Sunday, March 31, 2013

FRUIT PIZZA SQUARES


1 tube (20-oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pineapple slices, drained if canned
Maraschino cherries, halved
Mandarin oranges
Kiwi, peeled and sliced then halved
¼ cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice cookie dough as directed on package. Arrange the slices on a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Using floured fingers, press the cookie dough evenly into the pan sealing all seams. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Spread mixture over the cooled cookie crust. Arrange the fruit over the mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the orange marmalade and water, blending well. Spoon the marmalade over the fruit. Refrigerate the pizza at least an hour before serving.
 
Cut into squares to serve.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

MANGO AND AVOCADO SALSA

The salsa is delicious with meats, especially pork and chicken.

1 cup diced mango (the fruit, not a bell pepper!)
1 cup diced diced avocado
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp finely grated lime zest
1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, combine all the above ingredients; mix together well.  Chill until serving time.

Note: I specified the mango because having been born and raised in the midwest, I know many of you think a mango is a green bell pepper.  A true mango is a delicious fruit!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

HOMEMADE CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

4 tbsp butter
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups water
1 can chicken broth
1 cup half and half cream
fresh chopped parsley for garnish, if desired

Melt the butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan; add the mushrooms and onion, sauting until tender. 

Stir the flour, salt, and pepper into the mushroom mixture; cook over low heat while stirring until smooth.  Whisk in the water and chicken broth; heat to boiling.  While stirring with whisk, add the cream; heat just to boiling but do not boil.




Dip soup into serving bowls and garnish each with the chopped parsley, if desired.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

SKINNY BROCCOLI SALAD

I got this recipe from a Pampered Chef lady.  It is really good.

2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green olives
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup reduced-fat ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients, except dressing, together in a large bowl and toss with reduced fat ranch dressing.

Refrigerate until serving.

BEEF AND VEGGIE PASTA

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 celery ribs, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded yellow squash
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 jar (26-oz) marinara sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
8-oz rotini pasta
Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until no longer pink while stirring to crumble.  Drain beef well, discarding the drippings.

Using a paper towel, wipe excess grease from the skillet.  Add the canola oil to the skillet, heating over medium heat until hot.  Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until tender.  Stir in the vegetables.

Add the drained beef back into the skillet.  Stir in the sauce, vinegar, butter, and thyme.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium-low.  Add a lid to the skillet and simmer mixture approximately 30 minutes until the veggies are tender; stir occasionally.

While sauce simmers, cook the rotini according to the package directions.  Drain well and serve the sauce over the pasta.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CURRIED BEEF AND RICE DISH

1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp curry powder (mild)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/3 cups basmati rice, well rinsed
2 cups shredded carrots
1 pkg (9-10 oz) frozen peas
3 cups hot or vegetable broth
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish, optional
fresh lemon wedges for garnish, optional

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil; add the curry pwder, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, stirring quickly to combine.  Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and stir with a large spoon to break up the meat as it cooks for around four minutes or until browned. 

Stir the rice, carrots, and peas into the beef mixture.

Add the hot broth and bring skillet mixture to a boil.  Place a lid on the skillet, reduce heat to low and cook 15 to 16 minutes.  Remove from the heat but do not remove lid.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove lid and fluff with a fork before serving.  Sprinkle with the cilantro and add the lemon wedges, if desired.


Yield: 4 servings

Friday, March 15, 2013

DRESSED UP SCRAMBLED EGGS

1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup cream
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp hot sauce, optional
1 tbsp butter, divided
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

In a large bowl, using a wire whisk, combine the eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the eggs and cook without stirring until they start to set on the bottom.  Using a spatula, stir to form large curds and cook until eggs are set.  Gently stir in the tomato. Remove to serving platter and sprinkle the chives and parsley over all.

Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, March 14, 2013

WILD RICE WITH MUSHROOMS

This recipe combines two of my favorite things, wild rice and mushrooms so naturally it is a favorite.  I believe I got this recipe originally from Southern Living magazine a few Thanksgivings ago and changed it a little to suit my tastes.  It makes around 8 servings.

2 pkgs (6-oz each) long-grain and wild rice mix
3 tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
3/4 lb assorted (or your favorite) fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Prepare the rice according to the package directions; set aside.

While rice cooks, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to high heat and add the onion; saute 5 or 6 minutes until golden in color.  Add the mushrooms and the salt; saute approximately another 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender (time will depend on type of mushrooms you use).

Stir the vegetable broth into the mushroom/onion mixture and saute until the liquid is absorbed (2 to 3 minutes).

Stir the mushroom/onion mixture and the parsley into the rice.  Ready to serve!



Friday, March 8, 2013

Bacon Biscuit Cups

I got this recipe from Mr. Food's web site.  They are so simple and tasty, I thought they deserved to be shared.
    
Serves: 10
Cooking Time:22 min
What You'll Need:
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 (12-ounce) can refrigerated flaky biscuits
  • 5 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled, divided
What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, milk, and egg, until blended. Stir in Swiss cheese and scallion; set aside.
  3. Separate biscuits into 10 portions. Pat each portion into a 5-inch circle, and press on bottom and up sides of prepared muffin cups, forming a 1/4-inch crust edge. Sprinkle with half of bacon, and spoon cream cheese mixture on top.
  4. Bake 22 minutes, or until set. Sprinkle with remaining bacon, lightly pressing into filling. Remove immediately from pan, and serve warm.

  
To reheat any leftovers, wrap biscuit cups in foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until warm. (But we bet you won't have any extras!)

 

 
 

Monday, March 4, 2013

EASY SPAGHETTI MILANO

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 carrot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cans (15-oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (6 1/2-oz) minced clams, undrained
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil leaves
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (16-oz) whole-wheat spaghetti
3 tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese

Brown the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic; drain off the fat.  Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, mushrooms, clams, salt, basil, thyme, and pepper.  Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions; drain.  Toss the hot spaghetti with the butter.

To serve, top the spaghetti with the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.