Saturday, March 31, 2012

HOOSIER OLD-FASHIONED SUGAR COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the butter, oil, granulated and powdered sugars, mixing until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt; add to the butter mixture and blend together well.  Using your hands, shape the dough into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Using a glass bottom that has been dipped in water ten into colored sugar, flatten each cookie.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes just until lightly browned.

Yield: Approximately 100 small cookies

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SALSA & SHRIMP CREAM CHEESE DIP

4-oz Neufchatel cheese*
1 jar (16-oz) thick and chunky salsa of your choice
1 can (6-oz) tiny shrimp, drained
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
assortment of whole-grain crackers for serving

With an electric mixer in a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth.  Gradually add the salsa into the cream cheese until well blended.  Stir in the shrimp, celery, and green onions until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time. (Best if allowed to chill at least an hour.)

Serve with the crackers.

*You can use regular cream cheese, if desired.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EASY STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST ROLLS

1 box (6-oz) your favorite Stuffing Mix
1 cup water
2 egg, lightly beaten
6 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
1 can (10 to 11-oz) cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the stuffing mix and the water in a bowl; let stand 5 minutes then stir in the eggs.

Spread the stuffing/egg mixture over the pounded chicken breasts to within 1/2-inch of the edge.  Starting at a short end, roll the chicken breast up over the stuffing mixture to make a roll.  Place rolls, seam side down, in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or pan.

Mix the soup with the milk until smooth.  Pour soup over the chicken rolls.  Sprinkle the paprika over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PORK CHOPS WITH CIDER-MOLASSES GLAZE

1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider
2 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 slices bacon, fried crisp, drained, crumbled
4 thick bone-in loin pork chops
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line rimmed baking sheet with foil then spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a small saucepan whisk the molasses, cider, and mustard together and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a medium-low temperature and cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup; about 10 minutes.

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle with the salt, garlic, and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the bacon drippings over medium-high heat; add the chops to the skillet.  Cook the chops until browned on each side, about 8 to 10 minutes total.  Remove chops from skillet and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Spoon a tablespoon of the molasses mixture over each of the chops.  Place in preheated oven and bake about 10 minutes until the pork chops are cooked through.

To serve, drizzle the remaining sauce over the chops and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.


Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, March 24, 2012

CHICKEN & GARLIC PASTA

8-oz bow-tie pasta, cooked according to pkg directions & drained
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped sun-fried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add chicken pieces and cook approximately 5 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic, cook and stir about half a minute.  Stir in both types of tomatoes and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Add the cream, salt, and pepper to the chicken and bring to a boil.  Add 3 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro, the basil and the oregano.  Reduce the heat to medium and gently boil about 8 minutes or until slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through; stir occasionally.

Stir the pasta and the pine nuts into the creamy mixture, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and the remaining cilantro.

Yield: 5 servings of 1 1/3 cups each = 680 calories

Friday, March 23, 2012

DELICIOUS AND EASY MASHED SWEET POTATOES

1 1/2 lb (approx. 5 cups) sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp Reduced-Fat Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
1 tbsp dried onion flakes
1/2 cup Light Sour Cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
ground cinnamon for garnish

Cook the potatoes in boiling water in a large saucepan for 10 minutes or until they are fork tender.  Pour into a colander to drain.

Using the same saucepan, over medium heat, heat the salad dressing; add the onion flakes.  Return the sweet potatoes to the saucepan and mash lightly.  Add the sour cream and brown sugar; cook until heated through, stirring constantly.

Garnish with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon before serving.
Shown here served with roast beef.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE CHIP, OAT COOKIES

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick oats, raw
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degree.

Melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a small saucepan and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy; add the melted chocolate, egg, and vanilla extract. 

Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl; add to the chocolate mixture blending together well.  Stir in the remaining cup of chocolate chips. 

Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 10 minutes or just until set.  Do not overbake these cookies; the centers will still look soft when cookies are done baking.  Cool for a minute on the cookie sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in a tightly covered container.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies of  97 calories each.

Monday, March 19, 2012

CHEESEBURGER WITH TOMATOES & GREEN CHILIES

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
6 slices your favorite cheese
6 multi-grain buns, toasted if desired
1 can (10-oz) diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained

Shape beef into 6 patties.

Grill 7 to 9 minutes per side or until done to 160 degrees.  Top with cheese slices and continue to grill until cheese starts to melt.

Place burgers on bottom half of buns and top with the tomatoes & chilies then the top half of the buns.

NOTE: Burgers can be cooked in a skillet on the stovetop on medium heat until done as above.  Continue as directed above.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

REALLY EASY MEXICAN-STYLE DIP

8-oz Velveeta Mexican Cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt*

In a 1 1/2 to 2-quart bowl or dish microwave the cheese on high for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir until the cheese is completely melted.  Stir in the yogurt and microwave another 30 second; stir to blend well.

Serve dip with tortilla chips, assorted whole-grain crackers, and/or an assortment of fresh veggies.

*May use sour cream if you prefer.

Note:  This makes a great topping for baked potatoes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HAM-IT-UP CRESCENT SNACKS

1 can (8-oz) crescent rolls
4 thin slices ham (approx 4" x 7")
4 tsp prepared mustard
1 cup shredded Swiss (or your choice) cheese
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp melted butter for brushing

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Unroll crescent dough into 4 rectangles.  Press perforations to seal.  Place a ham slice on each rectangle and spread each with 1 teaspoon of the mustard.  Sprinkle the cheese over the ham and mustard. 

Starting at the shortest side, roll up and press edges together to seal.  Brush lightly with the melted butter and coat the rolls with the sesame seeds.  Cut each roll into 5 equal slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Yield: 20 appetizers or snacks


Saturday, March 10, 2012

CHOCOLATE POTS DE CREME

2 cups (12-oz pkg) milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
whipped cream for garnish, optional

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, pour the chocolate chips and the cream together.  Microwave on high for 1 minute, just until the chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.  Stir in the vanilla.
Pour into 6 to 8 demitasse cups or tiny dessert dishes.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, top with a dab of whipped cream, if desired.

Note: This is a recipe I got from HERSHEY'S.

Friday, March 9, 2012

EASY CHICKEN MILANO

6 (1 1/2 lb total) skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll each piece of chicken in the flour then dip in the beaten eggs.  Roll in the bread crumbs until coated well.

Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken.  Cook until chicken is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Mix the marinara sauce and cream in a small bowl; reserve 2 tablespoons.  Pour remaining sauce mixture into a baking dish that will hold the chicken in a single layer.  Arrange the chicken pieces in the sauce.

Mix the mozzarella, Swiss, and Parmesan cheeses together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the chicken.  Top with the reserved 2 tablespoons of sauce.  Bake, loosely covered with foil, about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

GREEN SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES & CARAMELIZED NUTS

1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tbsp granulated sugar

Toss into a medium nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes stirring constantly; sugar will form a golden brown syrup and should evenly coat the almonds.  Spread in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet or waxed paper to cool.  Break into small pieces; set aside.

2 cups packed torn fresh spinach
2 cups packed torn Boston lettuce
2 cups stawberry halves
1/3 cup bottled creamy poppyseed salad dressing

In a large bowl toss the spinach, Boston lettuce, and the strawberry halves.  Drizzle with the poppyseed dressing; mix lightly.  Sprinkle with the caramelized almonds.  Serve immediately on chilled salad plates.


Yield: 6 1-cup servings of 150 calories each

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BLACK BEAN DIP

1 can (15-oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup your favorite salsa
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth, scraping down sides once.
Serve dip with tortilla chips.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Sunday, March 4, 2012

WALNUT-EGG SALAD SANDWICHES

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup drained sweet pickle relish
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
24 slices whole-grain bread

Beat the cream cheese in a mixer bowl until light.  Add the onion, bell pepper, relish, and walnuts; mix well.  Add the eggs and mix gently.

Spread the filling over half the bread slices and top with the remaining slices.  Serve whole or cut in half for a meal or slice each sandwich into 4 slices for finger sandwiches or appetizers.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

QUICK AND EASY GROUND BEEF STROGANOFF

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (4-oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
2 tbsp catsup
1 tsp prepared mustard
4 cup hot cooked noodles or brown rice
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup sour cream

In a large skillet brown the ground beef with the onion, mushrooms, and garlic until beef is no longer pink; drain well.

Stir the following ingredients into the drained beef mixture; bouillon, salt, hot water, catsup, and mustard.  Place lid on skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

Combine the flour and cold water blending until smooth.  Gradually stir the flour mixture into the meat mixture.  Cook and stir until mixture thickens and boils.  Reduce the heat and stir in sour cream.  Cook mixture just until heated through.

To serve, place hot noodles or rice on serving platter and top with the meat mixture.

Yield: 4 servings