batter is smooth, pour into your prepared pans and bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes.  Let cool, slice and enjoy!

The perfect sweet flavor with a hint of peanut butter!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homemade Garlic Artichoke Hummus

Homemade Garlic Artichoke Hummus

It is official, I will never buy hummus again! SO easy and super yummy.

In a food processor or blender add:
 15 oz of garbanzo beans, drained
14 oz of artichoke hearts, drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 c fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1/4 tsp red pepper

Blend well until it is the consistency desired, dip (I used my multigrain crackers with flax, sunflower, sesame seeds, quinoa and brown rice- which is super tasty too) and enjoy!

Keep leftovers in fridge for about a week.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken with Pasta

Creamy (LOW FAT) Crock Pot Chicken with Pasta

This meal could not be any easier!  Place 2 chicken breast in the crock pot (double this if you obviously need more).  Add 8 ounces of fat free cream cheese and 2 cans of reduced fat cream of chicken soup.  Top with 1/4 tsp of each- thyme, garlic, onion powder, rosemary, oregano, basil and sage or sprinkle in your favorite italian seasoning combo.

Let it cook on low for about 4-5 hours.  Boil noodles and when ready add to your creamy sauce.  Top with your chicken and enjoy!

Best part about this ... you get the creamy taste with out the fatty calories, YUM!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Individual Bake In Apple Pies

Individual Bake In Apple Pies

These are so fun because once these are baked, you have individual apple pies that require no plate as the apple skin is the bowl!  A little time is required to prep, but it pretty simple from that point.

Wash and slice the top of your apples- I made 6.

I squared out the core and carefully removed it.  

Once the core was out, I scraped the remaining apple out and placed the salvaged apple in a bowl.

I coated the insides of my apple skins with a bit of lime juice to keep them from browning.

Take the apple and place in a saucepan with 1/2 c brown sugar, 1 tsp ginger and 3 tsp cinnamon.  Let it caramelize and allow the apples to cook and soften.  Fill each hollowed apple shell with the apple pie mixture.

Now, make your pie crust-
In a bowl combine 1 c flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 c milk and 3 tbsp melted butter.  Mix well and roll out to be sliced into strips 1/4" thick.  

Create a lattice design with the dough strips on top of each of the apples.  Place the apples in a 8x8 baking sheet with enough water in the base to completely cover the bottom of the pan.  

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.  Let cool slightly so filling doesn't burn your mouths and serve alone or with vanilla ice cream! YUM!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites

No-Bake Energy Bites

I have seen different versions of this recipe circulating for a bit now and I thought it was about time to give them a try- 2 immediate draws ... they are super healthy and super easy to make!

I am sending half with my hubby to work so he has a nutritious snack and the other half are for home for my boys and I to enjoy when we get the munchies.

It truly doesn't get any easier- In one bowl combine all these ingredients...

1 1/4 c old fashioned oats
1 1/4 c coconut flakes
1/2 c chocolate chips
2/3 c peanut butter
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1/2 c honey
2 tsp vanilla

Other yummy add ins would also be dried fruits, berries, nuts or sweet chips (butterscotch, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, etc)

Mix until all ingredients are combined and let chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Once chilled, roll into small donut hole sized balls.  Be sure to store in an airtight container as they will keep for about a week ... but lets be honest- they won't last that long!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baked Zucchini Chips with Grilled Cheese and Dressing

Baked Zucchini Chips with Grilled Cheese and Dressing

This is one of those meals that is SUPER easy and so so yummy.  It was a stay at home, low key evening so I just planned on grilled cheese.  To try and give a bit more flavor I used provolone cheese with a bit of Italian dressing in between sourdough bread, coated with vegetable oil, not butter- so good!

Rather than adding a few chips, I got started on this part a bit sooner and I baked zucchini.  Oh my goodness, so good!  I thinly sliced 4 zucchini and coated the pan and the zucchini in oil and placed them on a baking sheet.  I topped with Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute ... garlic and pepper would also be great if you have those and baked at 225 degrees for 45 minutes and flipped them for another 30 minutes.  

Nothing beats a healthy vegetable substitution to a chip with your sandwich right?!