Monday, July 25, 2011

Healthy Fried Zucchini

    Learning to cook healthier foods seems to be going very successful for me lately. I love zucchini, but steaming it all the time gets a little old. SO....I do love it fried, but that's not too healthy. This dish is done in the oven, but it's almost as though they were really fried. So yummy!



    • Canola oil cooking spray
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2-by-3-inch sticks
    • 2  egg whites, lightly beaten

    • Directions:
Preheat oven to 475°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine flours, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a large sealable plastic bag. Dip zucchini in egg white, shake in the bag to coat, and arrange, not touching, on the baking sheet. Coat all exposed sides with cooking spray. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes. Turn the zucchini and coat any floury spots with cooking spray. Continue to bake until golden and just tender about 30 minutes more. Serve hot.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roasted Peach Crisp

On my journey to eat healthier, I happened across "Cook Yourself Thin" on the lifetime movie network's website.  Browsing through the recipes, I found a peach crisp, which is, by the way, one of my most favorite summer treats.  So...I decided to try it! I was happy with the result. Of course it isn't as sweet as the normal crisp because brown sugar isn't used, but I would definitely make this again. I might try a different nut on top, like a pecan instead of the almonds, but really tasty.

2-3 large ripe peaches, quartered and pitted
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons Splenda
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Arrange the peaches, cut side up, in a small glass or ceramic baking dish, and drizzle with honey. Pour 2 tablespoons water in the dish. Bake until tender and tops are caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together egg white, sugar, oil, salt and cardamom until well blended. Stir in almonds and oats until evenly coated. Spread mixture in an even layer on a small, rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven alongside the peaches and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. (The mixture will crisp as it cools.)

4. Transfer each peach half to an individual serving dish. Break the almond mixture into large pieces, and arrange decoratively on peaches. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to see how different a chocolate chip cookie would taste if I traded out the white flour for whole wheat flour. They are WONDERFUL. These came out soft and couldn't even tell I changed the flour out! Something new to try....maybe a little healthier too!?!




3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bourbon Bacon Brownies

  Browsing through my email, I came across an email from Tablespoon.com with an interesting dessert. Well, if you know me, I've got to try something new, so I ran the idea past my hubby for his Father's Day dessert and it was a very interested yes that I received back.  According to Tablespoon.com, these are a very manly dessert.  So here they are.  I'm not really a big fan because to me, it seems the bourbon overtook all the things I love about a brownie. My husband liked them, but he did say "it is weird having to chew a brownie more than normal, but they are good."


1 pkg dark chocolate brownie mix
1/2 cup cook bacon, crumbled
3 TBSP Bourbon
1/4 cup Bourbon

Preheat oven according to directions on package for and 8 x 8-inch pan.  Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions.  Fold in crumbled bacon; stir in 3 tbsp bourbon.  Pour brownie batter into a lightly greased 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake as directed on package (about an hour), or until a toothpick inserted two inches from the edge of the pan comes out mostly clean.
Remove brownies from oven and immediately (and carefully) pour 1/4 cup bourbon on them. Cool in refrigerator completely before slicing and serving.

**Let me know if any of you have tried this out. I'm curious to hear other's people's takes on these**

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Whoopie Pies


While Whoppie Pies are considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition, they are increasingly sold throughout the United States. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers' lunchboxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!" It is thought that the original Whoopie pies may have been made from cake batter leftovers.  he whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine (not to be confused with the official state dessert, which is blueberry pie).
So for Father's Day I decided to make Whoopie Pies for my Dad and my husband.  Growing up, I remember my dad going crazy when my mom would make these for him and I totally see why. These are a  light and fluffy piece of heaven!



  • Cake
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix

Filling
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Directions:

To make the cakes: Prepare mix as directed on package except using only 3/4 cup of water. Drop batter onto greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper to line pan) in 2 1/2 to 3 inch circles. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool.


To make the filling: In a saucepan, combine milk and flour and cook, stirring constantly until it forms a thick paste. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, beat sugar and shortening until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add cooled flour mixture and beat until double in volume.
Turn the little cakes over on their backs. Spoon a dollop of filling onto half of the little cakes. Place the other half of the cakes on top of the filling to form sandwiches.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Strawberry-Banana Crumb Muffins

It's that time of year again...Strawberry Season!  My kids and I picked about eleven pounds of berries, so I decided to try to make some muffins using the strawberries. My little girl wanted me to put bananas in the batter as well, so I decided to try it! So glad I did! These are so moist & tasty!!



Muffin Ingredients:


  • 2 cups bread or AP flour 
1/2 heaping Tbsp Baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 Large eggs
1/2 cup milk (use whole milk for a richer muffin)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 whole banana, chopped

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl until well blended.  Mix in the melted butter, eggs, and milk  until combined. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full, sprinkling some of the crumb topping (see below) on each muffin. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow the muffin pan to cool completely before removing the muffins.


Crumb Mixture:

  • 2/3 cup cake flour

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 8 Tbsp softened butter, cubed


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lemon-Sesame Chicken & Rice

Looking for something quick and easy for dinner? This is the perfect recipe for that. About 20 minutes or so and it is almost as though you have a gourmet dinner!


For the Sauce:
 1/4 cup soy sauce
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP sesame oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp splenda (or sugar)

Combine all the sauce ingredients and warm in a small sauce pan.

To complete the recipe:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
16 oz chicken breasts, cut into strips
canola oil
Cooked rice with peas

Combine flour, pepper, and garlic powder in a large ziploc bag. Add the chicken & shake to cover the chicken.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken strips in a single layer. Cook for about 4 minutes, turning once, or until crisp and golden brown.

Spoon rice onto a plate, top with chicken and drizzle with sauce. 
ENJOY!!



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chilaquiles Casserole

Exercising and eating healthier, got me searching for a healthy recipe for Cinco de Mayo. I am so very glad I found this one. So tasty and very easy to make!  For my own touch, I added shredded chicken to this. Perfect, easy, healthy dinner! 


1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced
    1 medium zucchini, grated
    1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed
    1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
    1 1/2 cups corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    12 corn tortillas, quartered
    1 19-ounce can mild red or green enchilada sauce
    1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
    Shredded chicken (buy one of those rotisserie chickens)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the pan. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken & Asparagus Crepes

I have been living in a hotel for the past few weeks waiting for our new home to be built. Cooking dinner has been a challenge. Limited space, only 2 little burners in the kitchen and no oven. Flipping through my Food Network Magazine, I found a recipe for Chicken & Asparagus Crepes, but they required baking in the oven. I decided to throw my own little spin on these. They ended up coming out terrificly delicious! I will definitely make these again once I am in my new home exactly the way I cooked them here in the hotel.

3 TBSP butter
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 small onion, diced
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed & cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

In skillet over med-high heat, saute onions and asparagus with butter. Add salt, pepper, thyme, & garlic powder. Cook until onions are translucent. Add shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, chicken broth, and parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add lemon zest. Once the filling is hot, spoon into crepes and roll up. Top with extra chicken and parmesan cheese.
Enjoy!









Crepes
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP melted butter

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. In a small pan or crepe pan, ladle a small amount of batter into the pan and spread thin. Cook until brown and flip and brown the other side.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

The new thing nowadays it seems is bacon in desserts. Many of the cooking shows I watch I see them making chocolate covered bacon, adding it to cupcakes, cookies...whatever. So...I saw a post from www.tablespoon.com on facebook with a recipe for candied bacon chocolate chip cookies. HAD to try it. I baked them today and my 4 year old came in the kitchen and said "Momma, those cookies were wonderful wonderful wonderful. I loved the bacon in the cookies, it was just enough." I know these sound a little funny, but they are definitely worth the try!

Ingredients

  • For the candied bacon:
  • 8 slices center cut thick bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • For the cookies:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. 11Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 22Place bacon in a single layer on a foil lined sheet.
  3. 33Sprinkle brown sugar on top of bacon strips. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until crispy, making sure to turn bacon over after 10 minutes.
  4. 44Remove from oven and place on a wire rack for cooling. Once bacon has cooled chop it finely.
  5. 55Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  6. 66Sift flour and baking soda.
  7. 77In a medium bowl, cream butter with the white and brown sugar.
  8. 88Add vanilla, egg, and egg yolk to the bowl and beat until light and creamy.
  9. 99Add flour mixture and mix well.
  10. 1010Add diced candied bacon and chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  11. 1111Place golf ball sized balls of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cookies sit on the pan for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns

Searching for a yummy sticky bun recipe, my good friends at Relish Magazine offered this one to me. I have added a few extra things to it, but this is an easy breakfast treat! You will definitely score points with this recipe! You can make this the night before or you can make it the same day.



Apple Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Buns


For the Dough:


1/4        cup warm water (105° to 115°)
1          package active dry yeast
1/4        cup granulated sugar
3/4        cup whole milk

4          tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan

3          large egg yolks
1          teaspoon salt
4          cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting



For the Filling:



4          tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4        cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1          tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2        cup finely diced apple or pear 
1/2        cup coarsely chopped pecans




For the Topping:



3/4        cup firmly packed light brown sugar

4          tablespoons honey

4          tablespoons unsalted butter
1          cup coarsely chopped pecans
1          cup finely chopped apples 



1. Start by making the dough. Combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy and active, about 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, left over sugar, egg yolks, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed until just blended. Change to the dough hook attachment and then slowly add the remaining flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and just a bit tacky (adding a little more flour if too wet). Form the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly oiled. Turn dough to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours. After the dough has risen, remove the plastic and flatten it down with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and let rest for 30 minutes. 



2. While the dough is resting, make the filling. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and apples or pears in a small bowl. Melt the butter and reserve for the next step.



3. Now, roll dough out into a 12" x 18" rectangle and brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar/apple mixture evenly across the buttered surface and roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Place seam side down on a cutting board and cut crosswise into 15 slices. 



4. It's topping time! Combine brown sugar, butter, honey and apples and pecans in a small saucepan over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Pour the mixture into a greased 9" x 13" pan.



5. Place your dough slices, flat side down, on the topping. Pack them in so that the slices are touching. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 



6. The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, then preheat oven to 375F. Bake buns until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and carefully invert onto a serving tray or baking dish. Let buns cool slightly and serve while still warm and gooey.