Monday, May 28, 2012

CREAMY CHEESY DILL CAULIFLOWER

1 head (approximately 2 lb) cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp light cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp dill
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Place cauliflower in a saucepan and add enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook about 10 minutes until tender; drain.

Place drained cauliflower in a food processor and add the softened cream cheese that has been cut up.  Add the dill weed.  Process until smooth.

To serve, top with the Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 100 calories, 5 g (3 sat.) fat, 9 g carbs, 7 g protein

Note:  This is a good substitution for mashed potatoes.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS

1 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 or 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1/4 cup minced cilantro
8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa, if desired
guacamole, if desired
sour cream, if desired

Heat the olive or canola oil in a large skillet; saute the mushrooms and jalapeno peppers until they are tender most of the liquid is evaporated.  Add the cilantro and cook, stirring, for about a minute.  Remove skillet from the heat.

Heat another tablespoon canola or olive oil in another large skillet and add one tortilla.  Top with a half cup of the cheese, a third cup of the mushroom-pepper mixture and top with another tortilla.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until lightly browned.  Repeat process until you have used all the ingredients.  Add addition oil as needed.

Serve quesadillas with salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream, if desired.

Yield: 4 quesadillas

Friday, May 25, 2012

CRISPY GINGER PORK CHOPS

2 pkg Shake 'n Bake Pork Seasoned Coating Mix
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
8 (2 lb) boneless pork loin chops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a shallow dish or pie plate combine the sesame seeds, coating mix, and ginger; dredge chops through the coating mix to coat well.  Place in a single layer in a baking dish or pan.

Bake chops 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through.  Good served with rice for an oriental-type meal.

Yield: 8 servings

Note: This is a Kraft Foods recipe.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

2 cups stuffing mix
1 cup hot water
16 (approx. 1 lb) large mushrooms
3 tbsp butter
1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 small red or yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat broiler.

Combine the stuffing mix and the hot water in a medium bowl; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Remove mushroom stems and chop.

Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and cook the mushroom caps until lightly browned.
Arrange in a shallow baking dish, cap side down.

Add the stems and the peppers to the skillet; cook, stirring until tender.  Stir the mixture into the stuffing mixture.  Spoon the stuffing into the mushroom caps and drizzle with the melted butter.

Broil, 5 to 7 inches from the heat, around 5 minutes until heated through.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

EASY CUCUMBER-HERB-CHEESE DIP

Cucumber is so refreshing; perfect in dips!

1 block (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup finely shredded cucumber, drained well
1/2 shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.  Place in serving bowl, cover and chill a couple of hours or until ready to serve.

This dip is great served with assorted crackers and fresh veggies.

BRUNCH ARTICHOKE SQUARES

8 eggs
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
salt to taste
pepper to taste
12 saltines, crushed fine
2 (6-oz each) jars artichoke hearts, drained
parsley for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly spray an 11 x 7-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, lighlyt beat the eggs; add the cheese, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed crackers, and drained artichokes mixing together well.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.  Before cutting into 6 or 8 squares, allow to cool slightly and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

QUICK AND EASY CINNAMON BISCUITS

3 tbsp cinnamon
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tubes (8-oz each) refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a medium bowl.  Place the melted butter in a separate bowl and then separate the biscuits.  Dip the biscuits, one at a time into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 20 biscuits


FRENCH ONION HAMBURGER SANDWICHES

1 lb lean ground beef
4 hoagie-type hard rolls (8" size), split lengthwise
1 can (10.5-oz) condensed French onion soup
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp finely chopped sweet pickle
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
dash of freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, cook beef until browned; stir during cooking to break up.  Drain off the fat and wipe skillet with a paper towel.  Return beef to skillet.

Heat the rolls.

Stir the soup, ketchup, pickle, mustard, and pepper into the skillet and heat to boiling; reduce heat to simmer and heat through.  Spoon the mixture evenly between the rolls by placing mixture on bottoms of rolls.  And any condiments you might desire and place tops on sandwiches.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Monday, May 21, 2012

CONFETTI MACARONI SALAD

1 pkg (7-oz) elbow macaroni
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup medium-fine chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp chopped pimiento
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup mayo-type salad dressing
2 tbsp lemon juice

Cook the macaroni according to package directions, omitting any salt or butter; drain.

In a large mixing bowl gently combine all ingredients,tossing well.  If necessary, add up to another 1/4 cup mayo-type dressing.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: serves 6 to 8

Saturday, May 19, 2012

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH MUSTARD SAUCE

4 (1 lb total) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 to 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 tsp freshly ground coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Very lightly oil a baking dish that will hold the breasts in l layer; set aside.

Rub the oil over the chicken then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Place in the prepared baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees about 15 to 20 minutes until the juices run clear.

Mustard Sauce:
2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white grape juice
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Snipped fresh chives or parsley for garnish, if desired

In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the sour cream until smooth; set aside. 

In a small saucepan combine the broth, grape juice, and onions.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook 3 to 5 minutes until the liquid is reduced to a cup.  Gradually whisk in the sour cream mixture.  Bring back to a boil and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes until thickened.  Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard until completely blended.  Serve over the chicken and sprinkle with the chives.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, May 18, 2012

WHITE CHOCOLATE PARTY MIX

16 cups popped popcorn
3 cups Frosted Cherrios
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 pkg (14-oz) regular M&M's
1 pkg thin pretzel sticks, broken in half
1 pkg (10-oz) toffee bits
2 pkgs (10-12 oz each) white baking chips
2 tbsp canola oil

Combine the popcorn, Cherrios, pecans, M&M's, pretzels, and toffee bits in a large (not plastic) mixing bowl.

In the microwave, melt the baking chips in the canola oil, stirring until smooth.  Pour the mixture over the popcorn mixture in the bowl and immediately spread out onto two large baking sheets to let stand until dry.  This will take around two hours.

Keep mix stored in an airtight container.

Yield: 9 to 10 quart

This is my version of a recipe I got years ago from a TOH magazine.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NACH0 CHICKEN CUPS

10 (8-inch) corn tortillas

To make tortillas into cups: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place 5 aluminum foil balls of about 4-inches in diameter on a baking sheet.
Spray a 10-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.   Over high heat, heat one tortilla at a time for about 5 seconds per side, until softened.  Drain on paper towels and immediately drape tortilla ver a foil ball on baking sheet.  Repeat with the 4 additional tortillas.  Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and leave on foil balls to cool.  Turn the cups over and remove the foil balls. Repeat the process with the other 5 tortillas.

Chicken Filling:
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover chicken or a deli rotisserie chicken works fine)
1 can (8-oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (4-oz) green chilies, drained

Combine all the filling ingredients ina 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat until heated through.

5 cups shredded lettuce
chopped red and/or yellow bell pepper for garnish
fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

To assemble: Into each of the tortilla cups, place 1/2 cup lettuce.  Top with 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture.  Garnish with the bell peppers and a sprig of cilantro.


Yield: 5 servings of 2 chicken cups

Note:  You may skip the cups and use 10 purchased tostada shells, if you prefer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PIEROGIES AND CHOPS

12-16 frozen potato & onion pierogies
4 bone-in3/4-inch  thick loin pork chops
1 tsp salt divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
8 tbsp butter, divided
1 large sweet onion, sliced, divided into rings
2 medium Golden Delicious apples, cut into quarter-inch wedge slices
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Prepare the pierogies according to the package directions.

While the pierogies cook, sprinkle the pork chops with half the salt and half the pepper.  Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chops  until the juices run clear; remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the onion to the skillet and saute in the remaining butter for about 3 minutes.  Add the apple and saute until crisp tender.  Stir in the sugar, vinegar and the remaining salt and pepper; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. 

Drain the pierogies and add them along with the chops to the skillet; stir to coat.


Yield: 4 servings


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CHERRY-PECAN CRISP

2 cans (21-oz each) Cherry Pie Filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pie filling evenly over the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan or dish.

In a small bowl combine the butter, oats, brown sugar, and pecans until crumbly.  Sprinkle mixture over the pie filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Monday, May 14, 2012

TOMATO-ONION SALAD

1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
2 tbsp olive or canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 can (16-oz) chopped tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup chopped red onion cut into rings
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 medium carrot, grated
1 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

In a cruet, combine the dressing mix, oil, vinegar, and water; set aside. (You will only use half with this salad.  Refrigerate remaining dressing for later use.

In a bowl with a lid, combine the tomatoes, onion, celery, carrot, and cheese; add half the dressing.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Yield: 4 servings of 3/4 cup each


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Berry Fudge Mocha Trifle*

1 jar (12-oz) Red Raspberry Preserves, divided
1 1/2 cups fresh red raspberries, washed, drained
1 jar (12-oz) hot fudge topping, divided
1/4 cup strong coffee
2 cartons (8-oz each) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (10-oz) purchased angel food cake, cubed
1 mint sprig for garnish, if desired

Combine the raspberries with 3/4 cup of the preserves in a small bowl, reserving 5 raspberries for garnish.

Place 2 tablespoons of the hot fudge topping into a zip-top plastic bag for drizzling later; set aside.  In a large bowl, stir the coffee into the remaining fudge topping until blended well. Stir one container of the thawed whipped topping into the fudge topping to make a mousse. 

Stir the other carton of thawed topping until fluffy.

Layer half the angel food cubes in a trifle bowl or a 3-quart glass bowl.  Spread half the mousse mixture over cubes; top with half the fluffy whipped topping.  Spoon all the berry mixture, except for 1 tablespoon to use as garnish if desired, over the whipped topping.  Top berries with the remaining angel food cubes then the remaining mousse.

Spoon the remaining whipped topping into a mound in the center of the trifle and top with the 5 reserved berries.  Snip a corner off the plastic bag of fudge topping and drizzle over all.  Drizzle reserved tablespoon of raspberry over the top, if desired.

Place the mint sprig next to the raspberries, if desired.


Allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.

Note: To drizzle hot fudge and reserved raspberry mixture, you may need to microwave for about 5 seconds.

*This dessert can easily be made diabetic-friendly by replacing the angel food cake, preserves, hot fudge topping, and the whipped topping with similar sugar-free items!

Friday, May 11, 2012

HAM & VEGETABLE QUICHE

Crust:
1 egg, beaten
3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

FILLING:
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 small red bell pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup fully cooked diced ham
1 tbsp minced fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup shredded Italian-Blend cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the egg, hash browns and Parmesan cheese; press onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie plate.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the crust is set and edges are just beginning to brown.

While the crust bakes, in a large skillet melt the butter and saute the zucchini and bell pepper for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the ham, basil, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl beat the eggs and milk together; add the zucchini and pepper mixture.  Stir in the cheese and pour into the crust.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until center is set.


Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Yield: 4 servings



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

EASY LAYERED SALAD

Note: This is a quick salad to make but must be refrigerated at least 2 hours. It is a great make-ahead salad to take to work, etc the next day as overnight refrigeration just makes it better.

3 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen peas, thawed
6 medium potatoes, cooked in lightly salted water and diced
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb sliced bacon, diced & cooked

In a large clear glass bowl, layer the above ingredients in the following order: lettuce, peas, potatoes, and onion.  Carefully spread the mayonnaise over the top of the onions.  Sprinkle the cheese over the mayonnaise and top by sprinkling the bacon over all.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours but may be chilled up to overnight.

Yield: 8 servings

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Easy Frontier Macaroni Dish

1 pkg (7-oz or 2 cups dry) elbow macaroni
1 can (15-oz) chili with or without beans
1 can (10-oz) condensed tomato soup

Prepare the macaroni according to package directions; drain.  Return macaroni to the saucepan and stir in the chili and the soup.  Combine well and heat over low heat until heated through.

Yield: 6 servings

Monday, May 7, 2012

ORANGE GINGER SCONES

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp sugar, divided
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp grated orange peel

In a bowl combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, ginger, salt, and baking soda.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Combine the egg, sour cream, and orange peel; add to the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 6 times.  Divide the dough in half.  Pat each portion into a 7-inch circle; cut each into 6 wedges.  Separate the wedges and place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Sprinkle the wedges with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Yield: 12 scones

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SPAGHETTI SALAD

8-10 ounces whole-wheat thin spaghetti, cooked according to pkg directions in salted water
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large Roma tomatoes
6 slices pepperoni, each slice cut into 9 to 12 pieces
6 tbsp bottled crunchy salad toppings
parmesan cheese for garnish

Drain spaghetti and place in a large mixing bowl; toss with olive oil.  Add the vinaigrette, tomatoes, pepperoni, and salad toppings.  Toss to coat well.

Transfer salad to serving bowl and garnish with Parmesan cheese.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving to chill thoroughly.  Before serving, toss again.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pepperoni Chips

They sell these in the Italian restaurant at the sports complex where my granddaughter plays volleyball.  So simple and easy.  Great snacks as you get all the oil and grease out of the pepperoni.  Quantities not given as you can make as many or as few as you want.

On a microwave-safe plate put down a double layer of paper towels.  Spread pepperoni slices out in a single layer.  Microwave 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the pepperoni is crisp.  Remove from the plate to another plate lined with a paper towel.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Arrange on serving platter.

Friday, May 4, 2012

SPINACH & SHRIMP FETTUCCINE

1 lb pkg fettuccine, uncooked
1 pkg (6-oz) fresh baby spinach
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions.

While fettuccine cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute the spinach and garlic for 2 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt.  Add the shrimp, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and the salt.  Saute about three minutes until the shrimp turns pink.  Drain the fettuccine and add to the skillet; toss to coat.

Before serving, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.


Yield: 8 servings

HOMEMADE TURKEY SAUSAGE PATTIES

Not only is this recipe quick and easy, it is healthy, too!

1 lb lean ground turkey (read labels to be sure it doesn't contain skin)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper
2 tsp canola oil

In a large bowl combine the turkey, salt, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and cayenne.  Using hands combine well.  Shape mixture into 8 equal sized patties.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet and cook patties over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side until the juices run clear.  Drain on paper towels before serving.

Yield: 4 servings of 2 patties each.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CRUNCHY PEA SALAD

1 pkg (16-oz) frozen peas, thawed
1 can (8-oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup diced red radishes
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp poppy seeds

In a large bowl combine the peas, water chestnuts, radishes, red bell pepper, and onion.

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, dill, garlic powder, and poppy seeds until well blended.  Pour dressing oer the vegetables and toss gently to coat well.

To serve, line a serving bowl with lettuce leaves and place the pea salad in the lettuce leaf bed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ONION & APRICOT CHOPS

4 (1/2" thick) boneless pork chops
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced & separated into rings
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 1/2 tsp cold water

In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat and brown the pork chops on both sides.  Add the onion and apricots.

In a small bowl combine the broth, marmalade, ginger, garlic, and nutmeg together; pour over the chops in the skillet.  Bring the chops and sauce to a boil then reduce the heat, cover the chops and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the chops are cooked through.

Remove the pork chops and keep warm.  Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a cup until blended; pour the mixture into the skillet.  Bring to a boil; cook while stirring for a couple of minutes until thickened.  Spoon sauce over the pork chops to serve.