Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin French Toast

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the yummy pumpkin recipes there are to try. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. It did not disappoint. The pumpkin wasn't overwhelming but there was a hint of it and it was really good.

Pumpkin French Toast

3 eggs
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1-3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 - 6 slices bread
Pecans, chopped
maple syrup

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Place the slices of bread into the egg mixture and let soak while the pan heats up [3-5minutes].
Spray skillet with non-stick spray in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place bread into the pan and cook until golden brown on 1 side, approx. 2-3 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes longer. Top with pecans and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Owl Cupcakes

I saw these cupcakes at a Halloween party and thought they looked so cute and easy, so I had to try them. The picture below are the cupcakes I saw at the party. I like the chocolate frosting look better, but I had to make these cupcakes because they are my ultimate favorite and the frosting is to die for.
What you'll need:
Bag of Oreos, twist the cookies apart and keep the side with the frosting
Reeses pieces
Your favorite frosted cupcakes

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Honey Chicken Kabobs

Honey Chicken Kabobs

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 zucchini, sliced

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, pepper, and garlic. Reserve a small amount of marinade to brush onto kabobs while cooking. Place the chicken and vegetables in a large Ziploc with the rest of the marinade. (I marinated the chicken and veggies in different bags). Marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. The longer it marinates the better.
Preheat grill to high heat.
Drain marinade from the chicken and vegetables, and discard marinade. Thread the chicken and vegetables onto skewers.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.

Friday, June 10, 2011

BBQ Chicken Wraps

The other night my husband and I ate at Red Robin and I ordered their Whiskey River BBQ chicken wrap. I switched out the tortilla strips for their onion straws and it was so good. I decided to try and recreate it at home. We were really happy with how they turned out!

BBQ Chicken Wraps

4 chicken breasts
BBQ Sauce
4 large tortillas
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
shredded lettuce
French's french fried onions
Ranch dressing

Grill your chicken. During the last 15 minutes of cooking brush the BBQ sauce on the chicken. When chicken is done remove it from the grill and cut it in to strips. Warm your tortillas in the microwave. Place your chicken strips down the center of the tortilla, leaving some space at both ends. Pour a little more BBQ sauce on chicken if desired. Add cheese, onions, lettuce, and top with ranch dressing. Fold in the ends of the tortilla and roll up. Cut the wrap in half and serve.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cheese Ball

This is a quick, easy, and delicious cheese ball. My friend had made it for a bridal shower a few weeks ago, and I couldn't get enough. I had never made a cheese ball before, but I wanted to try it out so I made it for a baby shower this weekend. It was still just as good, and I was surprised at how simple it was to make.

Cheese Ball

2 packages cream cheese, softened
5 green onions, chopped
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained really well
seasoned salt, to taste (about 1 tsp)
1 - 2 cups pecans, chopped

Mix cream cheese, green onions, crushed pineapple and seasoned salt together. Form in to a ball. Roll in chopped pecans. Cover with saran wrap and place in fridge until ready to serve. Serve with crackers and/or veggies.

Recipe courtesy Ad'Lynn Martinez

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sprite Potatoes

We tried this recipe about a year ago and really liked it. Then somehow I forgot about it. My husband was really excited when I told him we were having them again. You might look at the recipe and think that it just doesn't work, but it really does. The bacon, the cheese, the onions and then the sprite adds just a touch of sweetness. They are really good!

Sprite Potatoes

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
5-6 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
9-10 baby carrots, sliced thin
seasoned salt
onion salt
garlic salt
1-2 cans Sprite

In a large pot/skillet saute onion and bacon together until onion is translucent and bacon is crispy. Add potatoes, carrots and seasonings to taste. Stir together. Add sprite, just enough to cover the potatoes.
Cover and bring to a boil, simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender and most of the liquid has reduced.
Cover generously with grated colby jack cheese or cheddar cheese and let stand for 3-5 minutes, or until melted. Enjoy!!

Recipe courtesy Tasty Sensations

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, undrained
2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
12 oz V-8 juice
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of red pepper flakes
8 oz shell pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large pot, brown ground beef and drain. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, saute for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for pasta and cheese. Simmer for 1 hour. With about 10 minutes left, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta, then stir into soup. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe adapted from Cooking With Mandy

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cold Szechuan Noodles

My friend Katie brought this salad to a party a few weeks ago, and I couldn't wait to make it again! Yum, it is so good!

Cold Szechuan Noodles
recipe courtesy Katie Wenerstrom

3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp oriental sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 oz oriental noodles or broken up spaghetti, cooked and drained
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup finely chopped red cabbage
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 shredded carrots
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts

In small bowl, combine oil, honey, sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes; blend well. Rinse cooked noodles in cold water to cool. In large bowl combine cooked noodles, chicken, cabbage, onions, carrots, and bell pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss to mix. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Refried Beans

I had heard great reviews about this recipe from multiple friends, so I was excited to try it. I knew it cooked in the crock pot all day, so in the morning I looked at the recipe so I would be prepared and cook it long enough. To my dismay I learned I was supposed to soak the beans over night. My husband was going out of town, looking forward to what I had told him we were having for dinner, and I wasn't going to change my plans. So I altered the recipe a little, and they still came out really good. I will put the changes I made to the original recipe at the end so if you are on top of things you can do it the right way, or if you are not (like me) you can do it a different way, that still tasted really good.

Refried Beans
adapted from Katie's Recipes

3 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can chicken broth
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients into an oven safe pot and cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 5-6 hours. (Or you can put it in a crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours). Take out some of the juices. Blend in a food processor or blender until desired consistency. If it is too thick you can add some juices back in.

If you want to use dry beans: Soak 1 lb. dry pinto beans over night and drain. Instead of the one can of chicken broth add 2 cups water and 3 cups chicken broth to replace it. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on high 6-8 hours.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Slow Cooked Pork Roast

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I initially made the pork to put in enchiladas. They were good, but the pork on it's own is so good, we felt that the enchilada sauce covered it up. So we used the left over pork for sandwiches and put a little BBQ sauce on it. They were wonderful. I think the pork would also be really good on rice or as pork tacos. We will be trying those options the next time I make this.

Slow Cooked Pork Roast
adapted from Everyday Insanity

Pork shoulder roast
dried oregano
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small can diced green chilies

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan. Season pork shoulder with salt, pepper, cumin, and dried oregano. Brown the roast on all sides. Add the chicken broth, cilantro, garlic and chilies. Bake covered at 200 degrees for 5-6 hours. Turn the roast half way through. Roast is done when meat is tender and shreds easily.

Remove pork from pan and shred. Drain the drippings, remove fat, discard. Drizzle drippings over shredded pork. At this point the meat can be made into a sandwich or used for enchiladas, tostadas etc. It can also be frozen in 1 or 2 cup portions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Orange Chicken and Vegetables

My husband loves Chinese food. I think he would choose take out every night if he had the choice. I also like Chinese food but always feel like I've eaten a ton of grease afterwards. This recipe satisfied both of our Chinese food desires. The chicken was nice and juicy and had a nice, light breading. The sauce was great and I loved all of the vegetables. This will definitely show back up on our menu soon.

Orange Chicken & Vegetables
adapted from Mommy's Kitchen

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 large carrots, julienned
1 small onion, cut
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
4 stalks celery, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Orange Sauce:
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 cup chicken broth

Cut the chicken breasts up into 1 inch cubes. Combine the flour and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl or large zip lock bag. Coat the chicken with the flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil into a large skillet or wok and add half the chicken. Once it is cooked add the second half.

Cook your chicken until it is golden all over. (About 10 minutes) While your chicken is cooking, cut up your vegetables. Make sure they are about the same size. When the chicken is golden brown place it on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add another tablespoon of oil into the hot skillet. Add your vegetables and cook over medium high heat until crisp tender, about another 10 minutes.

While your vegetables are cooking add all of the orange sauce ingredients into a medium saucepan. Whisk them together until combined. Bring to a boil. Keep cooking until it thickens. When your vegetables are done add the sauce and chicken into the pan. Stir the mixture to combine. Serve over rice or Chinese noodles.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Low Calorie Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

We had this meal for dinner tonight. It was delicious! I didn't even get a chance to take a picture of it. I have tried many similar recipes, but on the low calorie side, this has definitely been the best!

Low Calorie Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
adapted from Food Network Magazine

1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 cup 2% milk
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
12 ounces fettuccine
1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

Make the sauce: melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 tsp salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Add the chicken, sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine
adapted from Cooking Light

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (16-ounce) carton 2% low-fat cottage cheese
4 cups hot cooked penne pasta
2 cups shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 can condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, undiluted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper. Saute 3 minutes or just until spinach wilts.

Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, and soup in a large bowl. Salt to taste. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pad Thai

While I was watching the Food Network I came across this recipe. I have tried a few Pad Thai recipes, but didn't really like any of them. This one seemed easy and the reviews on it were really good. It was really easy to make and tasted delicious!

Pad Thai
adapted from Sandra Lee

1 (16-ounce) package rice noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 tablespoon chile sauce, depending on how hot you want it
2 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup chicken broth
3 carrots, grated
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 cups bean sprouts
Chicken, Shrimp, or Tofu (I used 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded)
1/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped, for garnish
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook rice noodles according to directions. Set aside.

In a wok or a large skillet scramble the eggs. Cook until they are firm. Remove them from the pan and let them cool a bit. Roughly chop them and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile sauce, lime juice, garlic, and broth. Set side.

Add the 1 tablespoon oil to the pan along with the carrots, scallions, and bean sprouts and stir fry 1 minute. Add the reserved eggs, noodles, chicken and sauce, stirring to coat everything completely. (I doubled the sauce from the original recipe so I only used about 3/4 of the sauce. Then we poured the left over sauce on top of our noodles once we had dished up). Cook for another minute. Serve garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dumpling Soup

Over the holidays my family and I went to one of my favorite restaurants, The Mandarin. They had the most wonderful wonton soup. When I got home I was flipping through my Foodnetwork magazine trying to decide what to make for the week, and came across this recipe. I was so excited to try it. Granted it is not as good as The Mandarin's because the dumplings are not homemade, but it was really good, and will satisfy my craving until I get back there.

Dumpling Soup

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 pound thick-sliced ham, diced
2 Tbsp dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
4 3-inch strips orange zest*
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 to 3 napa cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
24 frozen chicken or vegetable dumplings or pot stickers
Soy sauce, for drizzling (optional)

Combine 2 cups water, the broth, ham, sherry, sugar, ginger, orange zest, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the scallion whites, mushrooms and carrots. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the cabbage, dumplings and scallion greens. Cover and cook until the dumplings are soft and heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Divide the dumplings and soup among bowls. Drizzle with soy sauce, if desired.

*I did not know how to do strips of orange zest, so I just put in about 1/4 tsp of orange zest and it tasted fine.