Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SPINACH FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

8-oz spinach fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
couple dashes of freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (3-oz) Shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions; drain.

Over low heat, melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan.  Stir in the cream, salt, and pepper; heat thoroughly. 

Add the drained fettuccine noodles and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until thoroughly heated.  Serve with the remaining cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Note:  To add more vegetables to your diet, melt an additional 2 tablespoons butter in a 10 to 12-inch skillet.  Add 2 cups frozen (thawed) vegetables and saute until vegetables are tender.  Stir into the fettuccine as prepared above.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SKILLET ZUCCHINI

2 tbsp canola oil
3 cups sliced medium zucchini
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 pkg (3-oz) shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat; add the zucchini, mushrooms, and bell pepper.  Cook mixture, while gently stirring, over medium-high heat approximately 5 minutes until the veggies are crisp-tender. 

Remove skillet from the heat and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.  Cover skillet and let stand a couple of minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

MUSHROOM RISOTTO

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
3-oz Shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half cream

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until tender.  Stir in the rice and water; bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and the half and half cream.

Serve with the remaining cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SPICY BAKED ARTICHOKE DIP

1 cup (4-oz container) grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can (14-oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 can (4-oz) green chilies, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp green onion slices
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Very lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or a quiche dish; set aside.

Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, artichoke hearts, chilies, and garlic together.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the green onion slices and chopped tomatoes over the top.  Serve with assorted crackers.

Yield: 2 cups dip  (Doubled Recipe Pictured)


Friday, November 25, 2011

SAUSAGE BALLS WITH ONION AND CELERY

2 lbs bulk sausage, uncooked
1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix (such as Bisquick-my favorite!)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup very finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup very finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash of Cajun seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together well.  Form mixture into balls, approximately 1-inch in diameter.  Bake for 15 minutes on ungreased baking sheet that has sides, until golden brown.


Yield: Approximately 70 appetizer balls.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

EASY FRESH CAULIFLOWER SOUP

1 (approximately 1 1/4 lbs) cauliflower
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp thyme
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg
dash of pepper
2 cups half-and-half cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Chopped parsley for garnish

Core the cauliflower and remove leaves; seperate into small flowerets.  Combine cauliflower and onion, thyme, chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender.  This will take about 10 minutes, more or less.  Remove the cauliflower and reserve approximately a third of it.

Transfer the remaining cauliflower mixture to a food processor (or blender) and whirl until it is a smooth puree.

In a 3 or 4-quart saucepan melt the butter over medium heat; stir in the flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.  Gradually stir in the cream and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.  Blend in the cauliflower puree and the cheese.  Heat stirring occasionally, until soup is steaming and the cheese melts.  Add the reserved cauliflower and cook until heated through, less than 5 minutes.


To serve, sprinkle some of the fresh chopped parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GINGERBREAD WAFFLES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup canola oil

In a mixing bowl blend the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and sugar; set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, molasses, and canola oil.  Stir the mixture well then add to the flour mixture.  Stir mixtures together until blended.

Cook in a preheated, oiled waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.  Serve with butter and syrup or topping of your choice.

Yield: 14 waffles.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CHEESY POTATOES WITH GREEN ONIONS

Approximately 6 cups cubed red potatoes
1/3 cup chopped green onions, including tops
1 carton (16-oz) French onion dip
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl combine the potatoes, green onions, dip, pepper, and garlic powder.  Transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle the cheese over top of the potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and potato mixture is heated through.

Yield: 6 servings.

BUFFALO SHRIMP NIBBLES

 2 1/2 tbsp butter
3 1/2 tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
2 dozen deveined extra-large shrimp with tails on
4 ribs celery, cut into sticks
lime wedges for garnish

Preheat broiler.
Line a baking sheet with rim with aluminum foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or on stovetop in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat; stir in the pepper sauce and garlic. 

Place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle shrimp with 3 tablespoons of the butter mixture.  Broil, turning once, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.  Toss in the remaining sauce. 

To serve, arrange the shrimp on a serving platter and serve with the celery sticks and remaining butter sauce.  Garnish with the lime wedges, if desired.



CREAM CHEESE PEAR AND ALMOND TORTE

Note: This recipe is listed on this quick and easy blog because it only takes a small amount of your time.  It does, however, need to be chilled for around 3 hours.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar*
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large fresh pears, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sliced plain almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat the butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a small bowl with mixer until light and fluffy.  Add both of the flours and mix well.  Press this mixture onto the bottom and an inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat the cream cheese and 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar in the same bowl, using an electric mixer, until well blended.  Add the egg and vanilla; mix well.  Spread this mixture over the bottom of the crust. 

Mix the last 1/3 of the sugar with the cinnamon.

Place the sliced pears in a large bowl and toss with the sugar/cinnamon mixture to coat the pears. Arrange the pear slices over the cream cheese filling mixture and sprinkle with the almonds.

Bake torte at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake another 25 minutes or until the center is set.  Allow to cool completely then run a thin knife around the sides of the torte to loosen from pan.  Remove the sides.

Refrigerate the torte for at least 3 hours before serving.

To serve, slice into 12 equal wedges.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ALMOND CHICKEN CASSEROLE

1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can low-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 tsp minced onion
1/2 cup crushed potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the chicken, mayonnaise, and soup until well blended.  Stir in the egg, celery, almonds, and onion.  When well blended, transfer to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the crushed potato chips over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Friday, November 18, 2011

RICE AND CRANBERRY PILAF

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp sugar, optional
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds

In a saucepan bring the broth, orange juice, and sugar, if using, to a boil.  Add the brown rice and cranberries; stir to blend.  Reduce the heat to simmer and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes; remove from heat.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Remove lid and stir in almonds before serving.


Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 144 calories, 5 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 199 mg sodium.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BAKED HASH AND EGGS

2 cans (15-oz each) corned beef or roast beef hash
4 to 6 eggs
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cream or milk per egg
1 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 1 1/2-quart oval or oblong casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread the hash over the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven but do not turn off oven.  Using the bottom of a custard cup, made a hollow in the hash for each egg.

Dot the hash with the butter. Break an egg into each of the hollowed out spots.  Season eggs with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover each egg with a tablespoon of the cream or milk.  Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until the eggs are set.

To serve cut the hash around the eggs and using a spatula lift to serving plates.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SPINACH AND POTATO BAKE WITH GROUND BEEF

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
1 lb russet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat milk
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet with the onions and garlic; drain well.  Return to skillet and add mushrooms, cooking until tender.  Stir in the spinach and the nutmeg; cover skillet.  Heat mixture until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Combine the mashed potatoes, sour cream, and milk.  Add to the ground beef mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and the cheese is melted.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: This is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes after the holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

RAISIN-ORANGE SCONES

1 pkg (2-crust size) piecrust mix
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup chopped raisins

In a small mixing bowl combine the buttermilk and raisins.  Let stand for 5 minutes to plump raisins.

While the raisins soak in the buttermilk, stir together the piecrust mix, sugar, orange peel, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center of this mixture.  Add the buttermilk and raisins to the well, all at once.  Using a fork, stir just until the dry mixture is moistened.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 12 strokes.  Roll dough out into an 8-inch circle; cut into  8 or 10 equal sized wedges.  Transfer the wedges onto lightly greased or sprayed baking sheet.  Bake uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

*If you don't have buttermilk, you can make it by putting 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1/2 cup.  Let stand about 5 minutes before using.

MALTED COCOA MIX

1 box (8-qt size) nonfat dry milk powder
1 bag or box (16-oz) powdered sugar, sifted
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups instant malted milk powder
1 3/4 cups powdered nondairy coffee creamer
miniature marshmallows, optional for serving

Combine the dry milk powder, powdered sugar, cocoa, malted milk powder, and nondairy coffee creamer in a large bowl.  Stir until mixed well.  Store in an airtight jar or canister.

Yield: approximately 16 cups of hot cocoa

To make individual serving:
Place a third cup of the above mixture in a mug.  Add 3/4 cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Top with miniature marshmallows, if desired.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SAND BALLS WITH HONEY

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
sifted powdered sugar for rolling

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, powdered sugar, and honey at medium speed until well combined.  Beat in the flour, walnuts, vanilla extract and the salt.  Mix together thoroughly, this may require using your hands. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls and place 1 1/2-inches apart on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes or until the cookies are just lightly browned.  While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.  Cool on wire racks and roll in powdered sugar a second time.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Saturday, November 12, 2011

PAPRIKA CHICKEN

2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 (1 1/2 to 2 lbs total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika*
1 tsp paprika*
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream (I suggest reduced-fat for health reasons)
Hot buttered noodles, optional

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened.  Add the chicken to the skillet; cover and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in the bell pepper, tomatoes, Hungarian paprika, and the parika.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

In a small bowl stir the cornstarch, salt, and pepper together.  Blend together with the sour cream; add to the skillet and cook 5 minutes, uncovered to allow the sauce to thicken.

Serve with the hot buttered noodles, if desired.

RICE AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

2 cups cooked rice, cooled to room temperature
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 tbsp lime juice

In a large bowl combine the rice, beans, tomato, cheese, and parsley.  Pour the Italian dressing and the lime juice overall.  Toss mixture to coat well.


Yield: 4 servings

Friday, November 11, 2011

BARBECUE GROUND BEEF MIXTURE FOR A CROWD OR TO FREEZE

4 lbs ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 bottle (14-oz) catsup
1 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Place the ground beef in a large skillet with the chopped onion.  Cook the mixture until the meat is brown and crumbly and the onion is tender.  Pour into a large colander and drain mixture well.  Return to the skillet and add the remaining ingredients. 

Bring the mixture just to bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer for a half hour.  If serving a crowd, place mixture on buns and set out an assortment of toppings.

Can be placed into pint or quart size zip-top freezer bags and frozen for a quick meal later.  If you freeze, label bags with contents and date before freezing.  To thaw place in the refrigerator overnight or all day to thaw and heat on low to medium heat in a saucepan.

Yield: 5 pints

Thursday, November 10, 2011

EASY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SUNDAES

For 4 sundaes:
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 pint vanilla ice cream
4 long-stemmed maraschino cherries
cookies, if desired

Stir the peanut butter and chocolate syrup together until well blended.  Divide the ice cream evenly between 4 dishes.  Spoon the syrup mixture over the ice cream.  Top each with a maraschino cherry. Serve with a cookie, if desired.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

EASY MINIATURE PIZZAS

1 can (10 3/4-oz) tomato soup
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
4 English muffins, split
4 to 8 slices Mozzarella cheese, cut in half*

In a saucepan combine the undiluted soup with the minced garlic and the oregano.  Stir with a wire whisk and heat over low to medium-low heat to blend the flavors.  When mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat. 

Place the cut sides of the English muffin halves on a broiler tray.  Spoon the soup mixture onto the muffins and spread to cover the tops.  Place the cheese slices over the tops, using 4 to 8 slices depending on the amount of cheese you prefer. 

Broil 5-inches from the heat until the cheese melts.  Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Yield: 8 mini pizzas or 4 adult servings or 8 child servings.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EASY ITALIAN-FLAVORED BREADSTICKS

1 can (8 count) refrigerated breadstick dough
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg white, beaten
1 tbsp water (cold works best)

Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and garlic powder; mix well and set aside.

Beat the egg white with the water; set aside.

Unroll the breadstick dough and separate at perforations.  Cut each into two strips lengthwise.  Brush the dough with the egg white/water mixture.  Remove 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture and reserve.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture over the egg white wash; fold strips in half lengthwise and twist to form a twisty breadstick.  Press ends together to seal.

Brush twists with the remaining egg white wash and sprinkle with the reserved cheese mixture.  Arrange on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 



Best served warm!

Monday, November 7, 2011

ITALIAN-FLAVORED POTATO SALAD

This is a great light potato salad that does not use mayonnaise.

5 to 6 medium new red potatoes, cooked, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red pepper
3 to 4 plum Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 jar (5 3/4-oz) pimento stuffed olives, drained and sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce leaves to line bowl, optional

In a large bowl combine the potatoes, garlic, red pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, basil leaves, olives, oregano, salt, and pepper; toss to coat well.  Cover bowl and refrigerate until serving time.

Serve the salad in a large lettuce-lined bowl, if desired.  Or serve on individual lettuce-lined plates, if desired.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

CHICKEN BITES AND MUSHROOMS with BROWN RICE

1 lb boneless skinless ckicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 to 12 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups cooked brown minute rice

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Lower heat to medium and cook garlic less than a minute.  Add the mushrooms, green onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, and half the salt and half the pepper; cook about 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the chicken and sprinkle the remaining halves of the salt and pepper.  Cook chicken, while stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through.

Stir the soy sauce, vinegar, and cilantro into the chicken mixture.  Cook for a couple of minutes.  Serve with the brown rice.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SALAD DRESSING (MAYO-TYPE) BISCUITS

2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp salad dressing
1 pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together until blended.  Place on a floured surface and knead lightly.  Cut biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or glass that has been dipped in flour.  Place cut biscuits in a lightly greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

BREAD DIPPING SAUCE

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to suit taste
Crusty bread
Yield: 1 serving
For more servings, multiply the ingredients by the number of servings needed.

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tbsp baking cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat while stirring until the butter is melted and the cocoa is blended in.  Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a full boil.  Stirring constantly, allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds.

This is a great chocolate sauce to serve over ice cream, pound cake, etc.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BACON AND CHEESE CRESCENT APPETIZERS

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
8 slices lean bacon cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp milk
2 cans (8-oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Set out a baking sheet.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, bacon, Parmesan cheese, onion, parsley, and milk  until well blended.

Separate the crescent roll dough into 8 triangles per can for a total of 16.  Cut each triange in half lengthwise.  Spread each piece of dough with a generous teaspoon of the cream cheese fillling mixture.  Roll dough up starting at the short side of the triangle.  Place, point side down, on the ungreased baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Yield: 32 rolls



Note: Instead of cutting the dough triangles in half, you can leave them whole and instead of appetizers, use them with a cup of soup for a light lunch.