Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Adobo Steaks

We don't eat a lot of steak.  I think Hubs would eat more if HE planned the menu though.  He does rave when I make steak.  Well, I just marinate it, HE actually gets to grill it! 

This marinade was awesome! Spicy and garlicky! 

I take my whole can of chipotles with adobo sauce and puree the whole thing. I just use a few tablespoons for this marinade.  Then the rest can stay in the refrigerator for something else. 

Adobo Steaks Marinade Recipe

1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers to taste
4 (8 ounce) beef sirloin steaks
Salt and pepper to taste

1.In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, garlic, oregano, and cumin. Stir in chipotle peppers, and season to taste with adobo sauce. (I puree my chipotles and adobo together and just use a few tablespoons)
2.Pierce the meat on both sides with a sharp knife, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a glass dish. Pour lime and chipotle sauce over meat, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
3.Preheat grill for high heat.
4.Lightly brush grill grate with oil. Place steaks on the grill, and discard marinade. Grill steaks for 6 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.

One Year Ago...

Chicken Tagine in the Slow Cooker

Monday, August 29, 2011

Baked BBQ Onion Rings

I pretty much ate this whole plate of onion rings.  Well, I could have at least. I was nice and shared a few with the family.  I'm quite sure that I had the most though. 

The original recipe calls for Panko breadcrumbs and these might have crisped up more than the regular breadcrumbs.  They weren't quite as crispy as I would have liked, but hey, for a baked onion ring they were pretty awesome. 

The barbecue flavoring was incredible.

Baked BBQ Onion Rings Recipe
Adapted from Very Culinary

1 cup barbecue sauce of your choice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup flour
2 cups bread crumbs (I used 1/2 regular and 1/2 whole grain)
2 - 3 medium to large onions, sliced into 1/2 in. rings

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place two baking sheets in the oven and let those preheat too.

In a medium bowl, mix together barbeque sauce, eggs and flour.  Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl.

Dip onion slices in the bbq mixture, shake excess off and then dunk on all sides into the bread crumbs.  I use one hand for the bbq dipping and then the other hand for throwing the crumbs on the onion, this seems to be the neatest way.  Lay flat on a plate or a cool surface while waiting for the hot trays. 

Remove hot baking sheets from the oven and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Move coated onions to hot baking sheets and spray the coated onions lightly with cooking spray. 

Bake for about 8 minutes, then use tongs or a fork to turn each onion ring and bake for an additional 4 - 6 minutes, watch closely so they don't burn!

One Year Ago...

Ice Cream in a Baggie

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ August 29 - September 4, 2011

Monday: Beef & Bean Taco Bake with ground turkey

Tuesday: Quesadillas and Mexican Corn Dip

Wednesday: Burgers and Baked Apple Chips

Thursday:  Chicken Pasta Salad

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Minnesota State Fair - fried food on a stick!

Sunday:  Special Day Assembly - out to eat w/friends

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organized Junkie

One Year Ago...

Taco Corn Bread Casserole

Friday, August 26, 2011

Raspberry Popsicles

Another happy popsicle lover this summer! He didn't mind the seeds at all!  :-)

Raspberry Popsicles
Adapted from Recipe Boy

2 (6 oz) containers fresh raspberries
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup water

1. In a food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl; strain- pressing on the solids to allow the liquid to come through into the bowl. Pour the liquid puree into a pitcher or a large measuring cup with a pouring spout (throw out the seeds that get stuck in the strainer). Pour the raspberry liquid into popsicle molds. Cover and insert the sticks.

or do what I did:

Stick raspberry's, lemon juice, sugar and water (without really measuring anything) into a food processor, taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary.  Pour into molds, freeze and eat.  Seeds and all.  Both ways work.  :-)

One Year Ago...

Peaches & Cream Amish Bread

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Creamy Lime Chicken and Peppers

I love a good crockpot meal, don't you?  This one does require a saute pan briefly before it's done but it's worth it. To get that creaminess, it's totally worth it.

I would have liked to use a green pepper along with this but alas, no green peppers in the frig this day.  *sigh* 

I rather thought it looked like tortilla soup at one point. 

I shredded the chicken but you certainly could leave yours in tenders.  I tend to overcook everything so I think when I stirred it, I didn't have a choice BUT to have shredded as the meat just fell apart.  Mmmmm...  Just how I like it.

You could add cooked pasta right to your crock pot and serve it up that way if you'd like.  I liked it as a sauce.  That way I could put it over steamed broccoli and just a bit of pasta to keep the calories down. 

Creamy Lime Chicken and Peppers Slow Cooker Recipe
Adapted from Recipe Shoebox

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 Tbs. lime juice, divided
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into long strips
1 green pepper, cut into long strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into long strips
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour, divided
1 cup half-and-half

Combine garlic, broth, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, soy sauce, chicken, red onion, and peppers in slow cooker.  Stir to coat chicken.  Cook on low for about 4 - 5 hours or until it's done and able to shred.
In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat.  As soon as butter is melted sprinkle in 1/4 cup of flour.  Stir with wire whisk.  Slowly add in half and half and stir with whisk.  Take a measuring cup and dip it in the slow cooker and get about 1/2 cup of the liquid.  Pour it into the skillet.  Add in the rest of the flour (another 1/4 cup) and stir.  Get more liquid from slow cooker (exact measurements not important) and add it into the creamy mixture.   Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the cream mixture.
Pour sauce over the contents of the slow cooker.  Stir to combine.  Shred chicken if you want and stir. Pour chicken and sauce over veggies, rice or pasta. 

One Year Ago...

Freezer Cooking:Ground Turkey

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carrot and Potato Mash

  I loved the idea of carrots and potatoes together.  Love them both so why not mash them together. I also love lumpy mashed potatoes and these are lumpy.  Lumpy is good.

Not only did carrots make the mashed potatoes look so much better than regular potatoes, they added a huge amount of healthiness that I loved!  They tasted great and I will make my potatoes this way more often now!

Carrot and Potato Mash
Adapted from Lavender and Lime

6 potatoes
3 large carrots
2 tbsp. butter
Milk for thinning if necessary

Peel potatoes and carrots, chop into chunks and boil or steam until soft. Mash together along with butter and milk if necessary.  You really can add more carrots or less depending on what you like. I'm not exactly sure the ratio and of course your size of carrots and potatoes will be different.  It's a very simple and versatile dish.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ August 22 - August 28, 2011

The first half of last week went as planned, by the end of the week, things changed, so I carried some planned meals to this week.

The winner of the Lawry's Giveaway was Mandi from Smile and Mama with Me.


Tuesday: Burgers and Southwestern Potato Salad

Wednesday:  Oatmeal Waffles

Thursday: Chicken & Mac & Cheese

Friday: Spaghetti & meatballs

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Cincinnati Sloppy Sliders & corn on the cob

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie

One Year Ago...

Beef Burritos

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

I made these for a 50th Anniversary party this summer.  They were a complete hit.

Pair juicy gorgeous strawberries with a creamy cheesecake filling and how could you NOT have a winner, right?

Originally I dipped the tops in crushed graham crackers to give it that full cheesecake taste, but then it just flattened the filling and didn't look as pretty.  Tasty though.  We opted to overstuff the strawberries with the filling and nix the graham cracker crumbs.

There were none left and everyone was asking for more so I think the guests agreed.

I also experimented with extracts in the filling.  I started with the vanilla, which of course was delicious.  Then I did some that were almond and some lemon. I think that the lemon was my favorite though most of these were vanilla as I ran out of time to do any more.

It doesn't matter how you make them, it is just important that you make them.  Trust me, you will love them!

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
Adapted from Nutmeg Nanny

1 lb. large strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond or lemon extract)
Graham cracker crumbs, if desired

Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry.  I found that most of the big strawberries already had a nice hollow center so it was pretty easy.  If you want your strawberries upright, slice a bit off the bottom. 

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla with a mixer.  Add cream cheese mixture to a gallon size baggie and put in the lower corner.  Cut the corner off and pipe into the strawberries.  If desired, dip the strawberries into graham cracker crumbs. 

One Year Ago...

Saucy Veggie Meatloaf

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chipotle Chickpea Bean Salad

I can't believe I didn't snap a picture or twelve of this amazingly good salad!  I made a double batch and brought it along to a BBQ. I saved some to eat during the week but just forgot to get pictures. 

I made it very similar to the original recipe. I took her advice and added some other veggies.  It's pretty versatile and can be thrown together pretty quickly.

This was super tasty and filling, I know I'll be making it again soon!  And next time I won't forget the pictures!


Adapted from A Veggie Venture

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 or more chipotle chiles (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)


1 15-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 or more tomatoes, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 green)
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed 
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Mix dressing together. Chop the chile finely and try to discard some seeds if possible to reduce the heat but keep the flavor.

Mix the veggies together and add the dressing.  Add some of the adobo sauce to taste, I added about a tablespoon. Be sure to taste as it does get spicy.

One Year Ago...

Southwest Squash Mac & Cheese

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

We interrupt the regularly scheduled healthy cooking with some decadent, tasty, buttery, gooey cookies. 

I know that I needed to bake today.  I have 14 daycare kids here today and I NEEDED to bake something for them.  I was thrilled to find a simple, quick recipe to make. 

But I didn't have the butter!!  Can you believe it, I ran out of butter!  So the husband was nice enough to run to the store to buy some butter this morning!! 

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from Connors Cooking

1 - 8 oz. brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (18 oz) chocolate cake mix
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Beat in the cake mix, it will be super thick, do the best you can. 

Roll mix into balls, about a tablespoon and roll ball into powdered sugar.  Place on cookie sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  Bake 13 minutes.  Cool and sprinkle with more powdered sugar if desired.  Makes 48 cookies.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Black Bean & Cream Cheese Burritos

This is an awesome last minute, throw it together kinda meal that is totally awesome.  I made a super huge batch of this so I could keep it in the frig for a few days but feel free to halve it or cut it into thirds. I also made several and froze them for my husbands lunches.  He likes to buy those frozen fatty store burritos. Yuck.  These are so much better and healthier.  Not to mention cheaper. 

It's a pretty versatile dish too. Sub a can of kidney beans if you want, add a red pepper or some green onions.  It will all work and be delicious!

We ate this with an awesome low calorie Mexican Cucumber Salad.  Wonderful meal! 

Black Bean and Cream Cheese Burritos Recipe
Adapted from Kiddies Corner

3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, diced
3 (4 oz) cans green chiles (I used a 7 oz. and a 4 oz can)
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, light (or you can use regular)
Salt and pepper
Tortillas (corn tortillas if gluten free)

Cook onion in cooking spray for about 3 - 4 minutes to soften.  Add green chiles and garlic, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add black beans and cook for about 3 minutes until heated through.  Add cream cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until the cheese is melted and mixture is hot.  Serve on a tortilla.  I like to toast my tortillas in a pan on the stove top to get a bit crisp and then add the bean mixture.

Total calories = 1810 calories
13 - 1/2 cup servings = 139 calories per serving
1/2 cup mixture with 100 calorie tortilla = 239 calories bean burrito

One Year Ago...

Southwest Turkey Burgers

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal

It's rhubarb season and I can't believe this was the only thing I've made so far with it!  What's awesome about rhubarb, it pairs so well with so many fruits.  Blueberries, peaches, strawberries, whatever.  They are good alone but adding rhubarb just brings it to another level and changes it so well!

I loved, loved, loved this oatmeal. I ate way too much of it, I just couldn't stop. It was like eating a healthy dessert for breakfast. 

I chose to use splenda to keep the calories down. It worked well and at 265 calories for a big portion, it rocked. Incredibly delicious and very filling!

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from $5 Dollar Dinners

2 cups diced rhubarb
3 cups diced strawberries
2 large eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup splenda (or sugar)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, for sprinkling

Spray a 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray.  Toss the rhubarb and strawberries in the baking dish.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except the brown sugar.  Pour the batter over the top of the fruit and stir gently to combine the fruit.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.  Bake in oven at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes.  Serve with vanilla yogurt if desired!

Total calories = 2120 calories
8 servings = 265 calories per serving

One Year Ago...

Coconut Macaroons

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ August 15 - August 21, 2011

Monday:  Arepas with Poblanos, Bacon and Eggs

Tuesday:  Fish & Chips,

Wednesday: Chicken Meatballs & Summer Squash Casserole

Thursday:  Chicken Sesame Stir Fry

Friday: Kickin' Turkey Burgers & Southwestern Potato Salad (with some greek yogurt rather than all mayo)

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Cinncinnati Sloppy Sliders & Corn on the cob

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie

One Year Ago...

Peach and Pecan Slaw

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Healthy Strawberry Popsicles

I apologize for the boring picture, these were eaten before I captured all the smiling faces!  I'll be making them again for sure so I'll get more pictures! 

The kids loved both eating these and helping me make them!  They all waited in line to be able to push the button on the food processor!  Then constantly asked me for the next 4 or 5 hours when they would be done!


Strawberry Popsicles Recipe
Adapted from BakedBree.com

3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup honey or agave syrup (I used honey)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a food processor, or blender combine the strawberries, honey and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Pour puree into molds and put in freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.  I made 12 of these little popsicles.

One Year Ago...

Korean Bulgogi Steak

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lawry's Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Lawry's asked me to help create recipes for their awesome marinades and salt! I got the privilege to work with 5 other awesome women to create a fantastic meal! 

Denise, Wholesome Mommy
Julie, Dinner with Julie
Tricia, Once a Month Mom
Kelsey, The Naptime Chef

Janel, A Mom’s Take

They sent us the products and we got to work.  We paired up and each came up with a different element of the meal. We came up with a LOT of great ideas!  It's amazing how many things these marinades will work with!  And the Seasoned Salt adds flavor to many more things than I imagined before. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

We came up with a great meal of Lawry's Cheese Stuffed Chicken, Seasoned Salt Zucchini Fries and Balsamic Herb Strawberry Salad.  Who wouldn't love that meal!  This is the kind of everyday meal that tastes like you've spent hours in the kitchen but really is quick to put together.  Truly the kind of meal you could make and eat everyday! 

The flavors of the Seasoned Salt Marinade shines in the chicken breasts.  The Seasoned Salt adds a wonderful element to the zucchini fries and the Balsamic Herb Marinade is perfect with the strawberry salad.  I seriously loved that salad!!


Once A Month Mom - Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Wholesome Mommy - Balsamic Herb Strawberry Salad
A Mom's Take - Balsamic Herb Strawberry Salad
The Naptime Chef - Lawry's Seasoned Zucchini Fries
Dinner with Julie - Lawry's Seasoned Zucchini Fries


Tricia and I came up with the Lawry's Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts.  They were delicious and we both loved them.  The Lawry's Seasoned Salt Marinade flavored the chicken beautifully and worked super well as a base for the panko/onion mixture. 

Lawry's Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 oz. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt Marinade (1/2 bottle)
8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded (or any kind of cheese)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 cups ground french fried onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a foil lined baking pan with cooking spray. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise, basically fillet the breast so that you have two long flat pieces.** Marinate chicken breasts in Lawry’s Seasoned Salt Marinade for 30 minutes in a gallon sized baggie. Remove chicken and add add shredded cheese. Roll chicken and secure with toothpicks. Place bread crumbs and french fried onion crumbs in a shallow bowl, mix together. Carefully dip the chicken back in the marinade, then place in the crumbs, coating the chicken evenly. Place the chicken on prepared pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 35 – 40 minutes or until done.

**If you are limited on time you can simply cut a pocket in the chicken breasts and insert cheese instead of rolling.  That's what I did and they turned out just fine!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mexican Cucumber Salad

Don't you just love when you can keep eating and eating something that is SOOOOO good...and not feel guilty about it? 

This was a super tasty salad that goes well with any Southwestern meal. 

Mexican Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Blessed with Grace

1 large cucumber, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained a bit
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, corn, tomatoes, peppers.  In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar with all the spices. Add the spice mixture to the veggies and toss to combine.  Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Total calories = 470 calories
6 cups = 78 calories per cup

One Year Ago...

Grilled Corn w/Chipotle Lime Butter

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.