Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CHICKEN BOWTIE PASTA

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 carton (10-oz) Philadelphia cooking creme
2 cups grape tomatoes
2 cups hot cooked bowtie pasta
12 fresh basil leaves, torn

In a large nonstick skillet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook the chicken over medium heat approximately 6 minutes until cooked through.  Stir in the broth and garlic powder; cook another 3 minutes.

Add the cooking creme and tomatoes to the skillet mixture and cook, stirring, another 3 minutes.  Stir in the hot, drained pasta and toss to coat.


Sprinkle the basil leaves over all before serving.

Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

EASY VEGGIE SALAD

2 bags (16-oz each) frozen California Blend (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots) Vegetables
1 bottle (8-oz) Italian salad dressing
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup McCormick's Salad Toppings

Steam frozen vegetables 3 to 5 minutes until crisp tender; drain well.

In a large bowl toss the vegetables with the remaining ingredients until completely coated.

Refrigerate until serving time.

Yield: 8 servings

CREAMY TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE

One of the best things to happen for busy cooks recently is the line of cooking cremes from Kraft Foods.  These cooking cremes are Philadelphia Creme Cheese products and make it simple for busy cooks to serve delicious dishes quickly.  Here ia a recipe from the folks at Kraft for a tasty tuna casserole.  Frankly, I don't eat tuna but my family thinks this is great.

1 tub (10-oz) Philadelphia Original Cooking Creme
2 cups egg noodles, cooked
2 cans (5-oz each) chunk light tuna in water, drained, flaked
1 cup frozen peas
1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, undrained
8 Ritz Crackers, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1 tbsp butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in 1 1/2-qt. casserole; cover.

Bake 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs and melted butter.

Stir casserole; top with crumbs.  Bake, uncovered, 5 min. or until topping is golden brown.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, October 29, 2012

NESTLE'S MAGIC MINT CHOCOLATE BARK

1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Nestles' Dark Chocolate And Mint Morsels

1/3 cup coarsely chopped oven roasted or toasted almonds

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Line small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

POUR morsels onto prepared baking sheet. Arrange morsels so they are touching each other in a single layer (roughly an 11 x 9-inch rectangle).

BAKE for 1 to 3 minutes or until morsels are shiny. Morsels will retain their shape. Remove from oven to wire rack. With tip of butter knife or wooden pick, immediately swirl morsels to create a swirled pattern.

SPRINKLE with nuts. Hold baking sheet 3 inches above counter and drop to settle nuts into melted morsels. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

VARIATION: Substitute broken pretzel pieces or another nut of choice for the almonds.

 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BROCCOLI AND CARROTS IN LEMON BUTTER

1 lb peeled baby carrots
2 lb broccoli florets
4 tbsp butter
1 bunch scallions, white & green separated
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp lemon juice

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the carrots and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp tender. Using a large slotted spoon, remove the carrots.  Place carrots in a large colander in the sink and run cold water over the carrots to stop the cooking.  Allow to sit and drain.

Return the carrot water to a boil; add the broccoli and cook about 5 minutes or until crisp tender.  Add to the colander with the carrots and run cold water overall.  Allow carrots/broccoli to drain well.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.  Add the white of the scallions and stir over medium heat for a couple of minutes until soft.  Add the broth, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil; add the carrots and broccoli along with the green of the scallions.  Toss and cook until heated through.  Drizzle with the lemon juice, tossing to coat.


Yield: 12 servings

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ORANGE-FLAVORED BANANA BREAD

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 can (6-oz) frozen orange juice cocentrate
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, blend together the orange juice, bananas, and eggs; add to the flour mixture.  Stir in the raisins and walnuts.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake bread at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until it tests done.

Remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Cut into slices and serve butter or cream cheese, if desired.

Friday, October 26, 2012

QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN & SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut into slices
1 pkg (6.8-oz) rice and vermicelli mix with Spanish seasoning
2 cups water
1 can (14-oz) seasoned chunky tomatoes with juice

Spray a large nonstick skillet (that has a lid) with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook about 5 minutes, stirring often, or until lightly browned.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Cook the rice and vermicelli in the skillet, stirring almost constantly, until golden brown.  Gradually stir in the seasoning from the mix, the water, and the tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Stir in the sausage and the browned chicken.  Place lid on skillet and cook on low approximately 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and chicken is cooked through.  Stir occasionally during this time.


Yield: 6 servings

Note: This is also a good recipe for diabetics as  each serving has only 11 grams carbs and 24 grams protein.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CRANBERRY SALAD

This salad is quick to make but part of it has to refrigerate overnight.

2 cups ground frozen cranberries
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Mix the cranberries, marshmallows, and sugar.  Cover mixture and refrigerate overnight.

Mix the apples, nuts, and whipped cream into the cranberry mixture.  Chill before serving.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

TACO-FLAVORED CHEESE TORTILLA ROLLS

1/4 cup soft cream cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp taco seasoning mix
4 (6-inch size) flour tortillas
8 slices American processed cheese
Salsa for serving

In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, cilantro, and taco seasoning mix; blend together well.

Make the tortilla rolls by spreading one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture over each of the tortillas.  Place two slices of the processed cheese atop each of the tortillas.  Roll each tortilla up tightly and wrap securely in plastic wrap; refrigerate.

Before serving, remove from refrigerator and slice each of the rolled tortillas into six pinwheels. 


Serve the pinwheels with your favorite salsa.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

EASY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg (12-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chocolate candy sprinkles

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder until light and fluffy.  Beat in the sour cream and vanilla.

Add the flour to the creamed mixture and mix together well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Refrigerate cookie dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll into 1-inch balls.  Pour the chocolate sprinkles into a cup or small bowl; dip cookie balls in the chocolate sprinkles.

Place cookies, chocolate coated side up, about 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes then gently remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

COLORFUL BELL PEPPER-SHELL SALAD

2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked whole-wheat shell macaroni
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

Whisk the balsamic vinaigrette with the mayonnaise until completely blended in a large bowl. 

Add the macaroni, bell peppers, onion, basil, and Parmesan cheese; toss to coat completely with the mayonnaise/vinaigrette mixture.


Chill until serving time.

Friday, October 19, 2012

ROASTED RED PEPPER DIP

1 jar (5-oz) roasted red peppers
1 can (4-oz) chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Min all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until well blended.  Chill until serving time. 

This dip is good served  with fresh veggies, chips, or whole-grain party crackers.

Yield: Approximately 3 cups

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CHICKEN CRESCENT ALMONDINE

1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp instant minced onion
3 cups cooked chicken (a deli roasted chicken, shredded, works great)
1 can (8-oz) water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 tube (8-oz) crescent rolls
2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9 x `3 x 2-inch baking dish or pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large saucepan combine the soup, mayo, sour cream, and onion to mix well.  Add the chicken water chestnuts, and celery; cook over medium heat just until heated through.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish or pan.

Unroll the crescent dough and form into 2 rectangles to cover the chicken mixture.  Sprinkle the cheese and almonds over the top of the dough.

Bake casserole at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BEEF AND RICE COCKTAIL MEATBALLS

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup quick cook brown rice
1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple in its own juice
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp ground ginger
8-oz French dressing
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, pineapple, carrot, onion, egg, and ginger; form into 1-inch meatballs.  Place meatballs on ungreased baking sheets with sides.  Bake at 400 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until browned and cooked through.

While meatballs bake, mix the French dressing and soy sauce together, whisking to blend well.  Serve the meatballs with the sauce.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SPICY MIXED NUTS

2 tbsp butter melted
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 can (12-oz) mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour nuts into a heat-proof mixing bowl.

Combine the butter, cumin, red pepper, and garlic powder until well blended; pour over the nuts while stirring to coat well.

Spread the nuts out over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and bake approximately 10 minutes.  Stir nuts after the first 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Cooled nuts may be served or placed in a airtight container for storing or giving as gifts.


Yield: 2 1/2 cups seasoned nuts.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

HOMEMADE CHILI BARBECUE SAUCE

1/2 stick butter
1 cup diced onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 bottle (12-oz) chili sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp grated lime peel

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter; add onion and garlic, saute' until tender.  Stir in the chili sauce until blended.  Add the lime juice, honey, water, pepper and lime peel; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook about 5 minutes.

May be kept refrigerated for up to a week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

CHEESY HERBED CRACKER SPREAD

1/2 brick (8-oz size) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
1/2 tsp paprika
dash of hot pepper sauce

Beat the cream cheese and sour cream together with electric mixer until well blended.  Stir in the shredded cheese, parsley, green onion, paprika, and hot pepper sauce until well blended.  Spoon into a small crock or bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Serve with a plate of assorted whole-grain party crackers.  May also be used to stuff celery sticks.

Yield: 2 cups

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

QUICK & EASY BACON CORNBREAD DRESSING

1 box (6-oz) cornbread stuffing mix
1/2 cup chopped onion
4-5 slices bacon, diced
1 tbsp melted butter
1 2/3 cups water

Cook the bacon and onion together in a medium skillet until bacon is cooked and onion is tender; drain and place in a 2-quart saucepan.

Add the butter, water and the seasoning packet from the stuffing mix to the saucepan, stir to blend well and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the cornbread crumb mixture stirring just to moisten.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff up with a fork before serving.


Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

COOKED COCOA ICING

Cooked icing may sound complicated but in reality it is very simple and quick and the taste is worth the little extra time!  This icing will remind you of fudge!

2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar and cocoa together until blended.  Add the butter, milk, and corn syrup to the sugar mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil mixture 2 minutes.

Transfer hot icing into a medium-sized heat-resistant bowl and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract.  Place the bowl into a large bowl of ice and beat about 5 minutes, or until of spreading consistency, using an electric mixer.

Use to frost cupcakes, using about a tablespoon per cupcake or frost a sheet cake or use as a filling and glaze on a layer cake.

Monday, October 8, 2012

MAYO-PARMESAN CHICKEN BREASTS

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayo
4 (1 lb total) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 tsp fine bread crumbs
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly spray a baking sheet or pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Arrange the chicken breasts on the prepared baking pan.

Stir the Parmesan into the mayonnaise.  Spread the mayo mixture over the tops of the chicken breasts.

Combine the bread crumbs and seasoning; sprinkle over the chicken breasts.


Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

HOMEMADE LOWFAT CHOCOLATE SHAKE

2 cups lowfat chocolate ice cream
1 1/3 cups fat-free milk
1 container (3.75-oz) sugar-free refrigerated double chocolate pudding cup
2 tbsp sugar-free chocolate syrup

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend just until thick, smooth, and frothy.
Yummy!

Yield: 2 servings

Note: This shake tastes almost like famous restaurant shakes but has about half the calories of most.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

TAILGATING OR IN-FRONT-OF-THE-TV HAM AND TURKEY SUB

Whether you plan to tailgate at the game or watch the game from your easy chair at home, this sub sandwich will be a hit!

1 loaf (1 lb size) French or Italian Bread (whole-grain preferably!)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 lb deli thin-sliced honey ham
1/2 lb deli thin-sliced smoked turkey breast
6 to 8 slices cheddar or American cheese (your preference)
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and drained
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
banana peppers, sliced thin, optional

Split bread in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through; spread the mayonnaise over the bottom half of the bread.

Place layers atop the mayonnaise as follows; ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, peppers-if using, and onion.

For tailgating, wrap sandwich tightly in plastic wrap until ready to serve.  Unwrap and cut into 8 to 10 equal pieces.  Otherwise, place sandwich on cutting board and cut into individual pieces.  Arrange on platter and carry to TV room!

Friday, October 5, 2012

CHEESE RAVIOLI WITH CREAMY VEGETABLE SAUCE

1 pkg (1-lb) frozen or fresh refrigerated cheese ravioli
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cut green beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh asparagus
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions.  Drain well.

While ravioli cooks, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add the vegetables to the skillet and saute over high heat until tender; reduce heat.

Add the evaporated milk, cornstarch, salt, and pepper to the vegetables in skillet.  Simmer, stirring almost constantly, for about 5 minutes until thickened.

Place the drained ravioli in serving bowl and pour the creamy vegetable sauce overall.

Sprinkle with he grated Parmesan.

 
Yield: 4 servings

CRANBERRY CABBAGE

10 cups (med head) shredded cabbage
3 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 pkg (6-oz) sweetened dried cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
3 tbsp butter

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the cabbage to the hot oil and cook, stirring constantly, until tender---about 5 minutes.

Stir the cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced by half---about 7 minutes. 

Remove cabbage from the heat and stir in the butter.

Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, October 4, 2012

CHEESY PARMESAN GRITS

1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 cups water
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil; gradually whisk in the grits.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-9 minutes or until thickened.  Whisk in the pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SOUTHERN BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup + 3 tbsp white cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly grease an 8-inch iron skillet or cornbread pan and heat in oven for 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt using a wire whisk.  Whisk in the butter.  When butter is incorporated whisk in the eggs and buttermilk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the heated iron skillet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 33 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, October 1, 2012

YOGURT POTATO SALAD WITH DILL

2 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cubed
1 cup whole kernel corn
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/3 cup water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

In a large saucepan cook the potatoes with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until almost tender, about 8 minutes.

Add the corn and simmer 1 minute.  Drain well.

Transfer potatoes and corn to a large bowl and toss with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Allow to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, water, and Dijon together until smooth.  Add the potatoes, celery, scallions, and chopped dill; toss to mix thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Note: This is a good make ahead recipe.  It is even better the second day when the flavors have been allowed to thoroughly blend.